You are here

Archived Reports

The following page contains currently relevant FTA-funded and supported research reports published in the years 2003, 2002 and 2001.

Copies of these research publications can be located via the Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS), a searchable database of publications, reports and articles maintained by the Transportation Research Board and supported by state and federal agencies.

2003 Research Reports

2003 Status Report on Transit Intelligent Vehicle Initiative Studies

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, C.Y. David Yang, Brian P. Cronin, Neil R. Meltzer, and Margaret E. Zirker. Prepared for the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (JPO) of the U.S. Department of Transportation, June 2003, 16pp.

The 2003 Status Report presents an overview and an update of current studies related to the transit Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI) program area. The report begins with an overview of the DOT multi-agency research and development IVI program, introducing the goals and objectives, management structure, four participating DOT agencies and IVI vehicle platforms, and activities. IVI emphasizes the significant role of drivers in roadway safety, and focuses on accelerating the development, availability and use of driving assistance and control intervention systems to reduce vehicle crashes. IVI system’s ultimate goal is to help drivers process information, make decisions, and operate vehicles more safely. Information presented in this report focuses on the status of projects under the transit platform of the IVI program, managed by the FTA. The emphasis of the transit IVI program is divided into two major areas. Section 2 presents Transit IVI Projects addressing two driving conditions. First, the Imminent Crash Situations—Projects in this area include IVI frontal collision warning system, side collision warning system, rear impact collision warning system, and integrated collision warning system. These projects are intended to reduce "imminent crash situations" in the transit-operating environment. Second, the Degraded Driving Conditions—Projects in this area are designed to assist bus operators in "degraded driving conditions." One example is the vehicle-lane assist technology project. Vehicle-lane assist technology is intended to improve the safety of transit vehicles as they operate in difficult environments, such as bus-only shoulders. The third and final Section 3, Future Outlook—presents a brief overview of the Next Generation of Transit IVI Technology: Integrated Collision Warning System. Key contact persons for information related to Transit IVI studies are provided.
Report Order Number: FTA-TRI-11-2003.1

Evaluation of Port Authority of Allegheny’s West Busway Bus Rapid Transit Project

Milligan & Company, LLC. Prepared for FTA Office of Mobility Innovation (Stewart McKeown, TRI-12), April 2003, 49pp. Project FTA-PA-26-7010.03.1

This report documents the evaluation of the successful Pittsburgh West Busway project of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania—an FTA Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Demonstration Project. The evaluation is intended to provide the FTA and the transit industry with a better understanding of how technological advancements, BRT features and improvements in the image of buses operating with the speed, reliability, and efficiency of light rail transit, can increase transit ridership. The objectives of this evaluation were 1) to determine the benefits, costs, and other impacts of BRT components that contributed to the West Busway project success; 2) to characterize the successful and unsuccessful aspects of the demonstration; 3) to evaluate the demonstration’s achievements in terms of the goals set by FTA and the Port Authority; and 4) to assess the applicability of the demonstration results including ITS applications. The West Busway project was designed to improve mobility within the congested Parkway West corridor, as well as reduce traffic congestion and travel time, and improve access to job opportunities. This report provides background information and the overall project cost of the West Busway project, as well as the project development activities including the planning, design, and implementation of the BRT system.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-PA-26-7010-03.1

Guidance for Developing and Deploying Real-Time Traveler Information Systems for Transit

Battelle Laboratories, Mala Raman, Carol Schweiger, et al. Prepared for ITS Joint Program Office (Brian Cronin, TRI-11), April 2003, 139 pp. CD-ROM
Project No. FTA-OH-26-7017-2003.01.

Guidance for Developing and Deploying Real-Time Traveler Information Systems for Transit is designed for use by transit agencies considering the implementation of a real-time traveler information system. It presents a best practices assessment of the transit industry regarding the development and deployment of real-time traveler information systems. Automatic vehicle location (AVL) system is identified as the critical hardware feature of real-time traveler information systems, offering the transit industry the opportunity to provide customers with real-time information—thus enabling riders to make better pre-trip and en-route decisions. This guidance report provides key information about the current state of the practice, clarifies the components of successful systems, discusses issues and challenges that must be addressed in deployment, and offers lessons learned and recommended practices for the successful deployment and future of these real-time traveler information systems. Recommended practices that led to successful deployment of the real-time systems are identified in the key stages of project development. The study is based on information obtained from a literature review, site visits and telephone interviews with 16 selected transit agencies, and coordination with other efforts, including the Transit Cooperative Research Program. Two appendices provide a list of participating transit agencies, and supporting case studies describing each of the 16 transit agencies’ Real-time Transit Information System. This report will assist practitioners in planning and deployment of real-time traveler information systems.

