Urban Transportation Planning In the United States: An Historical Overview: Fifth Edition
Chapter 8. Transition to Short-Term Planning
As planning for the Interstate Highway System was being completed, attention turned to increasing the productivity and efficiency of existing facilities. In planning for major new regional transportation facilities, many urban areas had neglected maintaining and upgrading other facilities. However, environmental concerns, the difficulty of building inner city freeways, renewed interest in urban mass transit and the energy crisis gave added impetus to the focus on more immediate problems. Signs were becoming evident of the changing emphasis to shorter-term time horizons and the corridor level in transportation planning. Gradually, planning shifted towards maximizing the use of the existing system with a minimum of new construction. Further, the connection was strengthened between long-term planning and the programming of projects (Weiner, 1982).
In October 1973, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) embargoed oil shipments to the United States and, in doing so, began a new era in transportation planning. The importance of oil was so paramount to the economy and, in particular, the transportation sector that oil shortages and price increases gradually became one of the major issues in transportation planning. (Figure 12)
The immediate reaction to the oil embargo was to address the specific emergency. President Nixon signed the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973 in November of that year which established an official government allocation plan for gasoline and home heating fuel. It regulated the distribution of refined petroleum products by freezing the supplier-purchaser relationships and specifying a set of priority users. The act also established price controls on petroleum. It gave the President authority to set petroleum prices, not to exceed $7.66 a barrel. This authority was to terminate on September 30, 1981.
The Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, signed on January 2, 1974, established a national 55 miles per hour speed limit to reduce gasoline consumption. It was extended indefinitely on January 4, 1975 (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1979c). It also provided that Federal-aid highway funds could be used for ridesharing demonstration programs.
As the immediate crisis abated, the focus shifted to longer-term actions and policies to reduce the nation's dependence on oil, especially imported oil. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 was passed by Congress to ensure that automobile gasoline consumption would be reduced to the lowest level possible and to promote energy conservation plans. As directed, the U.S. Department of Transportation through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) promulgated regulations that required the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) be raised from 18.0 miles per gallon in 1978 to 27.5 in 1985 and beyond (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1979c).
Reaction to the energy crisis of 1973/1974 evolved slowly at the local level as information and analysis tools gradually appeared. Most local planning agencies knew little about energy consumption and conservation and needed to learn about this new issue that had been thrust upon them. It was not until the second crisis in 1979 with fuel shortages and sharply increasing prices that energy issues were thoroughly integrated into urban transportation planning.
The focus in transportation planning and development was shifting to shorter-term, low-capital improvements in the early 1970s. Many of these improvements, which were grouped under the term "transportation system management" (TSM) techniques, were only in the conceptual stage or in limited applications in the United States and other countries. There was a need to perform the final steps of evaluation and development, where necessary, to bring these new improvement strategies into operational practice.
The Service and Methods Demonstrations (SMD) Program was established in 1974 to promote the development, demonstration, evaluation, and widespread adoption of innovative transit services and transportation management techniques throughout the United States. The program focused on concepts that used existing technology to create improvements that require relatively low levels of capital investment and that can be implemented within a short time frame. The concepts were demonstrated in real-world operational environments and evaluated to determine their costs, impacts, and implementation characteristics. Evaluation findings were widely disseminated to transportation planners, policy makers, and transit operators (Spear, 1979).
The SMD Program began with six demonstrations involving specialized transportation for the elderly and handicapped, double-deck buses, and priority lanes for highway occupancy vehicles. By 1978 the program was sponsoring 59 ongoing demonstrations, evaluating 31 special case study projects, and had begun a cooperative program with the FHWA to evaluate another 17 projects in the National Ridesharing Demonstration Program.
Projects were divided into four program areas. First, under conventional service improvements, projects concentrated on improving productivity, reliability, and effectiveness with such techniques as priority treatment for buses and other high occupancy vehicles, route restructuring, auto restricted zones, and articulated buses. In the second category of pricing and service innovation were projects on fare payment strategies, fare integration, fare change strategies, service changes, and parking pricing. The third category of paratransit services contained projects on ridesharing, brokerage, and taxicabs. Fourth, transportation services for special user groups focused on accessible bus services, user-side subsidies, coordination of social service agency transportation, and rural public transportation (Spear, 1981).
