VTPI Newsletter - Summer 2005
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
Summer 2005 Vol. 8, No. 2
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute is an independent research
organization dedicated to developing innovative solutions to transportation
problems. The VTPI website (http://www.vtpi.org ) has many resources
addressing a wide range of transport planning and policy issues. VTPI also
provides consulting services.
ONLINE TDM ENCYCLOPEDIA
The VTPI "Online TDM Encyclopedia" (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm ) is a
comprehensive information resource to help identify and evaluate innovative
management solutions to transport problems, available for free on our
website. We continually update and expand the Encyclopedia. We recently
added the following two chapters, and updated many other chapters with new
'Light Rail Transit' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm121.htm )
Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems provide convenient local public transit
service on busy urban corridors, connecting major destinations such as
central business districts, medical centers, campuses and entertainment
centers. LRT vehicles tend to have relatively smooth and comfortable
operation, easy boarding, attractive station areas, and easy-to-understand
routes and schedules.
'Traffic Operations and Management' (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm111.htm )
Traffic Operations (also called Transportation Systems Management or just
Traffic Management) refers to facility management strategies that improve
roadway system performance. Transportation professional organizations and
agencies increasingly recognize the importance of Operational strategies
for solving transport problems.
"Terrorism, Transit and Public Safety: Evaluating The Risks"
This paper evaluates the overall safety of public transit, taking into
account all risks, including recent terrorist attacks. It indicates that
transit is an extremely safe mode, with total per passenger-mile fatality
rates approximately one-tenth that of automobile travel. It is important
for individuals and public officials to avoid overreacting to terrorist
threats in ways that increase overall danger. Transit terrorism would cause
more total casualties and harm to society if individuals respond to attacks
by shifting from public transit to less safe modes, or if decision-makers
respond by reducing support for public transit.
Here is some of the media coverage it generated:
"Protect public transportation," Neil Peirce Column,
"Washington Cuts Security Funds for Public Transport," IPS News Agency
"Terrorism, transit and safety," Toronto Star
July 27 2005.
"Evaluating Rail Transit Criticism" (http://www.vtpi.org/railcrit.pdf )
This study evaluates criticism of rail transit, including the recent
report, "Rail Disasters 2005: The Impact Of Rail Transit On Transit
Ridership." It examines claims that rail transit is ineffective at
increasing public transit ridership and improving transportation system
performance, that rail transit investments are not cost effective, and that
transit is an outdated form of transportation. It finds that critics often
misrepresent issues and use biased and inaccurate analysis. This is a
companion to the report "Rail Transit in America: A Comprehensive
Evaluation of Benefits" (http://www.vtpi.org/railben.pdf )
"Pay-As-You-Drive Vehicle Insurance Summary"
Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance (PAYD) means that a vehicles insurance premiums
are based directly on how much it is driven during the policy term. This
two-page paper describes the concept and its benefits.
The Vancouver City Council and the Greater Vancouver Regional District
recently passed resolutions asking the Insurance Corporation of British
Columbia (ICBC) to offer Pay-As-You-Drive pricing. This sparked debate in
the region about PAYD. Unfortunately, much of the discussion presented the
issue inaccurately, and failed to identify the full benefits of PAYD.
ICBC's public relations representative argued against it on the grounds
that other risk factors are more important than mileage (irrelevant because
those other factors would be applied in addition to mileage, and ICBC's own
research shows that this would significantly increase actuarial accuracy).
Suburban politicians argue against it on the grounds that it would harm
suburban and rural motorists, who must drive because they lack transit
service (not true, because PAYD rates incorporate territory factors, so
suburban and rural residents would only pay more if they drive more than
average among other suburban and rural motorists). The PAYD Summary was
written to help raise understanding about this concept.
Todd Litman, "Efficient Vehicles Versus Efficient Transportation: Comparing
Transportation Energy Conservation Strategies," Transport Policy, Volume
12, Issue 2, March 2005, Pages 121-129,
This paper (available free at http://www.vtpi.org/cafe.pdf ) compares four
transportation energy conservation strategies using a comprehensive
evaluation framework that takes into account how each strategy affects
annual vehicle travel, and therefore mileage-related impacts such as
congestion, roadway costs and crash risk.
Our report "Safe Travels: Evaluating Mobility Management Traffic Safety
Impacts" (http://www.vtpi.org/safetrav.pdf ) has been translated into
Swedish: "Säkert resande - utvärdering av effekter av mobility management
på trafiksäkerhet" by the Swedish Road Administration
(www.vv.se/templates/page3____12859.aspx ), translated by Per Schillander.
This paper investigates the relationships between vehicle mileage and
crashes, and the traffic safety impacts of mobility management strategies.
This analysis indicates that mobility management can be a cost effective
traffic safety strategy, and increased safety is one of the largest
potential benefits of mobility management.
Florida APA Annual Meeting, Florida Chapter of the American Planning
Association, Sept. 7-10, St. Petersburg, FL (http://www.floridaplanning.org )
Todd Litman, VTPI Executive Director, will speak at the annual meeting,
including a debate with Randal OToole, author of the report "Great Rail
Disasters" (mentioned above) on the value of public transit and
Trails and Pathways 2005 National Symposium, October 12-15, Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada (http://www.2005.arpaonline.ca/taps/brochure/index.html )
Over 1,200 professionals are expected to participate from recreation and
parks, community planning, public health, special populations, social
service, and education. Todd Litman will explore the implications of new
personal mobility technologies on nonmotorized travel, and discuss
appropriate management strategies for minimizing conflicts between
different types of trail users (see http://www.vtpi.org/man_nmt_fac.pdf ).
