Setting the stage for the Purple Line light rail line to be an overwhelming success: Part 3 | Some influences
Part 1: the principles
Part 2: the program (macro changes)
Part 3: influences
I had some half written blog posts concerning transit innovation and related matters, including:
★ An article "BART has $3.5 billion to spend: Here's what we think they should fix first," from the SF Chronicle listing improvements that could be implemented that would have significant positive impact on ride quality, but it's likely that these items aren't part of the big $3.5 Billion plan.
1. More service, more frequently.This relates to the current system repair program for the DC area Metrorail system in that people don't experience positive changes to their experience. They are structural improvements that aren't visible and they haven't yet had enough of a cumulative effect to result in improvements in reliability and quality of service.
2. Adding more trains during rush periods.
3. Longer trains during rush periods (Make all trains 10 cars during commute hours)
4. Replace or fix the escalators and elevators
5. Add late-night Friday and Saturday service
6. Smooth the rails (rail grinding) in tunnels and other locations where they the contact between the rails and the wheels is very loud and noisy.
7. Working security cameras.
8. Improve the system's ability to deal with weather.
9. More hand-holds and poles [note that in the DC subway system, I argue that poles are often placed in cars in ways that hinder people from moving deeper into the car and create congestion at the doors]
10. Train arrival and departure information in station lobbies
Plus, they are combined with serious service cuts in frequency and cuts to the bus network, so while one hand giveth, the other takes it away.
Some focus should go towards customer service improvements that are visible--recognizing that as more new 7000 series trains come into service, that is definitely a visible improvement.
★ A super duper bus stop in Singapore ("Jurong bus stop makes waiting fun,"Straits Times).
★ An impressive systematic station access improvement program by the Utah Transit Authority, discussed in the current issue of Metro Magazine ("UTA Works to Overcome 'Toughest Mile' Challenges").
Their First/Last Mile Strategies Study (lead consultants Fehr & Peers) is particularly good. The agency pursued successfully a large TIGER grant to implement a large number of improvements across the transit station network.
★ Thanking riders for putting up with service degradation. Network Rail says thanks for your patience with free cake ("Merseyside railway upgrades brought forward during emergency Lime Street repairs," press release) and Pierce Transit offers a week of free transit ("Pierce Transit rolls out new service plan with free rides," Tacoma News-Tribune).
I have been upset with how disconnected transit stakeholders seem to be from the reality that local transit service quality has degraded so much, partly reflected in the blog entry, "Wrongsizing is not rightsizing" and customers are supposed to just take it (the stakeholders aren't clued in to Hirschman's Exit, Voice or Loyalty and right now we are seeing a lot of exit)
So I was impressed that Pierce Transit in Washington State, which is finally getting enough revenue to restore service that had been drastically cut during the Great Recession, is launching the restored services by offering free trips.
And that after emergency repairs at the Liverpool Lime Street Station were finished, Network Rail gave their apologies and thanked customers for their patience.
★ Transport for London has "product design managers" for the transit system. (And the VIA transit system in San Antonio has an urban design unit.)
-- "The Sign Design Society Event: Defining a City," designworkplan
-- Product design guidelines, Transport for London
-- "VIA urban planner wants to build a better San Antonio," San Antonio Express-News
From the presentation by Ivan Bennett, Design Manger for London Buses:
One reason other systems have failed is the lack of continuity. London bus stops extend beyond central areas and cover all routes in Greater London. Ivan indicated that passengers do not just want information about where they are travelling from, but when they get there, they need the same consistently presented information. People need information near their homes and local areas, not just in the centre of the city.
Plus, a variety of previous writings including:
-- "Takoma Langley Crossroads Transit Center: a critical evaluation," 2016
-- "Multiple missed opportunities in the creation of the Silver Spring Transit Center," 2015
-- "DC State Rail Planning Initiative," 2015
-- "Making Bus Service Sexy and More Equitable," 2012
-- "Transit stations as an element of civic architecture," 2016
-- "Transit, stations, and placemaking," 2013
-- "Design as a city branding strategy: transit edition," 2012
-- "One big idea: Getting MARC and Metrorail to integrate fares, stations, and marketing systems, using London Overground as an example," 2015
And having recently come across one of the best practice guides from the HiTrans project in Northern Europe, Public transport -- Plannng the networks.