The Service and Methods Demonstration Program made a major contribution to the identification, evaluation, and dissemination of transportation system management techniques. This effort accelerated the introduction and adoption of innovative approaches to the provision of public transportation service. It also spurred experimentation with new public transportation service concepts by other agencies at the state and local levels.
By the time the report Tomorrow's Transportation: New Systems for the Urban Future (Cole, 1968) was published in 1968, UMTA barely had a research program in the area of new urban transit technologies. A small grant had been made for development of Westinghouse's Transit Expressway and several new system feasibility studies were begun in 1967. By 1970 decisions had been reached to proceed with funding of three major automated guideway transit (AGT) demonstration projects - the Transpo 72 exhibition and two other demonstrations (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1975).
Transpo 72 was held at the Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1972. Four companies built and operated prototype AGT systems for public demonstration. In 1971, UMTA awarded a grant to the Vought Corporation to build a group rapid transit (GRT) system, Airtrans, as the internal circulation system for the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. Service began in 1974. The third GRT demonstration connected three separate campuses of West Virginia University at Morgantown. Boeing Aerospace Company became the manager of the project which was largely based on a proposal by Alden Self-Transit Systems Corporation. Public service began in October 1975. The system was expanded with an UMTA grant and operations began in July 1979 (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1983b).
By the end of 1975, another 18 systems were in operation or under construction. They were all simple shuttle loop transit (SLT) systems at airports, amusement parks, and shopping centers. All were funded with private funds (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1983b).
In September 1974, the U.S. Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee directed the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to assess the potential for AGT systems. The report, produced in June 1975, was a comprehensive assessment of AGT systems and contained five reports from panels of specialists. Overall the report concluded that the $95 million spent on AGT research and development up to that time by UMTA had not produced the direct results expected in the form of fully developed systems in urban settings. The OTA went further in concluding that insufficient funding was directed at new systems research and that the program needed restructuring with a clarification of objectives (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1975).
The OTA found that SLT systems were promising for specialized urban transportation problems. With regard to the more sophisticated GRT systems, the OTA found that a number of cities had shown interest but that there were serious technical problems. As to the small vehicle personal rapid transit (PRT) systems, only preliminary studies were recommended A major conclusion was that the program emphasized hardware development, but further research was needed on social, economic and environmental impacts. Also UMTA had not developed a mechanism for qualifying new technological systems for capital grants (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, 1975).
In response to the study, UMTA launched the AGT Socio-Economic Research Program in 1976. It consisted of assessments of existing AGT installations, studies of capital and operating costs, travel market analyses, and an assessment of AGT technology compared with other alternatives in urban area application (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1983b).
A review of local planning studies conducted under this program found that more than 20 cities had considered AGT systems. The conclusion reached was that there was considerable uncertainty with regard to costs, public acceptance, reliability, crime and land use impacts (Lee et.al., 1978). Planning procedures and data were not available to adequately assess new technological systems as an alternative to conventional urban technologies.
Also in 1976, UMTA initiated the Downtown People Mover (DPM) program. It was designed to demonstrate the application of an SLT type system in an urban environment. Impact studies were to be conducted to assess the systems with regard to patronage, community acceptance, reliability, maintainability, safety, and economics. Four cities were selected for these demonstrations: Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles and St. Paul. Three other cities were approved for participation using their existing commitments of federal funds: Detroit, Miami and Baltimore (Mabee and Zumwalt, 1977). Detroit and Miami have constructed DPMs.
Section 13(c) was included in the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 to protect employees in the transit industry from potential adverse effects of federal transit assistance. At the time, federal assistance was in the form of capital grants and loans that could be used for public acquisition of private operations. A major concern was the loss of collective bargaining rights when employees entered the public sector.
Section 13(c) required an applicant for federal assistance to make arrangements to protect the interests of employees. Employee protection arrangements under Section 13(c) included: (1) preservation of rights under existing contracts; (2) continuation of collective bargaining rights; (3) protection of employees against a worsening of their positions; (4) assurances of employment or reemployment for existing employees; and (5) paid training or retraining programs.
