Perceived Travel Times

Expensive subways should save their users time.  But with the Central Subway, a rider’s perceived trip times would actually increase over those experienced by today’s bus riders.  The bar graphs demonstrate the perceived time differences of four typical trips:

Trip Time lost by riding Central Subway



Notes on calculations
a.) A average walking speed of 3.25 feet per second was assumed.
b.) When deciding how to travel, individuals typically regard walking and waiting time as more onerous than riding in a bus or train.  To take this well-established phenomenon into account, transportation planners assign a “penalty” to actual walking and waiting times.  According to the Federal Department of Transportation, the penalty is usually applied by multiplying the actual walking and waiting time by a factor that ranges from 2.0 to 2.5.  In the above tables a factor of 2.3 was used. A wait or walk of one minute would therefore show as 2.3 minutes.
c.) According to Muni schedules, the average time between the buses on Stockton Street is 2.2 minutes.  We assumed the average bus waiting time to be half of that or 1.1 minutes.  With the 2.3 penalty factor, the bus waiting time becomes 2.5 minutes.
d.) The planned time between LRVs in the subway is 5 minutes.  We therefore assumed the average LRV wait time to be 2.5 minutes.  With the penalty, the LRV waiting time becomes 5.8 minutes.
e.) Surface bus travel times have been reduced by 1 to 1 ½ minutes to reflect various Muni and TEP bus operational improvements such as low-floor vehicles already in the planning stages.
For more information, see attached Microsoft Excel files below


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