In the 1990s, a bunch of transit planners at Kittelson Associates got the idea of creating "Transit Capacity Manual" that could sit next to the ominous authority of the Highway Capacity Manual, and maybe talk back to it in its own language. The result was the Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual. It's quite a technical document, but it does endeavor to explain the main concepts of transit planning and especially its similarities and differences with highway planning. This is useful, because a lot of decisions about transit are made in local and state transportation departments where most people are trained as highway engineers.
The manual is now in its 2nd Edition, and the whole thing is online, here. Kittelson is now starting work on the 3rd Edition, and has set up a web survey asking for input from the profession about how the next version could be improved. If you've used the previous editions at all, or even if you just have strong feelings about what manual should do, you're encouraged to fill out the survey here. I just finished it. It mostly invites you to submit text comment, not just tick boxes, so it's obviously going to be read with some attention.
Kittelson and its staff did a great job in compiling the TCQSM but to give proper credit, the intial concept for such a manual orginated with the Transit Cooperative Research Program of the National Academies. The project concept was developed by a copmmittee of the TCRP and Kittleson was the contractor selected to implement the project.
Good post. I like to read your posts. well written. thank you.
I like especially the statistics – they explain a lot, especially about the low cost coverage of the systems in the U.S. compared to Europe.
For example a comparison of data from Munich with data from the manual – a comparison of annual passenger boardings and buses operated in maximum service and passengers in million per bus in operation:
City Annual passengers Buses Passengers/bus
Munich 172 million 379 450,000
NYC MTA 821 3840 213.000
LA MTA 359 2017 177.000
SF Muni 175 634 276.000
SEPTA 172 1191 144.000
The same is true for light rail and subway service…
To be fair I should add that Munich is probably Europe’s most efficient system. 🙂