The Secretary of Labor was responsible for determining whether these arrangements were fair and equitable. There had been an evolution in the administration of Section 13(c) since it was enacted. Originally the Department of Labor (DOL) only required a statement that the interests of employees would not be adversely affected by the Federal grant. By 1966, however, there had evolved detailed 13(c) agreements that were the result of collective bargaining between grant applicants and the employee representatives. These 13(c) agreements were subject to renegotiation with each new grant.
With the passage of the National Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1974, federal funds became available for operating assistance under the Section 5 Formula Grant program. Grants for operating assistance were also required to comply with the Section 13(c) provisions. To facilitate processing of these operating assistance applications, organized labor, the American Public Transit Association (APTA), and the DOL developed a national model 13(c) agreement pertaining to such agreements. The model agreement was signed in July 1975 by APTA, the Amalgamated Transit Union, and the Transport Workers Union of America. APTA established a procedure under which individual transit properties could affiliate themselves with the agreement and, thereby, become eligible for coverage by it for operating assistance applications (Lieb, 1976).
The model section 13(c) agreement for transit operating assistance reduced the time and effort of individual transit properties and labor representatives to negotiate agreement and accelerated the use of federal funds for operating assistance.
The UMTA and FHWA had worked for several years on joint regulations to guide urban transportation planning. Final regulations were issued to take effect in October 1975 (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1975a). They superseded all previous guidelines, policies, and regulations issued on urban transportation planning by the UMTA and FHWA.
The regulations provided for the designation of MPOs by the Governors and, to the maximum extent feasible, that the MPOs be established under state legislation. The MPO was to be the forum of cooperative decisionmaking by principal elected officials. Principal elected officials of the local jurisdictions were to have adequate representation on the MPO. The MPO together with the state was responsible for carrying out the urban transportation planning process. The regulations also required agreements on the division of responsibility where the MPOs and A-95 agencies were different. A multiyear prospectus and annual unified work program had to be submitted specifying all transportation-related planning activities for an urban area as a condition for receiving federal planning funds. (Figure 13)
The urban transportation planning process was required to produce a long-range transportation plan, which had to be reviewed annually to confirm its validity. The transportation plan had to contain a long-range element and a shorter-range "transportation systems management element" (TSME) for improving the operation of existing transportation systems without new facilities. An Appendix to the regulations contained a list of major categories of actions to be considered for inclusion in the TSME. (Table 4) The Appendix stated that the feasibility and need for the individual actions differed with the size of the urbanized area, but that some actions in each of the categories would be appropriate in for any urbanized area.
A multiyear "transportation improvement program" (TIP) also had to be developed consistent with the transportation plan. The TIP had to include all highway and transit projects to be implemented within the coming five years. It thereby became the linkage between the planning and programming of urban transportation projects. It also brought together all highway and transit projects into a single document that could be reviewed and approved by decision makers. The TIP had to contain an "annual element" that would be the basis for the federal funding decisions on projects for the coming year.
The regulations provided for a joint FHWA/UMTA annual certification of the planning process. This certification was required as a condition for receiving federal funds for projects. The regulations incorporated previously legislated requirements related to social, economic, and environmental impact analysis, air quality planning, and the elderly and handicapped.
These joint regulations applied to all urban highway and transit programs including those for transit operating assistance. They represented the most important action up to that time to bring about multimodal urban transportation planning and programming of projects. They changed the emphasis from long-term planning to shorter range transportation system management, and provided a stronger linkage between planning and programming. These regulations were another turning point in the evolution of urban transportation planning that set the tone for the next several years.
The level of federal funds for urban mass transportation had increased dramatically since 1970. However, the requests for federal funds from urban areas outpaced that increase. In particular, there was a resurgence of the conviction that rail transit systems could largely solve the problems of congestion and petroleum dependence while promoting efficient development patterns. Consequently, the need to assure that these funds were used effectively and productively became apparent.
The UMTA set forth its views on this issue in the document, Preliminary Guidelines and Background Analysis (Transportation Research Board, 1975a). It was prepared for review at a conference on the Evaluation of Urban Transportation Alternatives held at Airlie House, Virginia, in February 1975. The conference was attended by a broad spectrum of persons from all levels of government, the transit industry, consultants, universities, and private citizens. The conference report indicated a number of concerns with the guidelines, which were transmitted to the UMTA (Transportation Research Board, 1977).
