We analyzed Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess ridership for all Maryland residents in response to the Maryland Legislature’s data and analysis request. Newsflash – we have customers from across the state!
Origins of Maryland Rail Riders
In the 2015 legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly passed the WMATA Utilization Study (HB300),which required the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and WMATA to analyze the utilization of Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess every five years. This year’s analysis is based on the most recent Metrorail passenger survey (2012), Metrobus passenger survey (2014), and actual ridership for MetroAccess for an average day in April 2015. Below are some findings that I found most interesting. But more importantly, here is the complete 2015 Maryland HB300 WMATA Utilization Study (native pdf), which includes all the links to the underlying survey data, interactive charts, and analysis.
- 82 percent of Metrorail trips by Montgomery County residents are destined for Washington DC in the morning on a typical weekday;
- 71 percent of Metrobus trips in the AM peak period made by Prince George’s County residents are for work purposes on a typical weekday;
- 3.3 percent of all trips across all Metro services on a typical weekday are taken by Maryland residents from Frederick, Charles, Calvert, Howard, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore Counties and Baltimore City;
- 35 percent of other Maryland residents on Metrorail access via commuter rail (MARC) and Amtrak; and
- 17,600 residents of the District and Virginia reverse-commute into Maryland on Metrorail and bus each morning on a typical weekday (about 5 percent of total system ridership)
Any other nuggets that you found from analyzing the data? Ideas for other ways to graphically represent the findings?
Other than ridership potential, what are some of the other ways we can rank access projects relative to each other?
In our last post, we discussed how bike and pedestrian access projects relate back to ridership and how that relationship could be used to prioritize projects. In this post, we talk about some of the other criteria we are using to prioritize projects.
Bike and Pedestrian Fatalities, Sample Data Set
The first is safety. We are pulling together data about bike and pedestrian crashes near our stations that result in injuries or fatalities. We will then link these data in GIS back to the location the project, with the idea being that a new crosswalk or dedicated bike path in an area with a lot of recent crashes should score higher and deserves more attention. A safer path of travel helps not only our customers but all walkers and cyclists in these areas.
We also want to explore some other prioritization criteria. Here is what we have come up with: Read more…
We all know improving station access is good. But, how do we rank access projects relative to each other? Step 1: Ridership
In our recent post, we gave you an overview of our Station Access Investment Strategy project. We’ve identified 1,000s of recommendations for new pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure near our Metrorail stations and need a way to prioritize them. After some thought, we’ve come up with a number of potential criteria. In this post, we’ll discuss those that deal with ridership.
Map of the Southern Ave walk shed from July 2014 Post on Ridership Potential from New Ped./ Bike Projects
Once again, one of key concepts we’ve been telling you about in recent months is that by improving access to stations we can grow ridership. For stations with relatively small walk sheds, we’ll conduct a detailed analysis of what happens to the walk shed when the proposed projects are built. For example, add a sidewalk at Cheverly and the walk shed will grow by X%. We will then look at the amount of households and jobs in the newly connected area and, using some methods we’ve shown you in other posts, calculate the potential ridership gained by the new project. The higher the potential ridership gain, the better the project scores.
But, we also want to understand the value of a new project to a part of the station that is already connected to the network and how this could relate back to ridership. To do this, we’ve come up some other metrics. They include: Read more…
Improving walk and bike access is a cost effective way to increase ridership and improve the efficiency of the Metrorail network. Where are these improvements needed and how should we (as a region) prioritize them?
What projects might increase the size of the walk shed of the Landover Metrorail station?
In a number of earlier posts starting last summer, we’ve discussed the concept of walk sheds and explored the relationship between walkability, land use, and Metrorail ridership. One conclusion of this effort: grow the size of the walk shed and you’ll grow ridership.