Report Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-OH-26-7017-2003.01

Northeast Florida Rural Transit Intelligent Transportation System

Battelle Laboratory, Nancy Coburn and Deepak Gopalakrishna, under contract to Volpe Transportation Systems Center. Prepared for FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation (TRI-11), February 2003, 76pp. Project Number FTA-MA-26-7007-03.1

Low productivity of paratransit services, lack of both inter- and intra-county trip coordination, and the high cost of long-distance and out-of-county trips generated this study. This report documents the results of the evaluation of the Northeast Florida Rural Transit Intelligent transportation System (ITS) project—a demonstration of ITS technology deployment in three rural Florida counties: Flagler, St. Johns, and Putnam. The research focused on the impact of ITS technology deployment to improve the mobility, efficiency, and productivity of rural paratransit service in these counties. The project objective was to test and evaluate the effectiveness of ITS technologies for rural transit operations, including—mobility management software applications, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Satellite-based Automatic Vehicle Location (GPS/AVL) systems, Mobile Data Terminals, and electronic applications (email and web-based information). Information was obtained from interviews with participating agencies, and data obtained from the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged. This report is organized into six chapters—begins with an overview of the three participating counties, and ends with lessons learned, recommendations, and valuable insights for ITS deployment in the future. The main text discusses in detail the Evaluation Methodology; Pre- and Post-ITS Deployment Operations, and the Evaluation Results in terms of mobility, productivity and efficiency. The study concludes that ITS technology offers opportunities for rural transit systems to improve productivity, efficiency, and mobility. The project’s most profound effects were related to productivity.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-03.1

The Public Transportation System Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide

Volpe Transportation Systems Center, J.N. Balog, A Boyd, and J.E. Caton. Prepared for FTA Office of Safety and Security, January 2003, 194pp. Project Number FTA-MA-26-5019-03.01

The Public Transportation System and Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide was prepared to support the activities of public transportation systems to plan for and respond to major security threats and emergencies. It is based on research aimed at identifying practical steps that transit systems can take to be better prepared for all emergencies. Recommendations support the industry’s commitment to prevent those events that can be prevented and to minimize the impact of those that cannot. The Guide begins with an Executive Overview, highlighting key activities to be performed by public transportation systems to prevent and improve response capabilities for all emergencies. The Guide emphasizes the importance of developing critical relationships, preparing strategies and policies, and setting training and funding priorities, as well as developing a security and emergency preparedness program (SEPP) plan. This Guide offers practical guidance for planning effectively, spending wisely, and making the public transportation infrastructure safer. The Guide is organized into eight sections and six appendices. It builds on a previous FTA publication—the Transit System Security Program Planning Guide. The earlier guide is available on the CD-ROM accompanying this report, along with more than 200 related documents--prepared by federal and state organizations, industry associations, law enforcement, emergency management organizations, and the military. These documents explain the roles and responsibilities of the 47 federal agencies involved in homeland security and provide useful technical assistance on a range of security and emergency management subjects. Sample procedures and model plans of transit operators are included.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-MA-26-5019-03.01

Design Guidelines for Bus Transit Systems Using Electric and Hybrid-Electric Propulsion as an Alternative Fuel. Clean Air Program

MJ Bradley & Associates (Thomas Balon), Technology & Management Systems, Inc. (Phami Raj), under contract to Volpe Center (William P. Chernicoff). Prepared for FTA Office of Technology (Jeffrey Mora), March 2003. Project FTA-MA-26-7071-03.1

This report is one of the Clean Air Program series of published documents on the safe use of alternative fuels. It is easy to understand and presents guidelines that will assist transit agencies in converting from diesel to electric or hybrid electric transit bus propulsion. The report presents design guidelines for transit buses using electric and hybrid-electric propulsion technology as an alternative fuel. These buses offer transit agencies a way to reduce local emissions without costly alternative fuel infrastructure costs. This guidelines document is intended to provide transit agencies with an overview of the battery electric and hybrid-electric technologies, recommended safety specifications in bus design, and training for personnel involved with purchasing, operating, and maintaining electric and hybrid-electric buses. The report contains basic information on electrical and operational safety for transit and non-transit personnel, such as emergency responders to an accident. It highlights the various facility and bus design issues relating to the safe operation of electric or hybrid electric propulsion, including: fueling facility, garaging facility, maintenance facility requirements and safety practices. Other issues discussed include electric storage device properties, potential hazards, requirements for specified level of service, applicable codes and standards, and critical fuel related safety issues. Appendix A provides a list of rules, regulations, and standards that will increase the knowledge base for understanding electric and hybrid-electric buses and infrastructure. Documents in this series are similar in content and have been published for Compressed Natural Gas, Hydrogen, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, and Methanol/Ethanol. Currently there are approximately 220 electric buses, 90 hybrid-electric buses and trolleys, and 6 fuel cell buses operating in the U.S. 2003-0428

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS,
Report Number: FTA-MA-26-7071-03.1

Use of Left Turn Gates at Highway-Railroad Grade Crossings on the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line

PB Farradyne, Division of Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. Prepared for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) and FTA Office of Technology (Rhonda Crawley, TRI-20), December 2002, 60pp.
Project Number FTA-CA-26-7010-01