With the assistance of the conference findings, the UMTA developed a draft policy statement to guide future decisions regarding federal assistance in the funding of major mass transportation projects. This Proposed Policy on Major Urban Mass Transportation Investments was published in August 1975 (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1975c). It embodied a number of principles.
- Actions to Ensure the Efficient Use of Existing Road Space
- Traffic Operations Improvements
- Preferential Treatment of Transit and High Occupancy Vehicles
- Provision for Pedestrians and Bicycles
- Management and Control of Parking
- Changes in Work Schedules, Fare Structures and Automobile Tolls
- Actions to Reduce Vehicle Use in Congested Areas
- Encouragement of Carpooling and Other Forms of Ridesharing
- Diversion, Exclusion and Metering of Automobile Access to Specific Areas
- Area Licenses, Parking Surcharges and Other Forms of Congestion Pricing
- Establishment of Car Free Zones and Closure of Selected Streets
- Restrictions of Downtown Truck Deliveries During Peak Hours
- Actions to Improve Transit Service
- Provision of Better Collection, Distribution, and Internal Collection Service Within Low Density Areas
- Greater Responsiveness and Flexibility in Routing, Scheduling and Dispatching of Transit Vehicles
- Provision of Express Services
- Provision of Extensive Park and Ride Services From Fringe Parking Areas
- Provision of Shuttle Transit Services From CBD Fringe Parking Areas
- Encouragement of Jitneys and Other Flexible Paratransit Services and Their Integration in the Transit System
- Simplified Fare Collection Systems and Policies
- Better Passenger Information Systems and Services
- Actions to Increase Transit Management Efficiency
- Improve Marketing
- Develop Cost Accounting and Other Management Tools to Improve Decisionmaking
- Establish Maintenance Policies that Ensure Greater Equipment Reliability
- Using Surveillance and Communications Technology to Develop Real Time Monitoring and Control Capability
First, areawide transportation improvement plans should be multimodal and include regionwide and community-level transit services. Second, major mass transportation investment projects should be planned and implemented in stages to avoid premature investment in costly fixed facilities and to preserve maximum flexibility to respond to future unknowns. Third, full consideration should be given to improving the management and operation of existing transportation systems. Fourth, the analysis of alternatives should include a determination of which alternative meets the local area's social, environmental, and transportation goals in a cost effective manner. And fifth, full opportunity should be provided for involvement of the public and local officials in all phases of the planning and evaluation process (Transportation Research Board, 1977).
The UMTA stated that the level of federal funding would be based on a cost-effective alternative that would meet urban area needs and goals in a 5- to 15-year time frame and that was consistent with the long-range transportation plan.
A second Conference on Urban Transportation Alternative Analysis was held in March/April 1976 at Hunt Valley, Maryland. This conference, too, was attended by a broad spectrum of the professional community. There was considerable discussion on several issues including the criteria to be used to measure cost-effectiveness, where the cost-effectiveness analysis fit in the overall planning process and the differences in the project development process between transit and highways (Transportation Research Board, 1977).
Using the recommendations from the second conference, the UMTA prepared and published a final policy statement in September 1976 (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1976b). Although changes in the proposed policy were made, the principles remained basically unchanged.
In February 1978, the UMTA provided further elaboration in its Policy Toward Rail Transit (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1978a). It stated that new rail transit lines or extensions would be funded in areas where population densities, travel volumes, and growth patterns indicated the need. Preference would be given to corridors serving densely populated urban centers. It reaffirmed the principles of analysis of alternatives, including TSM measures, incremental implementation and cost-effectiveness. The policy added the requirement that the local area had to commit itself to a program of supportive actions designed to improve the cost-effectiveness, patronage, and prospect for economic viability of the investment. This included automobile management policies; feeder service; plans, policies and incentives to stimulate high density private development near stations; and other measures to revitalize nearby older neighborhoods and the central business district. With this policy supplement, rail transit was to become a tool for urban redevelopment.
