Consider the implications of ITS transit technologies on operational efficiencies.

Experience from the Lake Tahoe Coordinated Transit System.

California,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

The Consolidated Transit System blended fixed route, flex-route, and demand-response operations into one system in order to provide a fully integrated system to maximize cost and operating efficiency. The evaluation report found that with CTS the casino shuttle service did operate with greater efficiency than the previous transit system; however, the results were inconclusive for the door-to-door service. Through the CTS, the casino shuttle service was able to provide a similar level of service with fewer vehicles. The following considerations need to be made, in order to achieve operating efficiencies through the use of ITS technologies.
  • Consider the size of the service area when designing the Computer-Aided Dispatch system. The CST CAD system was designed for traditional paratransit systems where individuals are picked up and dropped off one at a time. This CAD system design was better suited for the casino shuttle, which had a limited service area, rather than the door-to-door service area, which was about 4 times the size. The large service area, longer distance trips, and limited funding for deployed vehicles created a situation where the CAD system provided minimal efficiency for the door-to-door service.
  • Be cognizant of the processing time associated with scheduling rides through the automated system. The automated system used in CST provides little efficiency in scheduling rides. Dispatchers have found that they can address a trip request in approximately 5 to 6 seconds in person, whereas they have found that it requires approximately 90 seconds if the computer books the trip. While the automated system has reduced the number of calls coming into the dispatch center, the increased processing time affects the system efficiency.
Some of the ITS technologies used in the CST produced less efficiency gains than anticipated. The Computer-Aided Dispatch system was found to be most efficient when operating on the shorter, taxi-like trips of the casino shuttle rather than the longer distance trips of the door-to-door service. In addition, use of the automated system to book trips results in a longer processing time by dispatchers compared to bookings by phone. These lessons suggest that not all technological improvements will result in equal operating efficiencies across system types. It is important for agencies to consider how the technologies will function within each service type when designing integrated systems.

Lesson Comments

No comments posted to date

Comment on this Lesson

To comment on this lesson, fill in the information below and click on submit. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field. Your name and email address, if provided, will not be posted, but are to contact you, if needed to clarify your comments.


Evaluation of the South Lake Tahoe Coordinated Transit System (CTS) Project Phase III Evaluation Report

Author: Rephlo, J., and D. Woodley

Published By: U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration

Prepared by SAIC for the USDOT FHWA

Source Date: 4/14/2006

EDL Number: 14316

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/3682

Other Lessons From this Source

Lesson Contacts

Lesson Analyst:

Gina Filosa
RITA/Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
(617) 494-3452


Average User Rating

0 ( ratings)

Rate this Lesson

(click stars to rate)

Lesson ID: 2008-00437