Accident records for Los Angeles Metro Blue Line indicate that a large number of train/vehicle collisions occur at grade crossings where streets run parallel to light rail transit (LRT) track, and motorists are permitted to make left turns across the tracks. This safety improvement project was undertaken to investigate the application of left turn gates at highway-rail grade crossing to reduce train/vehicle accidents at these locations. The study is based on a review of various left turn gate configurations and types. From the review, the use of full closure four quadrant crossing gates technology was selected—offering a number of advantages over the other systems reviewed. This report documents the results of the experimental full closure four quadrant crossing gate system, installed in October 1998 at the 124th Street intersection in south central Los Angeles to deter motorist from making left turns around lowered railroad crossing gates. During this experimental phase of four quadrant gates, over 41,000 Long Beach Blue Line light rail trains and Union Pacific Railroad freight trains passed through the intersection at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. Data recorded for the first six months of the operation at the 124th Street intersection shows that the four quadrant gate approach is working to prevent motorists from driving around the lowered crossing gates--a 94 percent reduction in the number of risky moves by motorist using the intersection. The use of full closure crossing gates at the 124th Street intersection is supplemented with a trapped vehicle detection system. This safety improvement system is effective and still in operation.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Number: FTA-CA-26-7010-01

FTA Drug and Alcohol Program Assessment

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Jerry Powers. Prepared for FTA Safety & Security Office, October 2002, 56pp. Project Number FTA-MA-26-5010-02.2

The FTA Drug and Alcohol Program Assessment report documents an analysis of the results of mandatory drug and alcohol testing by transit systems that receive funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The program is designed to help transit agencies achieve a drug and alcohol free workforce in the interest of the health and safety of transit employees and the traveling public. This report presents the results of a Substance Abuse Program and Methods of Evaluation study conducted by the Volpe Center in fiscal year 2000. It provides a comprehensive overview of the FTA drug and alcohol program, including information on program costs, benefits, audits, and second chance programs, as well as conclusions. The study is designed to determine the progress of the Drug and Alcohol Compliance Program in meeting U.S. Department of Transportation and FTA strategic goals and objectives. The analysis helps the FTA to determine whether the current program is operating effectively and efficiently, while providing options for allocating limited resources to optimize results. Utilizing 5 years of data and 7 years of experience administering the program, the assessment demonstrates the effectiveness of the FTA Drug and Alcohol program and the ability of transit agencies to contribute significant economic benefits to both industry and society as a whole by effectively enforcing the regulations. The study concludes that the actual economic impact of the program over the first 5 years has shown costs of $154 million and benefits of $1.161 billion. Thus, the net economic benefit shown by the FTA Drug and Alcohol Testing Program in the first 5 years stands at $1.007 million. In addition to economic benefits, the program has allowed the transit industry to avoid 596 accidents and thus saved 5 lives and avoided 524 injuries.

Also Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-MA-26-5010-02.2

Handbook for Transit Safety and Security Certification

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Robert J. Adduci, Annabelle Boyd, and Jim Caton. Prepared for FTA Safety & Security Office, November 2002, 50pp.
Project Number FTA-MA-90-5006-02.01

The Joint Task Force on Safety and Security Certification, established between FTA and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), prepared this Handbook for Transit Safety and Security Certification to support the implementation of practices that result in the design and construction of transit projects that maximize safety and security performance. Certification for safety and security is defined as the series of processes that collectively verify the safety and security readiness of a project for public use. This Handbook presents procedures that will provide transit management and members of the project team with a basic understanding of the certification practice, enabling them to address safety and security requirements in a consistent and dedicated program throughout the development process. The Handbook provides a guide for establishing a certification program to address safety and security that identifies key activities; incorporates safety and security more fully into transit projects; highlights resources necessary to develop and implement a certification program for safety and security; and provides tools and sample forms to promote implementation of the safety and security certification process. Overall, the Handbook consists of two chapters. Chapter 1 – The Basics, introduces the basic concepts of certification for safety and security. Chapter 2—The Tools, introduces three tools supporting the safety and security certification process: Well-Defined Project Scope; Safety and Security Certification Plan; and 10-Step Safety and Security Certification Methodology. Four appendices include: Project Life Cycle Definitions, Resource Guide, and Sample Design and Construction Specification Form.

Also Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-MA-90-5006-02.01

2002 Research Reports

A Ride Through SaFIRES . Lessons Learned from SaFIRES, an APTS Operational Test in Prince William County, Virginia

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Robert Casey and Judy Schwenk; and Castle Rock Consultants, Inc, Michael Harris and Matthew Hardy. Prepared for the FTA Advanced Public Transportation Systems (APTS) Program, June 2002, 24pp.

This interim report documents the lessons learned from the planning and deployment of the Smart Flex-Route Integrated Real-Time Enhancement System (SaFIRES) operational test in Prince William County, Virginia. SaFIRES was designed to test, implement and demonstrate the feasibility of route deviation bus service in a low density area; provide mobility for the transit dependent persons, and through technology improve operational control, decrease response time, and integrate new services into an existing transit mode (OmniLink). This report includes the views and opinions of the key stakeholders, and should be useful to other transit agencies. The report presents the results of operational tests conducted on intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to determine the effects of the new ITS technology on the operations of transportation services in Prince William County. SaFIRES ITS components were added to the existing flexible-route deviation transit service, OmniLink, to demonstrate how ITS technology can improve the efficiency of transit service in suburban areas of the county. Overall, this route deviation service has proven to be popular with county residents. Although system ridership exceeds 1,000 passengers per weekday, there are difficulties with integrated-deployment of ITS technologies--automatic vehicle locator, mobile data terminals, and automated scheduling and dispatching software—in OmniLink. Future years will determine whether the SaFIRES ITS components can be successfully integrated. 2002-1296