Urban transportation planning in the mid 1970's was a more diverse and complex activity compared to the rather uniform process that existed during the mid 1960's. This change was caused by the need to address an expanded list of issues, and was fostered by the issuance of the Joint FHWA/UMTA Planning Regulations and UMTA's Policy on Major Urban Mass Transportation Investments (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1975a and 1976b). The range of alternatives that had to be evaluated widened to include a fuller consideration of transit system options, transportation system management measures, and traffic engineering improvements. A more thorough assessment of social, economic, environmental, and energy impacts was required. Consequently, urban areas were conducting transportation systems evaluations with increasing sophistication that consumed more time and resources.
Even though there were many sources of information on the characteristics of urban transportation systems and their impacts to facilitate this evaluation process, they were difficult to locate, conflicting, often out of date, and generally local in nature. There was a need to synthesis and codify this data and information so that it would be more accessible. An earlier effort in the 1960's by the Institute of Traffic Engineers, Capacities and Limitations of Urban Transportation Modes, was more narrowly focused and reflected the range of issues at that time (Institute of Traffic Engineers, 1965).
To fill this gap, a handbook was prepared and published in early 1974 under the title, Characteristics of Urban Transportation Systems (CUTS) (Sanders and Reynen, 1974). CUTS was designed as a single reference source containing information of the performance characteristics of urban transportation systems for use in the evaluation of transportation alternatives. The first edition contained data on: rail transit, bus transit, the automobile/highway system, and pedestrian assistance systems. The seven supply parameters selected were: speed, capacity, operating cost, energy consumption, air pollution and noise, capital cost, and accident frequency. The CUTS handbook was periodically updated and expanded. Later editions included data on activity center systems as well as the original four modes. Labor inputs were added to the supply parameters in layer editions of the handbook. The Seventh Edition of the handbook was published in 1992. (Cambridge Systematics, et. al., 1992).
CUTS was supplemented with two additional handbooks which provided data on the demand characteristics of urban transportation systems. The first, released in 1977, was Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes (Pratt, Pedersen and Mather, 1977). It summarized and synthesized information, primarily from existing literature, on the traveler behavior changes for a wide variety of changes in the transportation system. The initial edition distilled and interpreted data on seven types of transportation changes including: high occupancy vehicle priority facilities, variable working hours, van and buspools, transit scheduling frequency changes, routing changes, transit fare changes and transit marketing. Parking and express transit were added in the second edition (Pratt and Copple, 1981).
The second handbook was Characteristics of Urban Transportation Demand (CUTD) along with a later issued Appendix (Levinson, 1978 and 1979). The CUTD handbook contained data on areawide travel characteristics and typical usage information for rail, bus and highways systems. The data was designed as inputs and cross checks for urban travel forecasting. The Appendix contained more detailed city specific and site specific data on travel. The revision to CUTD reorganized, integrated and updated the information included in the earlier edition (Charles River Associates, 1988).
These efforts sought to capitalize on the large body of data and experience on urban transportation systems that had been accumulated in the previous two decades and make it more available and accessible to the transportation planning community. It came at a time when the range of information needed for transportation system evaluation had greatly broadened but the resources for collecting new data were contracting.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, many urban areas were seeking alternatives to the construction of freeways. San Francisco and Washington, D.C. had decided to construct heavy rail systems, but many areas did not have the density or potential travel demand to justify such systems. Moreover, heavy rail systems had high construction costs and disrupted the areas through which they passed during construction. Busways and preferential treatment for buses were being considered as alternatives to high cost fixed guideway systems, particularly in the United States. In Europe, especially West Germany, light rail transit was the preferred alternative. This European experience renewed interest in light rail systems in the United States (Diamant, 1976).
In 1971 the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) requested bids on 78 new light rail vehicles to replace its deteriorating PCC car fleet. The two bids that were received were rejected as being too costly. About this time, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) decided to preserve and upgrade their light rail systems. These events provided the opportunity to develop a standard design for common use. The UMTA authorized a grant to the MBTA to develop specifications for a new U.S. Standard Light Rail Vehicle (SLRV). The first SLRVs were built by Boeing Vertol and tested in 1974 at the UMTA's test track in Pueblo, Colorado (Silien and Mora, 1975).
In December 1975 the UMTA expressed its concern that urban areas should give adequate consideration to light rail transit (LRT) in a Policy Statement on Light Rail Transit. The UMTA stated that while it had no modal favorites, the increasing demand for transit capital assistance combined with escalating transit construction costs made it essential that cost effective approaches be fully explored. UMTA considered LRT as a potentially attractive option for many urban areas and would assist in its deployment in areas where proper conditions existed (Transportation Systems Center, 1977).