Generally, we only have control over what happens on our own property. While we have made great strides in identifying and prioritizing bike/ped access improvements on our own property, increasing the size of the walk sheds requires coordination with state or local agencies who own, plan, design and construct roads, sidewalks and pathways near our stations. We know that in order to have a larger impact on walk and bike access, we need to cast a wider net and identify projects that are up to one mile from our station entrance. We have created a plan — the Station Access Investment Strategy — to highlight some of these projects as priorities for our local partners to use as they develop their capital improvement plans. Read more…
On May 12, 2015, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) convened an event to bring together Federal, State, regional, and local transportation officials and local stakeholders for an on-the-ground bike-ped safety assessment at the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station.
Wiehle-Reston East: one mile bikeshed and 1/2 mile walkshed
The assessment was one of 50+ that have been occurring around the nation as part of U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s “Safer People Safer Streets” campaign to improve bike-ped safety across the country. These assessments have been led by many of the US DOT agencies and operating administrations, namely: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Each of these agencies is participating in the effort to improve bicycling and pedestrian safety, and each has particular roles and responsibilities in this effort.
The primary goal of these assessments is to:
- facilitate relationship-building between employees of different jurisdictions who share responsibility for creating safer streets;
- engage practitioners who typically focus on pedestrian and bicycle safety, as well as those who do not; and
- focus on locations that have non-motorized safety challenges.
The assessment kicked-off with remarks from Deputy Secretary, Victor Mendez, who stressed the importance of agency coordination in ensuring bicycle and pedestrian safety on America’s streets, later blogging about the event on US DOT’s FastLane blog. Metro’s Director of Planning, Shyam Kannan, also gave remarks that highlighted the importance of station connectivity for increasing Metrorail ridership. Other VIPs from Fairfax County, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and local community/advocacy groups spoke to the participants as well about the importance of the day’s events to keeping our residents safe as they travel. Read more…
In part one of this series, Metro Planners led a session at StreetsCamp Saturday June 20, 2015 to talk with transit advocates about other possibilities beyond Metrorail to increase transit use, reach, and access.
Politicians and citizens always ask for more Metrorail, but why should transit continue to chase land use decisions? Metro Planners Allison Davis and Kristin Haldeman talked to transit advocates and urbanists at StreetsCamp last Saturday to provide approaches that can help the transit we have today reach more people and be more cost-effective without requiring more Metrorail (pdf). The major take-aways for advocates and urbanists were to advocate for:
(1) Local decision makers to monetize full life‐cycle cost of land use options;
(2) Access projects that create comfortable (i.e. desirable) paths for pedestrians and bicyclists; and
(3) Local jurisdictions to add transit signal priority, queue jumps, and bus lanes
Why these three specifically? Read more…
Categories: In The News access, benefits, bus, business case, capacity, Metrobus, Metrorail, pedestrian, planning, plans, presentations, streetscamp, studies
Fairfax County seeks input from bike-and-ride commuters.
As we have discussed previously, safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle access is critical to Metro’s success, and WMATA works closely with local jurisdictions to find ways to improve conditions for customers arriving on foot or bike. Compared with the high expense of building more parking garages for park-and-ride customers, investing in better walking and biking infrastructure is an incredibly cost-effective way of attracting Metro customers. On Metro station property, WMATA is making investments such as bike parking and path improvements. On the public streets beyond, our local and state partners are installing their own new facilities for people walking/biking to the station. Read more…
Station-area walkability is one of the most potent congestion-busting tools in the planner’s bag of tricks. Now we’ve mapped out in detail which stations are living up to their full potential – and where we need to redouble our efforts.
We’ve brought to you information about the power of station area walkability. Not only does better station access give mobility benefits to those who most need it, but it also boosts ridership and revenue and therefore lowers Metrorail’s operating subsidy. That means lower taxes for you and me.
Metro’s Office of Planning is wiring the science of walkability into WMATA’s Key Performance Indicators. We are committed to working with our partner jurisdictions to improving station area access and identifying the near-term and low-cost improvements that have big returns for ridership and revenue. And we have been working diligently to develop a comprehensive geodatabase of walk sheds and the land uses – existing, planned, and proposed – located within them.