Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Airport transportation demand management in flux

The rise of ride hailing has significantly impacted airports in two ways.

First, fewer people are driving to the airport and then parking their car and racking up fees for the duration of their trip.  This has significantly reduced parking fees as a source of airport revenue.  Heretofore it had been significant ("Protecting Your Bottom Line From the “Uber Effect”," Airport Improvement and "As Uber and Lyft grow, fewer are using taxis and airport parking," Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

Second, the use of ride hailing has caused significant congestion problems, and airports in San Francisco, Boston, and Los Angeles among others, have taken  steps to direct ride hailing vehicles away from the regular arrival and departure lanes (Addressing Airport Congestion as Traffic Takes Off in the Age of Uber and Lyft, student submission, Airport Cooperative Research Program design competition)..

A new third impact is on shuttle services like SuperShuttle.

Just as taxi firms are going out of business because of the impact of ride hailing services with people using their own cars ("The Human Cost of Uber and Lyft: Life in the Dying Taxi Industry," KQED/NPR) the same is happening with airport shuttle services ("Say goodbye to those blue-and-yellow airport vans: SuperShuttle is going out of business," USA Today).

The company had already stopped serving certain airports like BWI in Maryland and more announcements of service cessation have just been made including airports like LAX and National Airport in Northern Virginia.

From a transportation demand management perspective, it's worse to have passengers switch from a shared van to individual vehicles, although it is definitely more convenient for the rider, even if it costs more money.

I've written about transit and airports a few times, including airports "taking more responsibility" for organizing transit service to and from the airport as well as better connections to nearby stations.

-- "Transportation demand management, transit: Los Angeles Airport (LAX) and Logan Airport, Boston," 2019
-- "London's Stansted Airport provides digital information on transit options," 2019
-- "A brief comment on ground transportation at National Airport vis a vis VRE rail service," 2016
-- "Revisiting stories: ground transportation at airports (DCA/Logan)," 2017
-- "Airports and public transit access: O'Hare Airport and the proposed fast connection from Downtown Chicago," 2018

And biking:

-- "Why not a bicycle hub at National Airport?: focused on capturing worker trips but open to all," 2017

Metro Magazine has published a report by DePaul University's Chaddick Institute on higher end shuttle services to airports, although these trips can be hundreds of miles, to provide access to larger airports serving more locations ("Premium intercity bus lines launching new airport-oriented services").  Also see this Minneapolis Star-Tribune article about such a service in Out-state Minnesota, "Shuttle between MSP and Duluth and Mankato airports to launch with $9 fares."

I have a half written piece about how Chaddick's study of high volume origin-destination data to determine gaps and opportunities in high capacity transit service over long distances ought to be the basis for longer distance railroad passenger planning.

-- Ground Transportation Gaps

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