The Transportationist’s most popular posts of 2013

Below is a ranked list of the 39 most popular posts on the Transportationist blog in 2013 (from the new WordPress site since late May, no stats from the old site). People like forecasts and lists.

What happened to traffic?
14 Trends Shaping Transportation
7 Ways to Reduce Transportation Waste
Pricing with and without Reservations
People and their Paths 1: Do People Take the Shortest Path?
Path dependence
Walking Distances
Structural errors in forecasting
“Big” Data as a Foundation for Measuring and Improving Public Transport Operations
Are there too many roads?
Car2Go – A Review (updated)
5 or So Transit Books You Should Read
Time and Space: Happiness, Mobility, and Location
Does BRT have Economic Development Effects?
Cost per daily rider
HOT or Not: Driver Elasticity to Price on the MnPASS HOT Lanes
Faculty opening at the University of Minnesota
Why HOV lanes often don’t work
Bikes still outsell Cars in US
AsymCAR 7
The Hyperloop Boarding and Alighting problem
Altoona Pennsylvania adopts Land Value Tax
5 Or So Books on Streets and Traffic You Should Read
Thinking outside the Right-of-Way
5 or So Books about Transportation History You Should Read
Number Crunchers: Addressing the Pitfalls and Practices of Dynamic Pricing Schemes
Call for Papers: World Symposium on Transport and Land Use Research 2014: June 24-27, 2014 in Delft, the Netherlands
People and their Paths 3: Not all time is created equal
The Traffic is Falling
The End of Driving — Money and Politics Podcast
5 or So Books on Transportation Economics and Policy You Should Read
Bus stops by Metropolitan Area
5 or So Pieces of Transportation Fiction You Should Read
Why we should raise gas taxes now, but implement road pricing soon.
Enterprising Roads: Improving the Governance of America’s Highways
Seattle Metro’s New Bus Stop Signs
Why transportation doesn’t get the money it “needs”
Modeling the Commute Mode Share of Transit Using Continuous Accessibility to Jobs
A personal history and forecast for Modems, or “Is @Comcast the worst company in America?”

A Taxonomy of Modes

A Taxonomy of Modes

A Taxonomy of Modes, Click to See Full Size
A Taxonomy of Modes, Click to See Full Size

I have been playing around with this idea of a Taxonomy of Modes. What characteristics describe and differentiate modes? Every mode must differ from every other mode on at least one dimension (otherwise they would be the same mode). This is analogous to the idea of speciation in biology. The graph above is a first cut at this for surface passenger transportation. I wanted to distinguish primarily on the non-mechanical (non-propulsion) characteristics of the service first. Of course not every possible dimension is identified, and a few of the circles contain multiple modes which are otherwise obviously distinct (e.g. gondolas and subways are much the same from a transportation service perspective but for one is underground and uses a train and the other is suspended by a cable which moves it). I wanted to differentiate things that were qualitatively different rather than quantitatively different.

So the first cut is about time, is a reservation required or not (i.e. does it need some advance planning). The second cut is about time as well, is the service scheduled or dynamic. The third cut is about space, are the routes fixed or dynamic. If the route is fixed, are stops fixed (i.e. does the vehicle stop at every stop, or only when called, like a bus). Otherwise if the routes are dynamic,  things get a bit more ad-hoc, as the key question changes.

Some traditional distinctions (access mode vs. primary mode, such as walk to transit vs. drive to transit) are not distinguished here, rather that would be thought of as at least two trips, one where you walk or drive to some place (with the purpose of changing modes), and second where you take some form of transit.

(A much earlier version of this appears as Theory of Modes (2008))


I welcome comments and ideas for making this more systematic and robust.