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Title: Travel Patterns And Characteristics Of Transit Users In New York State

This research is a detailed examination of the travel behaviors and patterns of transit users within New York State (NYS), primarily based on travel data provided by the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) in 2009 and the associated Add-on sample households purchased by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). Other data sources analyzed in this study include: NYS General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) to assist in analyzing spatial relationships for access to transit and the creation of Transit Shed geographic areas of 1, 2.5, and 5 miles from transit stop locations, LandScan population database to understand transit coverage, and Census Bureau s American Community Survey (ACS) data to examine general transit patterns and trends in NYS over time. The majority of analyses performed in this research aimed at identifying transit trip locations, understanding differences in transit usage by traveler demographics, as well as producing trip/mode-specific summary statistics including travel distance, trip duration, time of trip, and travel purpose of transit trips made by NYS residents, while also analyzing regional differences and unique travel characteristics and patterns. The analysis was divided into two aggregated geographic regions: New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) and NYS minus NYMTC (Rest of NYS).more » The inclusion of NYMTC in all analysis would likely produce misleading conclusions for other regions in NYS. TRANSIT COVERAGE The NYS transit network has significant coverage in terms of transit stop locations across the state s population. Out of the 19.3 million NYS population in 2011, about 15.3 million (or 79%) resided within the 1-mile transit shed. This NYS population transit coverage increased to 16.9 million (or 88%) when a 2.5-mile transit shed was considered; and raised to 17.7 million (or 92%) when the 5-mile transit shed was applied. KEY FINDINGS Based on 2009 NHTS data, about 40% of NYMTC households used transit as their means of transportation on any typical day; while only 4% of households located elsewhere in NYS did the same. Regardless of geographic regions, 45% of the transit users came from households with income under $40,000, while 20% of transit users were from the top income group of $100,000 plus households. Travel made by NYMTC transit users were nearly twice as likely to be for work trips as compared to their counterpart non-transit users. Transit users in NYS generally made more trips but with shorter distances; they also drove less, which resulted in fewer miles. Furthermore, NYS transit users spent more time on each trip than their counterpart non-transit users. Because of the intensity of transit network services within NYMTC, 88% of the households reside within the 1-mile transit shed. Outside the NYMTC, however, only 54% of the region s households are located within the same distance. Impact to vehicle ownership was clearly evidenced. Nearly all people from zero-vehicle households in NYMTC lived within a 1-mile radius of transit stops. Elsewhere in NYS, 74% of residents from zero-vehicle households resided within the 1-mile transit shed. Close proximity to transit has a significant impact on increasing transit uses. Transit mode share, as a main mode, was higher for NYS residents that lived within the 1-mile transit shed than others. Based on ACS data, over the period from 2005 to 2013, the total number of NYMTC workers increased more than 9%, while transit commuting grew at a higher rate of more than 15% during the same period. REMARKS Note that transit use in areas outside the NYMTC region generally is not common, resulting in a smaller sample size of transit users in the Rest of NYS region. Caution should be exercised for statistics produced based on small sample sizes that tend to be less precise (i.e., with a larger margin of error). Furthermore, standardized transit network data were not available prior to 2005; comparable analyses using 2001 NHTS therefore was not feasible. As a result, this study focused on examining travel behaviors of transit users using 2009 NHTS data only.« less
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Macrosys, Arlington, VA (United States)
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Technical Report
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Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States