Friday, May 29, 2009

Top RTA Routes by Riders/Hour

Another way of measuring RTA use.

The chart posted at the DDN has a riders/hour number for each route. Presumably this is the number of riders divided by the number of hours travelled. This is maybe another way of measuring heavy use.

Laying out the routes, least to most riders/hour, Route 7N (Main Street to Shiloh) is the obvious outlier, well above all other routes.

Dropping that one and looking at the rest, trying to ascertain breaks in the data in order to group routes, these are the top routes using the riders/hour measure, comprising 79.6% of all rides on RTA.
The key shows line weight for mapping the groups on a route map, here shown on the colored RTA map

...and stripping away the RTA map to see the geography as a diagram. 7N gets an extra-heavy line up Main.

Using this measure one does see three suburban lines appear:

  • X5 to Dayton Mall
  • 16S down Wilmington to the shopping district between I-675 and Alex-Bell Road
  • 19N up Brandt Pike to the new Meijer in Huber Heights
  • 22N, Northridge local service up North Dixie ending just north of Needmore .

It does seem the North Dixie/Northridge area is generating suprising amounts of riders for a suburban area, becuase 17N is also well-used by this measure. Together 22N and 17N comprise a high-use corridor leading into the city. Maybe an opportunity for transit oriented development (or re-development since this area is mostly built-out).

RTA: Regional Transit for Appalachians?

From the previous post, black and carless concentrations mapped. But note that East Dayton is better represented here, since the Xenia Avenue/Linden route to the Easttown hub is now appearing. So RTA use in East Dayton, while not as heavy as in some of the black neighborhoods, is somewhat better represented using this measure.

Consipicuous by their absence are the south suburbs; the Far Hills/South Dixe corridors. This part of Mongomery County doesn't appear to generate signifigant riders using the total number of passengers or the rides/hour measures.

Perhaps one can infer that some of the suburban routes that do appear are used for commuting or shopping by carless inner city residents (and maybe X5 is still serving what few commuters are going downtown).

Expanding the System?

The logical choice would be east to Greene County. And there are pockets of carlessness in Greene.

..most of them, suprisingly enough, in Xenia. The way Greene is tracted Xenia is split up between seven tracts, some extending out into the country, so the map probably distorts the extent of this . Most of these tracts have fairly high carless numbers, and one has two college campuses (CSU & Wilberforce).

Wright View and downtown Fairborn (the older part of Fairborn) also have fairly high carless numbers, the highest in the county outside of Xenia.
RTA does serve one of these pockets, sort of, by running to WSU, where it interfaces with Greene County CATS on-demand system. One could envision an extension of 1E into Fairborn from WSU.

CATS might be enough for Greene County, and maybe some form on-demand system might suffice for parts of Montgomery County, too.


Anonymous said...

I checked into CATS at one point, but it was only available to those with need. (e.g. elderly, disabled, etc...) A normal person that just wants to ride to work rather than drive didn't qualify to use it. (It even was stopping every morning very near my house to pick up someone that did qualify. That's how I knew about it.) CATS is a good service, and one I support, but it's not a mass transit system.

Unfortunately, I agree with a comment on the last blog entry that politics probably don't support expansion of the system at this time. I suspect that will (slowly) change once high gas prices return to stay.

Xenia has a fairly large low-income area. I also suspect that a fair number of the carless are elderly.

Most of your blog entries have focused on Montgomery County, except for Fairborn, 675, and the Fairfield Commons area. Any thought to exploring more of the development in Greene and Clark counties such as Springfield (the rise and fall), Xenia, "Holiday Valley", Enon, etc...?

Jefferey said...

Interesting what they told you. CATS web site states that "anyone is eligible" to ride, but they denied 400 trips/month due to lack of funding.

So it sounds like they are rationing service.


Any thought to exploring more of the development in Greene and Clark counties such as Springfield (the rise and fall), Xenia, "Holiday Valley", Enon, etc...?---

I was thinking of some posts on Xenia.

Springfield is a separate could run a blog dedicated to Springfield. I did do two pix threads of the place at Urban Ohio:
The Haunted Factory and Rustbelt Reverie. These are more just impressions of the place.

But yeah, eastern Greene County, Miami County,and Warren & Butler County suburbia are in the range.

The Enon/Medway/New Carlisle areas would fit in this, too. I touched on those a bit in the posts on "Defense Welfare Stte" as having high concentrations of veterans and goverment workers..maybe a closer connetion with Wright-Patterson.

Anonymous said...

Maybe that was a polite way of letting me know they didn't have room for additional service at the time. Or maybe the policy has changed - it was quite some time ago that I checked.

Anyway ...

Good to know that you'll be covering more area. I really enjoy this blog. (The posts on the aborted Newfields development were fascinating. It's really a shame it never came to be as it was envisioned.)

Matthew Sauer said...

These are the kind of analyses I think about when people bring up the streetcar ideas for downtown. Clearly there are mass transit corridors that are really heavily used, but they don't overlap with the proposed trolley lines (UD-downtown, e.g.). Would a better use of public funds be to reinforce those existing patterns of use (and possibly shore up property values via the permanence of rail), rather than go in for a sort of tourism line that connects parts of town that already have champions (UD, Fairgrounds, MVH, South Park, downtown)?

Jefferey said...

The streetcar plans here have shifted through time to something focused on economic development. What's now proposed is a circulator line between downtown and the UD area as a way to make the property there more desirable for development. This isn't the tourist line as was originally intended since it doesn't serve Wright-Dunbar.

No issues with that as long as the funding is kept seperate from transit funding. The concern is that there would be a move to raid the RTA budget to subsidize a streetcar, like the RTA surplus was raided to help pay for the Shuster Center.

I do think it would be interesting to pick a suburban corridor, like North Dixie, maybe, or Drexel, and do something to enhance service and encourage TOD.