BEEN THERE DONE THAT
The last few months have been an extremely busy time, with considerable
travel to conferences and workshops. Below are some of the events we
"Communities In Motion" (http://www.communitiesinmotion.org ) workshop on
nonmotorized transportation, May 5-6, Boise, Idaho. Plenary presentation
and workshops on evaluating and planning nonmotorized transportation.
Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference (http://www.pnrec.org ), May
19-20, Bellingham, Washington. Presentations on economic evaluation of
transit and mobility management strategies.
"Colloquy On The Coming Transformation of Travel," June 1-3 in
Rensselaerville, New York, June 1-3. This event, sponsored by the Federal
Highway Administration, the New York State Metropolitan Planning
Organization, and the US DOT Volpe National Transportation Center, brought
a group of leading transportation professionals to discuss future transport
trends and issues.
"Canadian Institute of Transportation Engineers 2005 Annual Conference,"
(http://www.cite7.org ), Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, June 5-8. Todd Litman
gave the keynote speech on future transportation trends and their
implications for transport planning in Canada.
"Moving The City Conference" Malmo," (http://www.malmo.se/sustainablecity
), Sweden, June 14-15. This was a major international conference on
sustainable urban development. We shared information on mobility management
and smart growth strategies.
Below are some outstanding information resources that you may find useful.
"The Role Of Demand-Side Strategies: Mitigating Traffic Congestion,"
Association for Commuter Transportation, for the Federal Highway
(http://tmi.cob.fsu.edu/act/FHWA_Cong_Mitigation_11%202%2004.pdf ), 2004.
This 114-page study provides an overview of TDM strategies and programs,
including how they are planned and implemented, their effectiveness at
reducing traffic congestion, and providing other benefits. Includes
numerous case studies. It emphasizes the broad range of TDM strategies
"Driving Urban Environments: Smart Growth Parking Best Practices," Maryland
Governors Office of Smart Growth
2005. This guide describes various ways of managing parking for efficiency
in order to improve user convenience, reduce parking and traffic problems,
save money and reduce sprawl.
The Sustainable Urban Transport Project (SUTP) has released four modules of
its sourcebook available free through the Internet. These are module 1a
("The role of transport in urban development policy" by Enrique Peñalosa),
1b ("Urban transport institutions" by Richard Meakin), 1e ("Raising public
awareness about sustainable urban transport" by Karl Fjellstrom) and 3c
("Bus regulation and planning" by Richard Meakin). Also, the BRT module (by
Lloyd Wright) has been updated. They can be accessed through the sourcebook
download page (registration required, but there is no charge) at
http://www.sutp.org/download/sourcebookhome.php . The SUTP "BRT Subpage,"
(http://www.sutp.org/newweb/brt/brtress.htm ), provides a variety of
information and resources of BRT planning and operations.
"What Light Rail Can Do For Cities: A Review of the Evidence,"
), by the UK Passenger Transport Executive Committee, 2005. This report
reviews evidence of the benefits of urban rail transit in the U.K. It
concludes that rail transit tends to provide a better quality of service
than bus transit, and so attracts more ridership, particularly people that
would otherwise drive, providing a variety of benefits including congestion
reduction, reduced air pollution, and urban redevelopment. It discusses
equity impacts, and ways to improve service and increase benefits.
Jodi Browne, Eduardo Sanhueza, Erin Silsbe, Steve Winkleman and Chris
Zegras, Getting on Track: Finding a Path for Transportation in the CDM
(Clean Development Mechanism), International Institute for Sustainable
Development (www.iisd.org/pdf/2005/climate_chile_getting_on_track.pdf ),
2005. This report explains how a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) can
encourage more efficient transportation policies in developing countries.
"Strategies and Tools to Implement Transportation-Efficient Development: A
Reference Manual," (http://depts.washington.edu/trac/bulkdisk/pdf/574.1.pdf
) by Anne Vernez Moudon, et al., for the Washington State Department of
Transportation, 2003. This is a comprehensive and easy to understand manual
for implementing smart growth planning.
"Livable Communities: An Evaluation Guide,"
(http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/d18311_communities.pdf ), by the
American Association of Retired Persons. This guide emphasizes the value of
walkability, transit service, mixed land use (public services within
walking distance), and pedestrian security, particularly for seniors, which
we all hope to be in the future (growing old is better than the
alternative). It includes specific guidelines for evaluating these features.
The current edition of Shared Spaces (http://www.sharedspaces.nl ) , the
online English-language quarterly from the Dutch Ministry of Housing,
Spatial Planning and the Environment, explores the challenges of developing
effective climate change policy and abatement measures. State Secretary
Pieter van Geel talks about the current state of Dutch climate change
policy and the urgent need for international action. Dutch policy
negotiator, Henriëtte Bersee, discusses the relationship between policy and
science with academics from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment
Agency. Experts from the Small Island States, Australia, Nepal and
Kazakhstan talk first hand about their experiences with the harmful effects
of climate change.
A PERSONAL NOTE
It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of Marshall
Litman, father of VTPI Executive Director Todd Litman, and an important
inspiration for the Institute. A short tribute to him is posted at
Please let us know if you have comments or questions about any information
in this newsletter, or if you would like to be removed from our mailing
list. And please pass this newsletter on to others who may find it useful.
Todd Litman, Director
Victoria Transport Policy Institute
"Efficiency - Equity - Clarity"
1250 Rudlin Street
Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, Canada
Phone & Fax: 250-360-1560