UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A proposed goals oriented urban transit monitoring system Morton, John Roger


In recent years, the scope and role which urban transit is expected to play in our cities has been expanded substantially. This renewed interest in transit has coincided with a greater awareness of the impacts of widespread automobile use and concerns over the future availability and price of petroleum products. Policy makers are also more sensitive to the needs of groups who may be experiencing mobility handicaps. The purpose of this thesis is to develop a systematic urban transit monitoring program designed to generate information on the efficiency and effectiveness of transit services. A major emphasis has been to suggest a methodology which is explicitly goal oriented and which provides useful feedback to transit planners and management. The thesis first determines which goals are apparently being pursued by governments in their expanded transit programs. This review consists of an analysis of present transit related legislation, policy statements by senior Ministers, and a review of recent urban transportation planning studies. It is noteworthy that many senior government transit goals are only indirectly related to transportation. A second major task of the thesis is to critically examine the potential of transit systems to contribute to the achievement of goals that are frequently stated as reasons for providing transit service. This has been accomplished through a review of relevant theoretical and empirical literature. The third section of the thesis documents the criteria and procedures presently used to monitor transit services and describes the procedures by which decisions are made concerning the allocation of transit resources to different areas. The principle sources of information in this section were obtained through a survey of Canadian and American transit operators, the published reports of industry conferences, and a review of transit evaluation procedures utilized by senior governments. The major conclusions of the thesis are set out in the form of a proposed monitoring system suitable for use in medium to large metropolitan areas. Unlike current monitoring procedures, the proposed system is explicitly goal oriented and would facilitate transit resource allocation decisions. Furthermore, implementation of such a system should foster more precise definitions of operational objectives by transit management. Hence, it is conceivable that the conclusions of the thesis could contribute to the evolution of more cost-effective urban transportation systems.

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