Conference Interactive Program
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TRB 91st Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)
Explorations in Transit Management, Performance, and Funding
Jan 23 2012 7:30PM- 9:30PM
Hilton, International East
Strategic Look at Friday Exceptions in Weekday Schedules for Urban Transit: Improving Service, Capturing Leisure Markets, and Achieving Cost Savings by Mining Data on Automated Fare Collection Ridership (12-0582)
This paper describes a strategic business case for weekday exception scheduling in urban transit services, specifically, treating Fridays differently from other weekdays. As commuters trend towards more flexible work scheduling, telecommuting arrangements, and 4½-day weeks, gaps between midweek and Friday ridership widened. Exception schedules neither were nor are unusual; transit operators ran full Saturday lunchtime rush-hours in the interwar era, while private bus companies, airlines, and freight railroads operate exceptions today. Systematic consideration of day-of-week scheduling confirmed that Friday modifications were best leveraged in better matching service supply to ridership demand. Longitudinal analysis of New York City Transit’s (NYCT) Automated Fare Collection (AFC) data revealed more regular commuters skipped Friday’s trip than other weekdays’. Analysis by route/time-period for 14 representative routes over ten months show 4.7% lower ridership on Fridays, potentially allowing 7.4% reductions in vehicle-hours operated. Available savings were route-specific, with 25% service reductions possible on some, whereas 25% service fortification was required on others with higher Friday ridership. Implementing separate Friday schedules systemwide could provide resource savings of $13 million (0.6%) for reinvestment elsewhere in the network. Additionally, reduced Friday crew requirements could lead to 1.2% increases in desirable weekend-inclusive regular days-off (RDOs) and 2.4% reduction in non-preferred midweek RDOs. Two prerequisites for realizing savings are: a computerized run-cutting system and an infrastructure for ridership analysis across multiple days, routes, and time periods. Transit agencies should determine if its routes can benefit from weekday exceptions. If productivity improvements are indicated, contracts permitting weekday work program exceptions can be negotiated.
Lu, Alex , MTA Metro-North Railroad
Reddy, Alla V., New York City Transit Authority
Transportation Research Board. 500 Fifth St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © 2012. National Academy of Sciences. All Rights Reserved.