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Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) downtown transfer analysis


Material Information

Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) downtown transfer analysis
Portion of title:
Downtown transfer analysis
Physical Description:
1 online resource (ii, 7 leaves) : ill. ;
Manatee County Area Transit
University of South Florida -- Center for Urban Transportation Research
Center for Urban Transportation Research
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Local transit -- Florida -- Manatee County   ( lcsh )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
technical report   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references.
Statement of Responsibility:
prepared for Manatee County Area Transit by Center for Urban Transportation Research, College of Engineering, University of South Florida.
General Note:
"August 2002."
General Note:
Final report.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029078088
oclc - 748718123
usfldc doi - C01-00070
usfldc handle - c1.70
System ID:

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Full Text




MANATEE COUNTY AREA TRANSIT (MCAT) DOWNTOWN TRANSFER ANAL YS/S Prepared for: Manatee County A re a Transit By : Center for Urban Trans portation Research College of Eng i neering University of South Florida Final Report August 2002


Manatee County Area Transit 1108 26'" Avenue East Bradenton Florida 34208 (941) 747-8621 Fax (941) 742-5992 Transit D ivi sion Manager: Peter Gajdjis Center for Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, CUT 100 Tampa, Florida 33620 5375 (813) 974 3120 Suncom 57 4-3120 Fax (813) 974-5168 Project Director : Project Manager : Project Staff: Dennis Hinebaugh Victoria Perk Chris DeAnnuntis Anthony Chaumont Melissa Salzler


TABLE OF CONTENTS LtST OF TABL ES ..... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 IJ IN TRODUCTION .......................................................................................... 1 ANALYSIS OF EXISTING ON-BOARD SURVEY 0ATA ................................................. 1 ONS ITE DATA COLLECTION AND A NALYSIS .. .4 CONCL USION .............. ........ ...... .. .............................................. ............. 7




MCAT DOWNTOWN TRANSFER ANALYSIS Final Report INTRODUCTIO N Man atee County Area Trans i t (MCAn contracted with The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) to conduct a transfer analysis at the Downtown transfer center lo cated near the Manatee County Courthouse in Downtown Bradenton. The purpose of thi s p r oject was to determine the average numbe r of pe rsons a rriving at t he t r ansfe r center via MCAT with a fina l destination in Downtown B r adenton. Th i s analysis was co nducted using both an analys i s of MCAT's recent o n b o ard survey (March 2001) conducted by C UTR as part of the system's trans i t deve lo pmen t p l an (TOP), and on-site data coll ect i on and analysis of the activity at the transfe r center. ANALYSIS OF ExiSTING ON-BOARD SURVEY DATA The firs t task of thi s effort exam ined the results of the on-boar d ride r sh i p survey conduct e d by CUTR in March 2001 in conjunction w i th MCAT's five-year TOP m ajor upda te Questio n s on the survey instrument that could prov id e information on t ravel patterns through the Downtown transfer center asked where and how the respondent accessed and egressed the bus and the lo cation of their trip orig i n and destination. It is Important to note that passengers were asked to fill ou t a survey each time they boarded a bus for the unlinked trip they we r e c urrent l y making; therefore, tra n s fer activity i s captured. Due to the nature of the questions, the survey resu lts can be ana lyzed at the route l eve l, but not at a segmento r stop-level. As such, to narrow the analysis to the passenger activity a t the Courthouse, the analysis re lies on the respondents' written answers to the open ended questions o n t he survey asking wher e the resp ond ents b o a r ded and a l i ghted the bus fo r their trip. These questions, quest ions 3 and 5, sped fic a ll y, asked, "You got on t h is bus at?" and "You will get off this bus at?" and p r ompted the respondents to wri te in the "nea rest street Intersection/place to the bus stop. The responses indicat i ng a downtown location for boa r ding or alighting (such as "Downtown" or "Courthouse") were cross ta b ulated w i th responses to question 4, "How did you get to the bus stop for this trip?" for the trip o rig in, and quest i o n 6, "How will you get to y our final d estination?" for the trip destination The r e ar e li mitations to this analysis, since i t relies on survey respo n dents providing an answer to the open-ended


