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Accounting for Seasonal Variations in Transportation Mode

People use different transportation systems depending on the time of year, yet transportation planning rarely accounts for this seasonal variation.
March 12, 2016, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Understanding when and how people get around is essential in planning transportation operations," according to an article by Yonah Freemark, because "it affects how much service should be provided." That is, people use transportation systems in different ways depending on the time of the year—and those differences in use also vary depending on the transportation system.

So for instance, in 2015, "roughly nine times as many people rode Chicago’s Divvy bike share system in July as in January." Also, "[on] an average weekday in September 2014, for example, CTA buses served 25 percent more riders than on an average weekday in January," adds Freemark.

Freemark breaks down the seasonal usage of other transportation modes in Chicago, before identifying similar trends in other cities like Los Angeles and Seattle. The point: that transportation planners should continue to explore the effects of seasonal variations and perhaps take them into account when setting schedules and routes.

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Published on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 in Metropolitan Planning Council
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