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-02.2

Center for Composite Manufacturing Final Report

Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, Alabama 35211, Klaus F. Gleich and Thomas E. Jackson. Prepared for FTA Technology Office (Quon Kwan, TRI), June 2002, 94pp. Project Report Number FTA-AL-26-7001.1

The Center for Composites Manufacturing project resulted in the following three separate reports: Final Project Report, Fabrication Guide for Compression Molding of Long-Fiber Thermoplastic Composites, and Component Report for Composite Bus Seat. The objective of this project was to develop thermoplastic composite materials and product forms, including the development and demonstration of fabrication methods for molding these materials into components for use in buses and other mass transit applications. The primary goal was to demonstrate technologies that can provide lower cost, lighter weight, improved performance structures for mass transit applications. Investigations into several candidate transit bus components were made to replace heavier conventional components with long-fiber thermoplastic composites in transit bus applications, while simultaneously maintaining safety and reducing fabrication costs. Test panels were made with flame retardants and successfully tested for both flame spread and smoke density. Based upon cost and weight analysis, a bus seat was selected as a component for fabrication and testing. An all-composite, 2-person bus seat was designed and compression molded as a demonstration of the technology. The final report states that the weight of the composite seat was 50 percent less than the conventional component and could be manufactured in commercial quantities with a 40 percent reduction in cost. The successful molding of the bus seat was accomplished resulting in the production of 20 full-scale bus seats to be used for testing and validation of design criteria. Overall, this final report documents and describes the following six project tasks and results: Task 0 Project Management, Task I Materials and Product Forms, Task II Processing Technology, Task III Tooling Technology, Task IV Component Selection, Task V Component Fabrication, and Task VI Component Evaluation. It also includes information on future work and technology transfer, as well as a Glossary.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-AL-26-7001.1

Center for Composite Manufacturing Fabrication Guide for Compression Molding of Long-Fiber Thermoplastic Composites

Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, Alabama 35211, Klaus F. Gleich and Thomas E. Jackson. Prepared for FTA Technology Office (Quon Kwan, TRI), June 2002, 26pp. Project Project Number FTA-AL-26-7001.2

This Fabrication Guide for Compression Molding of Long-Fiber Thermoplastic Composites describes the steps required to apply the technology of long-fiber thermoplastic composites in transit bus applications. The report describes thermoplastic composite materials and processes and demonstrates fabrication methods for molding these materials into passenger seating components or other large components for use in buses and other mass transit applications. The primary goal of this work was to demonstrate that these technologies could provide lower costs, lighter weight, improved performance structures for mass transit applications. This Fabrication Guide was written to outline the basic requirements involved in the design and fabrication of large, long-fiber thermoplastic composite parts by compression molding.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-AL-26-7001.2

Center for Composite Manufacturing Component Report for Composite Bus Seat

Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, Alabama 35211, Klaus F. Gleich and Thomas E. Jackson. Prepared for FTA Technology Office (Quon Kwan, TRI), June 2002, 34pp. Project Number FTA-AL-26-7001.3

The objective of this Component Report for Composite Bus Seat was to outline the design and fabrication of a long-fiber thermoplastic composite, two-person seat for use in buses and other transit applications. The component report includes the tooling design and construction methods as well as an economic analysis of the prototype bus seat components as a commercial product. This report presents the design, fabrication, tooling, flow simulation, and testing topics of a full-scale model bus seat. The study demonstrates that long-fiber thermoplastic technology can provide lower cost, lighter weight, improved performance structures for mass transit applications.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-AL-26-7001.3

Lessons Learned – Evaluation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Implementation at Santee Weteree Regional Transportation Authority

Ted J. Rieck of Science Applications International Corporation, and Mark Carter of TransSystems Corporation. Prepared for FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation (William Wiggins, TRI-11), June 2002, 49pp.

The purpose of this "lessons learned" study is to document the experience with Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) implementation at the Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority (SWRTA)—a public transportation provider serving rural central South Carolina as well as the City of Sumter. This report documents the challenges faced by SWRTA in implementing ITS technologies, such as Geographic Information Systems, Computer Assisted Dispatching and Scheduling, and Automated Vehicle Location technologies. The report provides an analysis of the implementation issues addressed, as well as the key lessons learned and implications for the FTA. This case study is an attempt to provide useful lessons to other transit systems considering similar ventures. Among the lessons learned are the need for: comprehensive technology planning, strong and committed project management, employee "buy-in" and development, and budgeting sufficient implementation time.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-TRI-11-02.3

Fuel Cell Demonstration Project at SunLine Transit Agency

SunLine Transit Agency, Thousand Palms, California. Prepared for FTA Fule Cell Demonstration Program, Final Report, September 2001, 48pp. CD-ROM

This is the final report summarizing the Fuel Cell Demonstration Project activities of the XCELLSIS Zebus (zero emissions bus) performance at the SunLine Transit Agency in Thousand Palms, California. Under this demonstration project, SunLine participated with XCELLSIS in the fueling, training, operating, and testing of this prototype fuel cell bus. The report presents a summary of project activities, including the results of the 13-month test of the XCELLSIS Zebus performance at SunLine Transit. This final report includes data relating to Zebus performance, along with the successes achieved beyond the technical realm. The study concludes that the project was very useful in establishing operating parameters and environmental testing in extreme heat conditions and in transferring technology to a transit agency. At the end of the 13-month test period, the Zebus ran flawlessly in the Michelin Challenge Bibendum from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, a 275-mile trek. SunLine refueled the Zebus in transit in Baker, California, 150 miles from its home base. Overall, everyone who encountered or rode the Zebus were impressed with its smoothness, low engine noise, and absence of emissions. The study states that the future for the Zebus looks very bright. Fuel cell projects are anticipated to continue in California and Europe with the introduction of new buses equipped with Ballard P5 and other fuel cell engines as early as the first half of 2003.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-CA-26-7002.01.2

