I'm in the copyedit phase of my book, which I've been sternly advised is my last chance to substantially change the text. So of course I'm stumbling on lots of odd little uncertainties, and I have a few questions for transit and transport experts out there.
Feel free to help me out on any of these! (Try not to say anything too immortal in the comments, as this post will be deleted when it's served its purpose.)
- Roughness. Based on usage I've heard from traffic engineers, I use this word to mean "delay in a traffic lane adjacent to a curb or parking lane caused by events such as delivery trucks and taxis stopping for customers, cars engaged in parallel parking movements, car doors being opened into your lane, slow cyclists sharing the traffic lane, and so on." But attempts to google a definition founder on the more common sense of "pavement roughness." Is roughness the right word for what I mean? What word would you use? I have my answer on this one: friction.
- Relationship of Ridership to Density. Rutherford and Spillar (1998) find that in the range of densities covering most North American urban areas, ridership's relationship to density is an upward curve. That is, if you control for service quality, if suburb A is twice as dense as suburb B it will generate much more than twice the ridership. Has anyone done or seen more recent research proving or disproving the same point?
- Deterrent Effect of Various Kinds of Delay. The Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual (2nd ed) presents these figures for how much different kinds of waiting time discourage ridership, compared to 1.0 for riding time. For example, it states that on average, a minute of walking time has the same deterrent effect as 2.2 minutes of riding time. These numbers are sourced, however, on a wide range of studies dating back to the 1960s. Has anyone seen anything more recent?
Delay Type: Walk Initial Wait Ride Wait for Connection Minimum 0.8 0.8 1.0 1.1 Average 2.2 2.1 1.0 2.5 Maximum 4.4 5.1 1.0 4.4
- Worker-Driver service. Do any transit agencies in the developed world run worker-driver service, where a commuter bus is driven by someone actually making the commute, who is hired as a part time employee by the transit agency? I'm aware of two outer-suburban agencies near Seattle that do this. Is it commonplace somewhere outside my awareness? UPDATE: Just to be clear, I'm not talking about vanpools, which are for particular groups of people by pre-arrangement. I'm talking about public transit vehicles running along routes, collecting fares, open to anyone.
- Driver shift start-end locations. It's universal, in my experience, that driver shifts must end where they began. The need to return drivers (on the clock) to their point of origin is a large part of the hidden cost of one-way commute express services. Are there common labor arrangements in the developed world in which a driver clocks out at a different place from where he clocked in?