As interest in LRT grew, a series of conferences was organized to exchange information and explore the technical aspects and applications of LRT. The first conference, held in Philadelphia in 1975, had as its objective the reintroduction of LRT to a wide spectrum of decision makers in government, industry and academia (Transportation Research Board, 1975b). In 1977 a second conference in Boston addressed the need for a more detailed focus on the theme of planning and technology (Transportation Research Board, 1978). Several years later, in 1982, a third conference occurred in San Diego with the theme of planning, design, and implementation of LRT in existing urban environments (Transportation Research Board, 1982a). The fourth conference in Pittsburgh in 1985 focused on cost-effective approaches in the deployment of LRT systems that capitalized on the flexibility of this mode of transit (Transportation Research Board, 1985a).
By the 1990's, LRT had achieved a substantial resurgence in the United States. Boston, Cleveland, Newark, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco had renovated existing lines or replaced their existing vehicle fleets or both. (Table 5) Baltimore, Buffalo, Dallas, Los Angeles, Portland, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Diego and San Jose, had opened new LRT lines. And new LRT lines were under construction in Bayonne, Northern New Jersey and Salt Lake City.
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976 broadened the use of funds from trade-ins of nonessential Interstate routes. The process of increasing flexibility in the use of Interstate funds began with Section 103(e)(2), referred to as the Howard-Cramer Amendment, of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968. It allowed withdrawal of a nonessential Interstate route and the use of the funds on another Interstate route in the state.
In the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973, Section 103(e)(4) allowed urbanized areas to withdraw a nonessential Interstate segment within an area upon joint request of local elected officials and the governor. An equivalent amount of funds could then be spent from general revenues for mass transportation capital projects at an 80 percent federal matching share. The 1976 act allowed the funds from the Interstate substitution to be used also for other highways and busways serving those urbanized areas (Bloch , et. al., 1982).
|Metropolitan Area||Year Built||Year Modernized||Directional Route Miles|
|Bayonne, Northern, NJ||1999||52.8|
|Salt Lake City||1999||38.4|
The 1976 act also changed the definition of construction to allow federal funds to be expended on resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation (3R) of highways. This was done in recognition of the growing problem of highway deterioration. The completion date for the Interstate system was extended to September 30, 1990. Finally, the act expanded the transferability of federal funds among different federal-aid systems, thereby increasing flexibility in the use of these funds.
In 1972, the Technical Council of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) formed the Trip Generation Committee do develop a report on trip generation rates. The purpose of the Committee was to collect trip generation rate data already measured by others and to compile these data into on common source. The first edition of Trip Generation, An Informational Report was published in 1976 and contained data collected between 1965 and 1973 from nearly 80 different sources (Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1976). Revised and updated editions were published in 1979, 1983, 1987 and 1991 (Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1979, 1982, 1987 and 1991).
The fifth edition of Trip Generation represented the most comprehensive data base then available on trip generation rates. These data were collected through volunteer efforts and did not represent ITE's recommendations on individual rates or preferred application of the data. The fifth edition contained trip generation rates for a 121 land uses categories from over 3,000 studies. Many categories, however, contained a limited number of studies. Rates were given for several different variables of a project including floor area, employment, and acreage, as well as for several time periods. In earlier editions of the report, trip rates were given in the form of cells of a series of matrices. Starting with the fourth edition, rates were calculated using regression equations.
The ITE Trip Generation reports became the most widely used reference for trip generation data by traffic engineers and transportation planners for site level planning and analysis. At times the Trip Generation report was used as an expedient when a site specific analysis would have been more appropriate.
The joint highway/transit planning regulations were controversial during their preparation and after their issuance. The states contended that the federal requirement to create metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) with the responsibility to program funds preempted the states' right of self-determination. In essence they argued that MPOs were another level of government. Those at the local level of government were more supportive of the regulations, especially the greater authority to select projects and program funds. But, there was widespread concern that the planning and programming process had become too inflexible and cumbersome (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1976a).
