51% of the individual bus stops identified by RTD on all routes ridden during the survey were inactive. Of the 139 active bus stops, only a small number (6%) had a high rate of usage (8-21 bus stops). The rest of the active bus stops had a usage rate of only 1 to 2 times during the course of the study.
Directional Stop Activity
RTD’s five routes seem to have a good spatial relationship with the target riders. The routes provide access to critical land uses in the city including medical, educational, and social services. However, the centric transit model has a variety of logistical and operational improvement opportunities, i.e. long delays, the use of extra buses to reduce delays, mismanaged bus stops, and the lack of stop infrastructure.
Although rider surveys in the past indicated buses regularly ran late and those delays limited usefulness of the bus system, the current survey indicated that buses were not often late and the delays were generally of short duration. The average travel time for any individual route ridden during the study was 54 minutes, with the longest travel time being only 66 minutes. The average transit station wait time was 8 minutes, with a range of 0 to 26 minutes. Because all routes meet at the transfer station, delays on one route can lead to delays on all routes; however, significant delays appear to be the exception, not the rule.
The average route is 19 miles with a range of 17.5 to 21.5 miles. The distances appear to be reasonable, as evidenced by buses generally running with minimal delays. In 20-50% of the routes ridden during the survey, supervisor vehicles were used to transport RTD riders. This practice may account for the absence of serious delays; however, it may not be the most cost effective way to keep the buses themselves on schedule.
DATA COMPILED OVER THE COURSE OF:
A total of 50 observation rides
10 rides per route
From June 10th to July 16th 2015
Route maps should be updated to indicate routes as currently driven, and to show only the bus stops that are actually used.
Although the current transfer station model has served Rome well, it seems clear that the growth of RTD ridership demands the introduction of new elements to lessen the reliance on the ridged transfer station model. Phasing away from this model should begin with a conversion of one bus on A and B loop into an express bus.
Unused bus stop infrastructure, such as shelters and benches, should be re-allocated to support highly active bus stops that have little or no infrastructure.
Further study should be conducted to survey active bus stops for safety and efficiency, and to prioritize those unsupported by pedestrian infrastructure (including sidewalks, crossing signals, and crosswalks) for improvements.