|dc.description.abstract||For more than a century, public transportation has played a significant role in society. Transit
agencies, like other service industries, are intent on improving their quality of service so as to
increase transit ridership and attract passengers from other modes. In recent years
transportation technologies have been improved which increase safety, mobility for people
and goods, and reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. An evaluation of the impacts of
these operational and technological advancements is required for transit agencies to capture
the potential benefits for their systems.
The Region Municipality of Waterloo (RMOW), a mid-size region in Ontario has
implemented an express transit service (iXpress) in Sept, 2005. The service has longer
distances between stops and incorporates advanced technologies. The goal is to increase
transit ridership and, as a result, to reduce GHG emissions.
This research has been conducted to study the iXpress service and to develop several
methods to determine the impacts of high speed transit service on passenger attraction,
operational efficiency, and regional air quality. In this research, the change in total cost of
travel between origin destination pairs is correlated to changes in observed ridership.
Further, several surveys were conducted in the RMOW to evaluate the travel pattern changes
of residents who switched from other modes to iXpress. Based on fuel consumption data, a
model of GHG emissions as a function of route and vehicle characteristics has been
developed to capture the operational impacts of a new iXpress service.
The iXpress service of Grand River Transit (GRT) has been successful in attracting riders
despite delays in technology implementation. The cost analysis presented in this research
shows that the introduction of iXpress resulted in approximately 30% reduction in overall
cost of travel by transit. As a result, ridership (boardings) has increased by 11% and 46% in the northern and southern sections of the iXpress service area respectively, while accounting
for overall growth in the system. An analysis of travel patterns and mode shifts suggest that
travelers switching from auto mode to iXpress have resulted in annualized reduction of
approximately 530 tonnes of GHG. A fuel consumption analysis indicates that buses on the
iXpress route have an average fuel consumption rate of 0.54 L/km while, buses serving local
route consumes fuel of a rate of 0.62 L/km.||en