Consequently the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976 required a study of the various factors involved in the planning, programming, and implementation of routes on the Urban system. The study was conducted jointly by the FHWA and UMTA and submitted to Congress in January 1977 (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1976a). It was a major undertaking involving a liaison group of 12 organizations representing state and local interests, site visits to 30 urbanized area and field data on the remaining areas.
The study concluded that the planning requirements were being carried out responsibly by all participants. This was true in spite of the controversy over the responsibilities of the MPO. They also found that the flexibility in the use of Urban system funds for transit was not widely used. Only 6.4 percent of the funds were being used for transit projects. It was concluded that overall the complexity of federal requirements deterred many local governments from using their federal urban system funds (Heanue, 1977). The study recommended that no changes should be made at that time, the process was new and participants had not had sufficient time to adjust, and that even though there was some confusion and controversy, the process was working properly (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1976a).
Road pricing had long been discussed as means to manage traffic demand as was used in many other industries to manage demand for services. The basic approach was to increase prices for the use of facilities and service when demand was highest so that those users would either pay the higher cost to be served during the peak or divert to lower demand periods or alternative modes (Vickrey, 1959). An extensive research program on the feasibility of road pricing was conducted by the Urban Institute (Kulash, 1974).
In an attempt to stimulate the use of road pricing, the U.S. Department of Transportation began a demonstration program in 1976. Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman wrote to the mayors of eleven cities about the availability of a road pricing demonstration and offering Federal funding for administration enforcement and evaluation of a vehicle licensing scheme inviting their participation (Arrillaga, 1978). This approach to road pricing was based on the successful application in the city-state of Singapore (Watson and Holland, 1978).
Of the cities that responded, three were most promising: Madison, Wisconsin, Berkeley, California; and Honolulu, Hawaii. These cities seemed most committed to reducing automobile use and to using the resulting revenue to finance transit expansion (Higgins, 1986). Preliminary studies were conducted for each of the cities. Based on these preliminary analyses, all three cities declined to pursue the demonstrations any further. A number of reasons were cited in opposition to the schemes including: harm to business, coercive interference with travel rights, regressive impacts on the poor, and inadequate information dissemination and promotion.
More than a decade would pass before there was renewed interest in trying road pricing schemes. This would come under the stimulus of the Clean Air Act and the difficulty some urbanized areas had in meeting national ambient air quality standards.
Ten years after it was established, the U.S. Department of Transportation, under Secretary William T. Coleman, completed its first multimodal national transportation planning study. The report, National Transportation Trends and Choices - To The Year 2000, described DOT's views regarding the future evolution of transportation, set forth the decisions that needed to be made, and described the changes that would best serve national objectives (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1977c).
National Transportation Trends and Choices elaborated upon a key policy theme of Secretary Coleman's statement of national transportation policy:
"Underlying comprehensive transportation policy is the recognition that diversity and intermodal competition are essential to an effective transportation system. Government policy must move in the direction of increasing equal competitive opportunity among the transportation modes, minimizing the inequitable distortions of government intervention and enabling each mode to realize its inherent advantages" (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1977c).
National Transportation Trends and Choices was designed to show the Congress and the public that the DOT was making both substantive and resource allocation decisions effectively and coherently in light of long-range consequences, intermodal trade-offs, and broader national goals and objectives. In addition, the planning effort was designed to facilitate decisionmaking within the federal government, and to encourage consistency by State and local agencies and the private sector. This study was intended to initiate a continuing national planning process based on common time horizons and planning assumptions.
The needs estimates in National Transportation Trends and Choices were developed for the 15-year period 1976-1990. For highways and public transportation, the estimates were based on updates of the data from the 1974 National Transportation Report (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1975d) which were submitted by only 15 states. The aviation needs estimate were developed by updating the 1976 National Airport System Plan plus additional analyses. Railroad and pipeline needs were estimated based on assumptions developed by the study staff.
National Transportation Trends and Choices was received by the Congress with little fanfare. However, the thrust of the report towards greater competition and reduced federal regulation was reflected in actions taken in later years. The study did not become the beginning of a longer term national planning effort.
