Transit User Perceptions of the Benefits of Automatic Vehicle Location

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An attitudinal survey on transit riders' perception of the importance transit users place on features of an automatic vehicle location (AVL) system is reported. Onboard surveys and on-time field checks were conducted in the cities of Manitowoc and Racine, Wisconsin, to determine how users in those cities perceive their transit systems and how well each transit system performs. The surveys indicate that transit riders put a great value on increased on-time performance and improved schedule reliability. Passengers value features that AVL technology could bring, such as improving on-time performance, knowing when the next bus will arrive, knowing how long the delay is in case of delay, and knowing that another bus could be dispatched in case of breakdown. The surveys indicate that AVL technology could improve transit services and add value to passengers. The survey also found the expected ridership increase resulting from the AVL technology to be moderate. On-time performance surveys conducted in each city indicate that transit services in these communities generally operate on time at the route level. Although there are bigger variations at the timepoint level, transit services are usually on time. The implementation of AVL could further improve on-time performance, but maybe only marginally.



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