Final Report For Second Train Warning Sign Demonstration Project on the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line

PB Farradyne, Division of Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. Prepared for FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation, January 2002, 77pp.
Report Number: FTA-CA-26-7017.01

The objective of this demonstration project was to investigate and demonstrate use of a train activated warning sign that would increase pedestrian awareness at times when there are two trains in a highway- railroad intersection at the same time. The demonstration included measurement of pedestrian behavior before and after the installation of the active second train warning sign to determine the effectiveness of the warning sign and its potential for reducing collisions between trains and pedestrians at highway-railroad intersections. This project was conducted at one of the most hazardous highway-railroad intersections on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro Blue Line (MB Line)—the south sidewalk at Vernon Avenue intersection with the MB Line and Union Pacific Railroad (UPR) tracks. From the analysis of before and after video data, the demonstration project found that the warning sign was effective in reducing risky behavior by pedestrians. Overall, the number of pedestrians crossing the light rail transit (LRT) tracks at less than 15 seconds in front of an approaching LRT train was reduced by 14 percent after the warning sign was installed. Based on the results of this project, the LACMTA will determine whether to implement the use of this warning sign at other crossings and will evaluate other innovative approaches to increase the level of warning for pedestrians at highway-railroad intersections.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-CA-26-7002.01.2

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Engines and Related Technologies

College of the Desert, Energy Technology Training Center, Palm Desert, CA 92260. Prepared for FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Technology (Shang Hsiung, TRI20), December 2001. Report Project Number FTA-CA-26-7022.01.1

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Engines and Related Technologies report documents the first training course ever developed and made available to the transportation community and general public on the use of hydrogen fuel cells in transportation. The course is designed to train a generation of fuel cell technicians, providing them with a more complete understanding of the concepts, procedures, and technologies involved with hydrogen fuel cell use in transportation. This manual is one of the primary reference books for the study of renewable energies and the use of hydrogen as a fuel for transportation purposes. The training manual contains 11 modules (chapters). The first eight modules cover hydrogen properties use and safety, fuel cell technology and systems, fuel cell engine design and safety, and design and maintenance of a heavy duty fuel cell bus engine. The different types of fuel cells and hybrid electric vehicles are presented. System descriptions and maintenance procedures focus on proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cells for heavy duty transit applications. The PEM fuel cell engine was chosen because its transit application is currently the most advanced. Modules 9 and 10 provide information about government acts, codes, regulations and guidelines concerning the use of hydrogen, as well as the safety guidelines for both hydrogen maintenance and fueling facilities. Module 11 presents a glossary. Specific fuel cell system descriptions and maintenance are based on Phases 3 and 4 fuel cell buses (XCELLSIS), representing the most complete description of fuel cell bus maintenance currently available. This course is part of an emerging curriculum under development by the College of the Desert in support of a "Tech Prep Associate Degree" in Advanced Transportation Technologies. The program starts at the high school level and progresses through a rigorous program that includes instructions in electronics, engine performance, alternative fuels, and advanced power train technologies.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-CA-26-7022-01.1

Trip Planning State of the Practice

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Economic Analysis Division. Sari Radin, David Jackson, David Rosner, and Sean Pierce. Prepared for the FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation (Brian Cronin, TRI-11), and the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, June 2002, 60 pp. Report Number FTA-TRI-11-02.6

Automated trip planning, one of the easiest ways for transit users to identify their best choice of routes using the Internet, is the heart of this study. Trip planners use an input form to obtain information on desired trip characteristics then automatically generate an itinerary for the user. Currently, there are 30 transit web-based trip planners in the United States; 22 serving single agencies, and 8 serving multiple agencies. The objective of this research was to identify opportunities to facilitate development of transit trip planners. The report is based on information obtained from (1) interviews with transit agencies and other organizations with and without web-based trip planners; (2) review of existing web-based trip planner features; and (3) a literature review and Internet search. This report summarizes the current state-of-the-practice in web-based single and multi-agency transit trip planning, identifies trip planner development issues, groups transit agencies by capability and interest in developing trip planners, and recommends federal assistance for each group and research to overcome barriers. The main text summarizes the current status of trip planner deployment, expectations, benefits, development issues, standards, costs and staffing. The study found that most agencies without a trip planner are mainly those lacking the knowledge and skills related to trip planner terminology and technology such as Intelligent Transportation Systems. The study also found that trip planners currently available are good services.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-TRI-11-02.6

Low Speed Maglev Technology Development Program

General Atomics, Husan Gurol, Robert Baldi, Phillip Jeter, et al. Prepared for the FTA Office of Technology (Venkat Pindiprolu, TRI20), March 2002, 59pp.
Project Number FTA-CA-26-7025-02.1

