Transit Planning Resources

  1. Pedestrian Safety Guide for Transit Agencies, FHWA, 2008
  2. Integration of Bicycles and Transit, TCRP Synthesis 62, 2005
  3. Guidelines for the Location and Design of Bus Stops, TCRP Report 19, 1996
  4. Factors affecting pedestrian route choices to transit, Mineta Transportation Institute, 2007
  5. New Jersey DOT’s Safe Streets to Transit Grant Program
  6. NYC DOT Safe Routes to Transit project examples
  7. Transit waiting environments in Cleveland, OH, PBIC Case Study
  8. Intermodal Transportation Planning and Development in Tucson, AZ, PBIC Case Study

Transit Planning and Partnerships

Planning for successful transit requires the cooperation of several agencies and the community at large. Transit agencies are semi-autonomous in most cities, yet transit runs on streets or state highways under the jurisdiction of a city or county public works department, or a state Department of Transportation (DOT). Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) assume overall responsibility for transit planning in many areas. However, in some cases transit is owned and operated by a county or municipal transportation agency. Cooperation and collaboration is essential regardless of organizational structure.

The following describes in general the respective roles of transit agencies, public works departments, and MPOs:

  1. Transit agencies generally assume responsibility for the actual operation of a transit system. They usually own a bus fleet or light (sometimes heavy) rail system, hire bus drivers, plan routes, and run the buses and/or trains. They also conduct minor capital improvement projects like placing bus shelters and transit stops, and major capital improvements like building new light rail lines.
  2. Public works or transportation departments usually own and manage the streets on which buses run, and in most cases that includes the sidewalks pedestrians use to access transit. They must be notified when transit exists or is planned on roads under their jurisdiction so that all road construction and reconstruction projects incorporate elements that facilitates transit.
  3. MPOs often take a lead role in planning for capital-intensive transit corridors such as light rail, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), and ferries. MPOs should coordinate as much as possible with local governments to ensure land uses surrounding transit stops along these routes are planned and developed with access to transit as a priority.