Benefit

Implementation of ITS with AVL, real-time passenger information, and electronic fare media in a mid-sized transit system resulted in a minimum 3.9:1 benefit/cost ratio.

An evaluation of Efficient Deployment of Advanced Public Transit Systems (EDAPTS) in San Luis Obispo, California.


July 2009
San Luis Obispo; California; United States


Summary Information

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) embarked on a research project in the late 1990s to determine if the deployment of Advanced Public Transit Systems (APTS) would be economically feasible for small and middle sized transit agencies in California. The first Efficient Deployment of an Advanced Public Transit Systems (EDAPTS) ITS project was tested, installed and began operation in 2001 at San Luis Obispo (SLO) Transit. Real-time passenger information on solar powered signs at select bus stops, Web-based resources for passengers, Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL) installations on buses, and electronic fare media were deployed in order to determine the economic feasibility of the installation and operation of similar systems for other small and middle sized agencies.

Methodology
This study estimated the value of various benefits for the system based on rider surveys which evaluated each rider’s willingness to pay (WTP) for various services, such as real-time arrival information, if those services were no longer free. The average WTP per service was then multiplied by the number of appropriate service units to calculate the annual total of benefit received by riders. On-board observations were also used to evaluate service performance and passenger boarding times to evaluate any benefits accrued as a result of better on time performance or faster boarding times. Interviews were also conducted with Transit bus drivers and administrators to learn more about intangible benefits received by the drivers and Transit as a whole.


Findings
An average time savings of 2.9 seconds per boarding resulted from adding electronic fare payment (EFP) for California Polytechnic, Pomona (Cal Poly) students, who make up three-quarters of the riders on the SLO Transit buses. The average time savings per trip per passenger was approximately 40 seconds due to EFP. Based on an estimate of $4.56 per hour as the value of passenger time, this time savings created a benefit for riders worth $44,351 per year. The willingness of passengers to pay $0.25 for real-time, accurate information about their bus resulted in $98,477 worth of benefit from having more reliable information about the bus services and being able to plan accordingly. As part of the EDAPTS program, SLO Transit installed eight solar powered signs that provide real-time information about bus arrivals to nearly half of their riders.

Drivers also believed they benefit from the AVL technology by having better information, which helps them stay on schedule and avoid penalties. They also perceived benefits stemming from safety upgrades such as "panic buttons" which were not yet active at the time of the study. The authors concluded that the minimum benefit/cost ratio of 3.9:1 provided strong evidence to conclude that APTS should be commercialized for use by both small and middle sized transit agencies.

Table 7.2-1 (b): Summary of Quantified Benefits (without Consumer Surplus)

Benefit Components
Quantified Benefit
Units
Beneficiary
Quantified benefits of electronic fare collection
$44,351
$ per year
Passengers
Quantified benefits of increased schedule reliability
$2,873
$ per year
Drivers
Quantified benefits of having real-time information signs
$98,477
$ per year
Passengers
Quantified increase in fare revenue due to Real-Time Information
$36,765
$ per year
SLO Transit
Quantified benefits due to avoided parking costs
$1,468
$ per year
Community
Total Benefits Excluding Consumer Surplus
$183,934
$ per year
All Beneficiaries

Table ES-1 Benefit/Cost Ratio Summary (with 7% Discount Rate)

5-Year
Term
7-Year
Term
10-Year
Term
Units
Constituent
Including Consumer Surplus
Total of All
Benefits
$226,581
$226,581
$226,581
$ per year
All
beneficiaries
Total Costs
$46,954
$38,488
$32,222
$ annualized
transit
agency
Benefit to Cost
Ratio
4.8
5.9
7.0
Excluding Consumer Surplus
Total of All Benefits
$183,934
$183,934
$183,934
$ per year
All
beneficiaries
Total Costs
$46,954
$38,488
$32,222
$ annualized
transit
agency
Benefit to Cost
Ratio
3.9
4.8
5.7
Note: Consumer surplus associated with any service is quantified by the authors as the difference between the price passengers are willing to pay and the actual price charged for that service by SLO Transit.

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Source

EDAPTS Benefit/Cost Evaluation

Author: Jia,Xudong; Edward Sullivan; Cornelius Nuworsoo; Neil Hockaday

Published By: University of California,

Source Date: July 2009

Other Reference Number: PATH Report No. UCB-ITS-PRR-2008-19

URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1056&context=crp_fac&sei-redir=1#search=%22EDAPTS+Benefit/Cost+Evaluation%22

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Benefit ID: 2011-00701