Mass Transit - 28

Considering the
Rail Passenger
Delivering reliable service is one aspect of retaining
rail ridership but addressing riders' perceptions of
that service and the environment in which it occurs
could help bolster positive results.
By Mischa Wanek-Libman, executive editor


why people should choose public transit; from the positive
impact on the environment
to the fact that, as a mode of
travel, transit is several times
safer than a personal vehicle.
However, while the amount of
rail systems increased significantly during the past three decades,
ridership in some sectors of the
United States has seen a slight
decline in recent years. According to numbers published in the
American Public Transportation
Association's (APTA) 2019 Public
Transportation Fact Book, light
rail and streetcar ridership increased by 0.9 percent for the year
2016-2017, but commuter and hybrid rail ridership declined by 0.4
percent during the same period.
The 2019 Fact Book also notes that
rail modes make up the majority
of the total passenger miles taken
during that time frame.
Rail systems have fought long
and hard budget battles, with
mixed results, as they attempt to
address the large backlog of state of
good repair work required to keep
capital intensive rail infrastructure
in optimal shape, which leads to
more reliable service. While service is one factor that determines

28 |

why people should choose rail
transit, another less concrete factor may play into why they do not
make that choice: Perception.
A 2013 study by researchers at
the University of California, Irvine, examined transit use among
a small segment of residents in
south Los Angeles, Calif. The
study determined that within the
sliver of residents evaluated, transit attitudes and safety concerns
were related to transit use.
The study authors wrote:
Our analysis indicates that two
constructs, attitudes toward public transportation and concerns
about personal safety, significantly
improved the model fit and were
robust predictors of transit use,
independent of built environment
factors such as near-residence
street network connectivity and
transit service level. Results indicate the need for combined policy
approaches to increasing transit
use that not only enhance transit
access, but also target attitudes
about transit service and perceptions of crime on transit.
Recent initiatives from transit
agencies with rail systems indicate
rider perceptions in addition to
service delivered is actively being

Mass Transit | | NOVEMBER 2019

BART HAS highlighted members of the station
cleaning team on social media, such as Jorge seen
here, to bring attention to their work. Comments
on the posts have been overwhelmingly positive.

addressed through implementation of advanced technology, improved rider outreach efforts and
even the simple act of keeping
systems clean.

Mass Transit

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mass Transit

Ad Index
Editor's Notebook
People & Places
NRC Chairman's Column
A Robust Safety Culture Enhances an Entire System
U.S. Transit Safety and Security Report 2019
Going Vertical: The Upside of Multi-Level Transit Facilities
Considering the Rail Passenger Purview
Best Practices
Social Hubs
Mass Transit - 1
Mass Transit - 2
Mass Transit - 3
Mass Transit - 4
Mass Transit - 5
Mass Transit - Ad Index
Mass Transit - 7
Mass Transit - Editor's Notebook
Mass Transit - 9
Mass Transit - People & Places
Mass Transit - 11
Mass Transit - 12
Mass Transit - 13
Mass Transit - NRC Chairman's Column
Mass Transit - 15
Mass Transit - A Robust Safety Culture Enhances an Entire System
Mass Transit - 17
Mass Transit - 18
Mass Transit - 19
Mass Transit - 20
Mass Transit - 21
Mass Transit - U.S. Transit Safety and Security Report 2019
Mass Transit - 23
Mass Transit - 24
Mass Transit - 25
Mass Transit - Going Vertical: The Upside of Multi-Level Transit Facilities
Mass Transit - 27
Mass Transit - Considering the Rail Passenger Purview
Mass Transit - 29
Mass Transit - 30
Mass Transit - Best Practices
Mass Transit - 32
Mass Transit - 33
Mass Transit - Products
Mass Transit - 35
Mass Transit - 36
Mass Transit - 37
Mass Transit - Social Hubs
Mass Transit - 39
Mass Transit - 40