This is the first research project report to be published under the FTA Low Speed Urban Magnetic Levitation Technology Development Program (Urban Maglev Program). The overall objective of the Urban Maglev Program is to develop magnetic levitation technology that will be a cost-effective, reliable, energy-efficient, and environmentally sound option for urban mass transportation. This final report provides an overview of the progress made during the 18 months of the program. The principal subsystems investigated include: levitation, propulsion, power supply, communication and controls, guideway, and vehicle. The report provides a summary assessment of the status of Maglev technology developments in the U.S. and abroad, and provides the results of a number of trade studies performed by the General Atomics team. It also includes a summary of urban Maglev design requirements and a description of a Maglev system meeting these requirements. An engineering and construction schedule for the selected system is also provided. The General Atomics Urban Maglev system represents refinements that evolved from the Maglev technologies developed by the United States, Germany, Japan, and Korea over the last three decades. Development of magnetic levitation technology is intended to demonstrate energy efficiency, congestion mitigation, and safety benefits.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Number: FTA-CA-26-7025-02.1

Federal Lands Alternative Transportation Systems Study – Congressional Report

Cambridge Systematics, Inc. Cassandra Ecker, Daniel Krechmer, Lewis Grimm, et al. Prepared for Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration, August 2001

This report documents a comprehensive study undertaken to identify and assess the alternative transportation systems needs on federally managed lands, including national parks. The results of this Federal Lands Alternative Transportation Systems Study identified significant transit needs at sites managed by the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. In this study, alternative transportation systems refer to transit services. Two hundred seven sites (207) were evaluated in the study. Transit needs were identified at 118 of 169 National Park Service sites, 6 of 15 at Bureau of Land Management, and 13 of 23 at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The study identified transit needs for three types of transportation—bus, rail/guided transit, and waterborne transit. This document includes a summary of alternative transportation needs and estimated costs between 2001 and 2020—needs are categorized by agency, state, transit mode, system status, and type of expenditure. The report describes issues that can be addressed through transit implementation, along with the potential economic impacts of these transit systems. Barriers to successful implementation of transit systems are also discussed, as well as several federal program options that could provide the federal land management agencies with a source of funding to assist in implementing transit systems on federal lands.

Available Online From National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Number: FTA-TPl10-2000.1 and FHWA-EP-00-024

Bus Rapid Transit Vehicle Characteristics

Mitertek Systems, Matthew Hardy, William Stevens, and Donald Roberts. Prepared for FTA Office of Technology (Christina Gikakis, TRI20), June 2001, 91pp. Project Number: FTA-DC-26-7075-2001.1

The goal of the FTA Bus Rapid Transit Demonstration Program is to increase the level and quality of bus service through the integration of vehicles, facilities, services, and intelligent transportation systems. This Bus Rapid Transit Vehicle Characteristics report focuses on vehicle issues related to Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. It is intended to provide a better understanding of the unique vehicle-related issues and challenges of implementing BRT systems. The characteristics of BRT systems described in this report are developed based on existing or planned BRT systems. Information on the vendors’ offerings is based on information from the existing BRT transit agencies; industry publications including the year 2000 edition of Jane’s Transit Systems; and follow-up interviews with vendors offering products that appear to be aligned with BRT needs. The report will be updated as needed to reflect emerging BRT vehicle concepts. Based on broad BRT system goals, this report first identifies those goals and desirable characteristics of the FTA BRT Demonstration Program. Second, the report summarizes and compares those desirable characteristics against the backdrop of transit agencies, which are either proposing or have operational BRT systems intact. The study also examines the availability of those desirable characteristics from vendors. Conclusions are drawn that will affect and determine BRT vehicle attributes and features, as well as near-term BRT system design and approaches for procuring BRT vehicles. The results are based on interview with nine transit agencies (Appendix A) and four potential BRT vehicle vendors. Appendix B contains a copy of the survey questionnaire, and Appendix C contains the results of the meetings with selected and potential BRT vehicle vendors.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Number: FTA-DC-26-7075-2001.1

Electronic Redistribution Center Feasibility Study

SCRA, Street Smarts, and Carter Goble Associates. Prepared for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), and FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation (Stewart McKeown, TRI), February 2001, 168 pp. Project Number: FTA-GA-26-7002-01.01

The objective of this project was to evaluate and determine the feasibility of establishing a national electronic redistribution center (ERC) for surplus transit spare parts in support of city and regional transit agencies nationwide. The ERC would be an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of transit equipment. The study was designed to affirm or disprove the ERC Feasibility Study Hypothesis—All city and regional transit agencies have excess and obsolete materials on hand. The continued retention of this material drains dollars… If this material were made available through a user-friendly ERC, such material could be purchased and used by other transit agencies. An ERC can enable Transit Properties to 1) reduce excess/obsolete materials by selling them, and 2) provide a low-cost alternative to buying needed repair parts on the open market. This report documents the feasibility study results, including the methodology and analysis, and web-based survey instruments used to conduct all six surveys (questionnaires and findings). On-site bus property survey questionnaire and findings are included in this report, along with the rail survey findings. The report also provides an overview of the basic scenario that enables the ERC Operational Concept, including requirements, processes, and other features; describes the information technology supporting the ERC concept; and an ERC Benefit/Cost Analysis. Based on the findings of this study, the research team was convinced that the ERC hypothesis was proven and would benefit transit agencies.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, VA 22161.
Report Number: FTA-GA-26-7002-01.01

Value Pricing – Hot Lanes in South Florida.

Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida, Patricia A. Turner, Xuehao Chu, et al. Prepared for Florida Department of Transportation., October 2000, 158pp.

This report presents the results of a survey conducted to evaluate commuter acceptance and equity impacts of programs to convert High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) lanes into High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes. The project in question is the HOV lane on I-95 in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. The study is based on information obtained from a literature review of HOT Lanes, equity analysis, and a general public attitude survey and analysis. Commuter acceptance of the concept was tested via telephone survey among residents of the three-county area. Findings from this project indicate that implanting a HOT Lane along the I-95 corridor would generate strong opposition from local residents, and require strategic public relations to minimize some of the negative feelings revealed in the survey.

Available from: Center for Urban Transportation Research, University of South Florida, College of Engineering, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, CUT 100, Tampa, Florida 33620-5350.

2001 Research Reports

Assessment of the Denver Regional Transportation District's Automatic Vehicle Location System

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Matt Weatherford of Castle Rock Consultants. Prepared for FTA Office of Mobility Innovation, August 2000, 102pp. Project Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-2000.2

The purpose of this evaluation was to determine how well the Denver Regional Transportation District's (RTD) automatic vehicle location (AVL) system achieved its major objectives of improving scheduling efficiency, improving the ability of dispatchers to adjust on-street operations, and increasing safety through better emergency management. The evaluation is intended to help FTA and other transit agencies determine whether an AVL system will benefit transit employees and customers in other locations. This report documents the implementation and early operation of the RTD's AVL system. The evaluation provides an overview of the AVL system and assesses the costs and benefits of the AVL system for the 2,400 square mile, 1,335 vehicle-fleet system. The study examines the AVL system in terms of its functional characteristics, employee/customer acceptance and perceptions, and AVL's success in improving RTD's service, safety, and transit system efficiency and effectiveness. The study also provides conclusions and recommendations. Overall, the AVL system has helped RTD successfully achieve two of its three objectives: 1) dispatchers and supervisors have more control over on-street operations; and 2) RTD has improved the fleet's on-time performance, including better quality and safer transit service to its customers.

Available From: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, Virginia 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-2000.2

Evaluation of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Intelligent Transportation System

Volpe Transportation Systems Center, and Multisystems, Inc. Patricia Monahan, Carol Schweiger, and Tom Buffkin. Prepared for FTA Office of Mobility Innovation, July 2000, 124pp. Project Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-2000.3

This report documents the implementation and operation of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's Advanced Public Transportation Systems (ITS MARTA '96) as part of a showcase of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies deployed for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Due to funding limitations and other shortcomings, only a portion of the MARTA fleet was equipped with APTS technologies and most of the technologies were only partially functioning during the Olympic Games. The ITS technologies that were installed on some of the vehicles and in use at the time of the Olympics included: trip itinerary planning system, automatic passenger counters, automatic vehicle location system, wayside passenger information devices, the VISA cash card fare payment system, and traveler information kiosks. This evaluation was performed within the context of the goals and objectives of FTA's national APTS program. The report summarizes the findings from MARTA's experiences with the implementation of new technologies, and offers guidance to other organizations contemplating or planning for the adoption of similar technologies. The report provides background information on MARTA's ITS system, summarizes national and local objectives, describes each ITS component, discusses financial aspects of the ITS system, and provides a brief summary of the status and benefits to date of each of the ITS technologies used by MARTA. The report also contains conclusions and describes the lessons learned from the MARTA ITS project experience. A glossary of terms is provided in Appendix A.

Available From:
National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, Virginia 22161.
Report Order Number: FTA-MA-26-7007-2000.3

Evaluation Plan for the Cape Cod Advanced Public Transportation System

Cambridge Systematics, Inc, under contract to Volpe Center. Prepared for FTA Office of Mobility Innovation (Charlene Wilder, TRI-11), June 2000, 45pp. Project Number: FTA-MA-26-7031-2000.1

This report describes the Evaluation Plan for Phases 1 and 2 of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Advanced Public Transit Systems (APTS) project--a deployment of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to fixed-route and paratransit operations in a rural transit setting. The intent is to apply ITS technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of RTA operations, and to provide more and better travel information to passengers and transit agency's staff of rural Cape Cod. The system is being implemented in a number of phases. This evaluation focuses on the ITS components deployed in Phases 1 and 2 of the project. The report begins by introducing the Cape Cod APTS project, including specific problems and issues to be addressed, such as access to jobs, integration of passenger transportation into an intermodal system by improved service design, timely system information, payment mechanisms, and traffic congestion. Sections 2 and 3 of this report provide an overview of the Cape Cod transit system, along with evaluation of National ITS goals vis-a-vis Cape Cod RTA goals. Section 4 discusses the technical approach including--ITS technology impacts and expected benefits; data sources; and the proposed evaluation measures and methodologies that will be used to assess the APTS project impacts.

