Transit Industry Research


Guidelines for Evaluating, Selecting, and Implementing Suburban Transit Services

TCRPThis research reviewed and evaluated the state of the practice in providing transit service in suburban areas. As mobility needs in suburban areas have continued to grow, the transit industry has accumulated more experience with successful and unsuccessful suburban services, more sophisticated tools for evaluating the land use versus transportation and the relationship that have been developed, and the theoretical thinking behind modern urban form which continues to evolve.

This study evaluated the current industry practice of providing transit service to suburban markets. The products of the research included a guidebook for transit operators to use in choosing appropriate types of service for their operating environment. Study elements included a literature review of suburban transit services, and developing a GIS based tool to describe characteristics of various suburban land use environments and related service strategies to the various land use environments. To supplement the literature review, a peer review and detailed case studies analyses were completed. Additional tools which were developed included a decision matrix for transit service design.

Some of the findings included that transit agencies which established a specific measurement process appropriate for the performance of suburban services and communicated that process to their communities, were the most successful in adapting a range of services.

The final report and guidebook were disseminated to transit systems through the TCRP processes and is intended to serve as a valuable reference in the state of the art in developing suburban transit services