Austin's route forward : an exploration of alternative demand estimation and the transit planning process
MetadataShow full item record
Alternative demand estimation techniques for transit planning have gained increased attention in recent years. These "sketch planning" models are often faster and easier to use than traditional four-step travel demand models, and can therefore play a significant role in preliminary feasibility analyses for major fixed-guideway transit planning initiatives. This paper uses one such sketch planning tool produced by Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 167 to explore ridership potential along two light rail corridors in the City of Austin. Planners recently completed a planning process for an initial segment of urban rai in central Austin that was ultimately defeated by voters in a 2014 bond election called to fund the project. The ridership results produced by the Report 167 model corroborate some claims made by transit advocates who opposed Proposition 1 that the highest ridership route was not advanced to voters in the election. By using a sketch planning tool to compare ridership along the ill-fated Project Connect route to a route advocated by critics of the process, this paper also provides insight into the role that sketch planning can play in the transit planning process, both generally and in the context of rail planning efforts in Austin.