Fare Revenue Interactive Electronic Wokbook: Fare Review Version 2.0, User's Guide

Harvard Design & Mapping Co., Inc., Prepared for FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation (Helen Tann, TRI), April 2000, 57 pp. and CD
Project Number: FTA-MA-90-7016-2000.1

The objective of the Fare Revenue Interactive Electronic Workbook (Fare RevIEW) is to provide transit officials with a tool to internally evaluate their fare revenue control measures. FareReview is a software program designed to assist transit agencies in handling financial procedures and potential exposure of the system, customer, and employee to the dangers of theft, embezzlement or fraud. Fare RevIEW is also intended to present general recommendations, suggestions, and indicate where potential areas of exposure for loss of revenues are within the fiscal system. This hard copy User's Manual contains the CD-ROM (Fare RevIEW Version 2.0) program, as well as how-to instructions for getting help, installing software and configuring the system. It also provides step-by-step guidance on how to create a case study, answer a survey of questions, create and use reports, system security, and set-up a system administrator. The hard copy manual serves as a reference tool to help user get started and get the most from Fare RevIEW. User Manual Fare RevIEW software can be downloaded from FTA Website. 00-0741

Report Order Number: FTA-MA-90-7016-2000.1

Advanced Technology Transit Bus: Final Report for the ATTB Prototypes

Northrop Grumman Corporation, under contract to Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LACMTA). Prepared for FTA Office of Technology
(Christine Gikakis, TRI) and LACMTA, September 1999, 84pp.
Project Number: FTA-CA-26-7002-2000.1

This Final Test Report provides results from the evaluation and testing program for the Advanced Technology Transit Bus (ATTB) program. The ATTB development program with LACMTA was initiated in 1992 with the objective of developing a lightweight, low floor, low emissions, user-friendly transit bus, using advanced technologies. Under the program, six lightweight, low floor, low emissions prototype vehicles were developed and tested. This final report presents the results of tests conducted on the six ATTB prototypes in the following areas: functional, performance, braking, vehicle handling, environmental, structural and durability, operational and road, reliability, and maintainability. The test report also includes a discussion of the demonstrations, tests, and evaluations conducted on the prototypes at various transit agencies, and at the Pennsylvania Transit Institute Bus Testing Facility in Altoona, Pennsylvania. In summary, the test program did exactly what it was supposed to do--proved the basic design concepts while discovering the strengths and weaknesses of the detail design.
2000-0431

Available From: National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161. Project Number: FTA-CA-26-7002-2000.1

Assessment of the Seattle Smart Traveler. Web Document

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Katherine F. Turnbull of Texas Transportation Institute, The Texas A&M University System. Prepared for FTA Office of Mobility Innovation's Advanced Public Transportation Systems Program, February 2000, 52pp. Report Number: FTA-TRI-11-99-30

The objective of the Seattle Smart Traveler (SST) study was to test the concept of dynamic (real-time) rideshare matching services using the Internet and electronic mail at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dynamic ridesharing is defined as two or more people sharing a single trip without regard to previous arrangements or history among the individuals involved. The SST dynamic ridematching system was developed by researchers at the University using a World-Wide-Web interface and made available to University students, faculty, and staff for a 15-month period. This report documents the development, implementation, operation, and evaluation of the dynamic ridematching system, developed and operated at the University of Washington from 1995-1997. The report provides a historical summary of ridesharing in the U.S., recent interest in real-time or ridematching capabilities, and related projects in Seattle and other parts of the country. The report also describes the development, design, implementation and operation of the computerized dynamic ridematching system. Information is provided on the number and characteristics of participants, their use of the system, matches generated by SST and actual rides shares. The report concludes with an assessment of the unique features of the demonstration, and areas for future research and testing. The SST staffed identified issues limiting the use of this system, such as-- Internet use not prevalent at the time; cumbersome technology; system viewed as too experimental; and no encouraging incentives. A major factor was concern about sharing rides with strangers.

Available from: National Technical Information Service/NTIS, Springfield, Virginia 22161.

Denver RTD's Computer Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Location System: The Human Factors Consequences. Web Document

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Mary D. Stearns, E. Donald Sussman, and Jonathan Belcher (Central Transportation Planning Staff). Prepared for FTA Advanced Public Transportation Systems Division (Ronald E. Boenau, TRI-11), September 1999, 84pp. Project Number: FTA-TRI-11-99-29

This report documents what happened to employees and their work procedures when their employer, Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD), installed Computer Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Locator (CAD/AVL) technology across its entire operation to provide real-time surveillance of vehicles and to upgrade radio communication. The research was conducted to determine and document whether the installation of a CAD/AVL system resulted in shifts in work responsibilities, affected dispatchers, street supervisors, and bus operator attitudes and to make recommendations to facilitate subsequent CAD/AVL installations. The study identifies the issues, opportunities, and consequences that transit operators face when adopting a CAD/AVL technology. Data was collected before (1992) and after (1996 and 1997) the CAD/AVL system was installed. Results show that the work responsibility of dispatchers, street supervisors, and bus operators remained the same, but their capabilities increased. Their experience suggests that employees need continuing training, support, and assistance during the transition period. Results show that RTD can better manage and monitor transit operations. The transit system has become more open to both employees and users; they now have real-time information about all transportation operations. This report provides recommendations, references, and three appendices, describing CAD/AVL System, TCH Keyboard, and Prior Communication Equipment at RTD.

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Submit Feedback >