questions, as well as providing an answer that gives enough information to determine the exact location. O ften survey respondents skip open-ended questions in favor of questions with a defined choice-set of responses. The response rate for these questions was 71 percent and 70 percent, respectively. It is expected that these rates wou l d be similar since respondents usually either choose to answer most or all open-ended q uest ions on a survey, or they choose to le ave them blank. Questions 4 and 6 on the survey instrument asked respondents to choose onl y one respons e from a given set of choices. For both questions, the possible answers are: Walk 0 -3 blocks Transfer to/from MCAT Route#_ Walk more than 3 blocks Transfer to/from SCAT Route # Taxi Bicycle Drive Dropped off/picked up Bus stop is at my origin/destination Other (please specify} -----An estimation of the percent of passeng e rs who board or alight at the Courthouse and are only using the Courthouse location as a transfer point can b e determined by analyzing those who chose the response "Transfer to/from MCAT Route # _." Those who selected any othe r response to this question are assumed not to be transferring at the Downtown location (the response Transfer to/from SCAT Route # .. is not applicable to those boarding or alighting at the Courthouse for the surveyed trip}; however, it cannot be stated conclusive l y that all other respondents hav e an origin or destination In the downtown area. Neverth eless, it can be assumed that those r espondents choosing options including "Wa l k 0-3 b l ocks,""Walk more than 3 blocks," and "Bus stop is at my origin/destination" do have trip origins or destinations in the downtown area. Table 1 presents the results of these cross-tabulations. The tab le, on the follow ing page, shows the number of respond ents boarding or alighting at the Courthous e (or "Downtown') during the survey period, which represented one typica l weekday. Specifically, 65 survey respondents indicated that they boarded the bus at the "Courthouse" o r "Downtown," while 99 respondents in dicated that they alighted the bus at one of these locations, for a total of 164 respondents. Table 1 also examines the boarding pattern at the Courthouse, using Question 4 on the survey instrument ("How did you get to the bus stop for this trip?"}. Of the 65 respondents who indicated they boarded at the Courthouse, 21 answered that they did transfer from another MCAT bus befo r e boarding the bus on which they received the survey. This result indicates that


these 21 respondents (32 percent} used the Courthouse as a transfe r point to another destination. It was also found that 36 of the 65 respondents who boarded at the Courthouse did not come directly from another MCAT bus; instead, they either walked less than three blocks, walked more than three blocks, or had a trip origin at the Courthouse itself Based on these responses, it can be stated that these 36 respondents, which represent 55 percent of those board ing at the Courthouse, did have a trip origin in Downtown Brad enton. The remaining e ight respondents who boarded at the Courthouse indicated that they either arrived by bicycle or were dropped off, so It cannot be determined whether their trip or i gin was in the Downtown Bradenton area. The resu l ts in Table 1 a l so show the analysis of those survey respondents who indicated that they alighted the bus at the Courthouse using the results of Question 6 on the survey instrument ('How will you get to your final destination?"). Of the 99 respondents who indicated that they a li ghted at the Courthouse during the survey per iod, 48 (48%} selected the response from Question 6 that indicated they would transfer to another MCAT bus at that point. This resu l t shows that the 48 respondents were utilizing the Courthouse as a trans f er location to anothe r destination. In addition, 46 respondents either planned to walk less than three blocks, wa lk more than three b l ocks, or had a destination at the Courthouse. Therefore, it can be stated tha t these 46 respondents had a tri p destination In Downtown Bradenton, which represents approximately 46 percent of those respondents who ind i cated that they alighted at the Courthouse. The remaining five respondents who alighted at the Courthouse ind i cated that they planned to bicyc l e to their final destination, be picked up, or indicat e d an "other" response, so it cannot be determined whether their trip destination was In the Downtown Bradenton area. Table 1, on the following page, summarizes these results and ind i cates that, o f the 164 survey respondents indicating they boarded or al i ghted at the Courthouse, 69, or 42 percent utilized the location as a transfe r point. However, 82 respondents, or 50 percent, Indicated that they wa lked either to o r from the Courthouse transfer location, or had a trip o r ig i n or destination at the Courthouse itself. Th i s result is significant and shows that, based on these survey results, more MCAT passengers a r e utilizing the Courthouse transfer center as a bus stop for orig ins and destina t ions in the are a than are transferring to other routes to pass thr ough Downtown.


