Benefit

Two thirds of bus tracking website users said they used transit more frequently because of the availability of real-time information.

An evaluation of the SmartBus ITS implementation program for the Chattanooga Area Regional Transporation Authority.


December 2009
Chattanooga,Tennessee,United States


Summary Information

This report presents the results of Phase III of the national evaluation of the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority’s (CARTA) SmartBus Project. The SmartBus Project is a comprehensive transit ITS program for the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Implementation of the ITS infrastructure began in 2004. The evaluation analyzes "before and after" impacts to determine benefits based on technologies that are deployed and fully integrated. These technologies include: data archive warehousing, scheduling software, ticket vending machines (TVM), upgraded fareboxes, automated announcement systems (AAS), dynamic message signs (DMS) for real-time arrival information, and remote diagnostic maintenance systems (RDMS).

Methodology
Researchers used data from the data archives and interviews with CARTA staff and administration in order to assess the impact that the technologies had on performing daily functions such as operations, scheduling, service planning, and maintenance.

Findings
The introduction of DMS at several stations and an online tracking page provide users with real-time information about bus arrivals. Two thirds of online users said that they use transit more frequently because of the information. Additionally, implementation of RDMS allowed CARTA to reduce the number of major in-service breakdowns experienced by their fleet because of warnings sent to the maintenance staff at the end of each day. This decrease in breakdowns improved customer satisfaction with the service. Riders and the Mayor’s Office of Disabilities appreciated the introduction of AAS with LED signs that proved next stop information on the buses.

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Source

Chattanooga SmartBus Project: Phase III Evaluation Report

Author: R. Haas, E. Perry, J. Rephlo

Published By: United States Department of Transportation ITS Joint Program Office Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA)

Source Date: December 2009

EDL Number: 14937

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/4006

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Benefit ID: 2011-00715