Transit operating and financial data had been collected by the American Public Transit Association (APTA) and its predecessor, the American Transit Association, since 1942 (American Public Transit Association, 1989). This data had been the primary source of comparative transit information for operators, researchers, and governmental agencies. It had been recognized for some time, however, that this data had limitations in terms of uniformity of data definitions, consistency of reporting, and accuracy. As the involvement of Federal, State and local governments increased in funding urban public transportation, particularly operating assistance, the need for a uniform system of accounts and records was recognized (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1977d).
In 1972, the American Transit Association (ATA) and Institute for Rapid Transit (IRT), predecessors of APTA, began Project FARE, Uniform Financial Accounting and Reporting Elements, to develop a uniform industry data reporting system. Project FARE developed and pilot tested a new system of accounts and records to meet the needs of the industry and government agencies to monitor operating performance (Arthur Andersen & Co., 1973).
Shortly thereafter, the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1974 created a new Section 15 that required the Department of Transportation to establish a data reporting system for financial and operating information and a uniform system of accounts and records. UMTA continued to work with an Industry Control Board to modify and adapt the FARE system to accommodate the requirements of Section 15. The resulting system was required to be instituted by all recipients of UMTA Section 5 Formula Grant funds (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1977e).
The Section 15 Transit Data Reporting System was first applied for fiscal year 1979 (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1981d). Over 400 transit systems reported under the system. Data items included those covering revenues, government subsidies, capital and operating costs, organizational structure, vehicles, employees, service provided, ridership, safety, energy consumption, and operating performance. Over a period of years, the system underwent a number of modifications to its content, structure and procedures to adjust to changing data requirements. This included broadening the data base to include commuter rail, vanpools, and purchased (contracted) services.
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977 increased the flexibility and local responsibility in the administration of the Clean Air Act. The amendments required state and local governments to develop revisions to state implementation plans (SIPs) for all areas where the national ambient air quality standards had not been attained. The revised SIPs were to be submitted to the EPA by January 1, 1979, and approved by May 1, 1979.
The revised plans had to provide for attainment of national ambient air quality standards by 1982, or in the case of areas with severe photochemical oxidant or carbon monoxide problems, no later than 1987. In the latter case, a state must demonstrate that the standards cannot be met with all reasonable stationary and transportation control measures. The plans also had to provide for incremental reductions in emissions ("reasonable further progress") between the time the plans were submitted and the attainment deadline. If a state failed to submit a SIP or if EPA disapproved the SIP and the state failed to revise it in a satisfactory manner, EPA was required to promulgate regulations establishing a SIP by July 1, 1979. If, after July 1, 1979, EPA determined that a state was not fulfilling the requirements under the act, it was to impose sanctions. This would include stopping federal-aid for highways (Cooper and Hidinger, 1980).
In many major urbanized areas the revised SIPs required the development of transportation control plans (TCPs) that included strategies to reduce emissions from transportation-related sources by means of structural or operational changes in the transportation system. Since state and local governments implement changes in the transportation system, the act strongly encouraged the preparation of transportation elements of the SIP by metropolitan planning organizations. These local planning organizations were responsible for developing the transportation control measure element of the SIP (Cooper and Hidinger, 1980).
From 1978 to 1980, the DOT and EPA, after long negotiations, jointly issued several policy documents to implement the Clean Air Act's transportation requirements. One of these, signed in June 1978, was a "Memorandum of Understanding" that established the means by which the DOT and the EPA would assure the integration of transportation and air quality planning. A second one issued also in June 1978, "Transportation Air Quality Planning Guidelines" described the acceptable planning process to satisfy the requirements. Another, in March 1980, was a notice containing guidelines for receiving air quality planning grants under section 175 of the act (Cooper and Hidinger, 1980).
In January 1981 DOT issued regulations on air quality conformance and priority procedures for use in federal highway and transit programs. The regulations required that transportation plans, programs, and projects conform with the approved SIPs in areas that had not met ambient air quality standards, termed "nonattainment areas." In those areas, priority for transportation funds was to be given to "transportation control measures" (TCMs) that contributed to reducing air pollution emissions from transportation sources. Where an area's transportation plan or program was not in conformance with the SIP, "sanctions" were to be applied that prohibited the use of federal funds on major transportation projects (U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 1981b).
The 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments certainly gave impetus to short-range planning and transportation system management strategies. They also added a new dimension to the institutional and analytical complexity of the planning process.