TABLE 1: Analysis of Survey Respondents Boarding and Alighting at the "Courthouse" or "Downtown" Courthouse/Downtown Activity Number of Survey Respondents Boarded/Alighted at Courthouse 164 Number Transferring To or From 69 (42%) Another MCA T Bus Number Estimated with a Oowntown 82 (50%) Orioin/Oestinatiotf Number Accessing/Egressing via Bicycle 13 (8%) or Car DrooOff/PickUo lndcates responses to survey Questions 4 and 6 nc:lud;ng Walk 0 bloc:ks, Wal k more than 3 bk>CkS, .. or "'Bvs stop is at my destination." As ment ioned previously, for Inclusion in MCArs TDP, these resu lts were analyzed at a systemwide level. The survey instrument was not tailored to p rovide route segment-or stop level data nor to specifically analyze activity at any particular transfer point, including the Courthouse T ransfer Center. As such, the analysis provided in this section relies upon passengers responding accurately to open-ended questions regarding the locations where they boarded and alighted the bus for their surveyed trip. It is common for on-board survey respondents to have difficulties answering open-ended questions and questions related to their t rip origins and destinations. It is always a challenging endeavor to word the survey questions such that the respondents will understand exactly what is meant by one "trip." For example, suppose a rider traveling Route 4 needs to transfer at the Courthouse to get to a destination In Palmetto. The rider might walk or be picked up from that destination, and might check one of those options on the survey instead of indicating that he or she will be transferring to Route 10 to get to the final destination. Alternately, a survey respondent with a destination in Downtown Bradenton may think that the "final destination" is for a round -trip, I.e., if the trip started at home, i t will end at home. In that case, the analysis of the existing survey data would miss that Downtown destination. For these reasons, and to ensure an accurate depiction of the activity at the Downtown transfer center, a more detailed on-site analysis was conducted. ON-SITE DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS For robust resu l ts, on s ite observations of passenger activity at the Courthouse Transfer Center were conducted in May 2002 to determine the number of passengers using the facility solely to transfer between MCAT routes and the number of passengers with an origin or destinat ion in the Downtown area. The results incl ude tota l passenger activity by route at the Courthouse


Transfer Center, the proport ion of ri ders immediately transferring to other routes, the p r oportion of riders who need to wait to transfer, and the proportion of rid ers with an origin or destination in the Downtown Bradenton area. For those riders making a transfer, the routes they were t r ansfer ring to and f rom were observed and recorded (the appe ndix contains these full results). CUTR staff were present at the Courthouse Transfer Cente r for the afternoon (noon until end of serv i ce) on Tuesday, May 7, 2002 and t he morning (start of service until noon) on Wednesday, May 8, 2002, to cover one fu ll average weekday of transit service. In a ddit ion to passive l y observing and manually recording passenger act i vity, t h e staff were instructed to speak with passengers to determine o r igin/destination, as appropriate. As the buses arrived at the transfer center each hour, those passengers alighting the buses were observed to dete rmine whether they were imm edia tely boarding anot her bus waiting to board a bus that had not ye t arrived, or whethe r they walked away from the transfer cente r Those who walked away were assumed to have a dow n town dest i nat io n. In addition, those who boarded the buses were observed t o d eterm ine whether they had just alighted another bus or wal k ed up to the trans fer cente r from the downtown area. Those who wa l ked up to the t rans fe r center f r om the surrounding downtown a rea were assumed to have a downtow n origin. Some passengers were dropped off or p i cked up at the transfer center. Table 2 shows the matrix for transfer activity at the Courthouse transfer fadlity Five routes serve th i s fac ili ty: Routes 2, 3, 4, 9, and 10. As Ta bl e 2 indic a tes, 206 t rip s we r e observed that i nvo l ved a transfer to another r oute. The highest level of transfer activity oc cur s between Route 3 and Route 10, as evi denced in the table TABLE 2: Transfer Actlvlty at Courthouse Transfer Facility From Route Totals 2 3 4 9 10 2 -7 4 0 9 20 15 16 16 28 75 3 4 3 12 --3 5 23 9 1 2 4 1 8 10 21 43 14 2 -80 Totals 40 64 38 21 43 206


While 206 trips were observed involving transfers to other MCAT buses, a total of 232 passengers were observed either alighting the bus and walking into Downtown, or walking up to the facility from the Downtown area to board a bus. T hus, in total, 438 unlinked passenger trips were noted dur in g the observation period. It is possible that many of these trips were made by the same individuals, and that their "round trips" to and from their destinations were included during the observation period. As such, It is important to determine the number of persons making these 438 trips to arrive at a depiction of the number of actual persons (not number of trips) using MCAT to access destinat i ons in the Downtown Bradenton area. Based on industry experience, a rule-of-thumb is to assume that 95 per cent of unlinked trips are part of a round trip. The remaining five percent are assumed to be one-way, whereby the passenger uses another mode either to or from the destination (e.g being dropped off o r picked up in a vehicle, taxi, etc.). Therefore, using this methodology, it Is estimated that the 206 trips that we r e observed to involve a transfer were made by 108 ind i vidual persons, and it is also estimated that approximately 122 individual persons made the 232 trips that involved an origin or destination in Downtown Bradenton. This information is summa r ized in Tab l e 3 below TABLE 3: Analysis of Persons Making Trips via the Courthouse Transfer Fadlity Courthouse/Downtown Act i vity Number of Persons1 Boar ded/A li ghted at Cou rthouse 230 Number TRtnsferring To or From 108 {47%) Another MCAT Bus Number Estimated with a Downtown 122 (53%) Oriqin/Destination . 1 Determmed from the number of b'lps observed assuming 95 perceot as round tnp s (1. e., two trips) and the remaining 5 percent as oneway trips. The information p r esented in Table 3 is quite cons i stent with and supports the results of the on board survey summarized in Table 1. Whether in terms of trips or persons, the proportions do not change Table 1 showed that, based on on-board survey results, 42 per cent used the Courthouse Transfer Facility for the purpose of transferring to another MCAT route, while 50 percent demonstrated a trip origin or destination in the Downtown area Those on-board survey results are similar to the outcome from the on-site observation discussed in this section and summar ized in Table 3, which shows that 47 percent used the Courthouse facility to transfe r to another MCAT bus and 53 percent were observed having a trip origin or destination in Downtown Bradenton.


CONCLUSION The results of this analysis indicate that the location of the Courthouse Transfer Facility is important to MCAT riders. Without such a facility in the Central Business District (CBD), approximately 122 individual passengers per day would be affected in their ability to access Downtown destinations. It is well-known in the industry that existing and potent i a l transit riders are more sensitive to the need to transfer to complete a trip than they are to other factors such as trave l time, walt t i me, and fare changes/payment. A "class ic" smaller urban t ransi t service is typically oriented around an hourly schedule during which buses fro m several routes converge In the downtown area to allow access to the CBD and allow passengers to transfer with the minimum walt time .1 Downtown transit transfe r centers can enhance the image of public trans i t In an area, provide a facility of which the community can be proud, play a role in downtown development and revi t alization, and provide safety, secur ity, and conven ience for passengers. 2 Transit centers located In the CBD provide easy access to businesses, government services, and entertainment options in the area. Richard1 Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 19, P1ssenger TrNtsfer System ReWew, Transportation Res.wch eo.rcs, Natiooal Acad