Sketch planning evaluation of mass transit technologies for a corridor in northeast San Antonio

Date
2012
Authors
Martinez, Sergio E.
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Abstract

This thesis recommends a transit mode for the northern portion of a mass transit corridor in northeast San Antonio. The corridor was identified for the development of high capacity transit by VIA's 2035 Long Range Comprehensive Transportation Plan (LRCTP) and is approximately 12 miles long: from the Robert Thompson Transit Center in downtown, to the Naco Pass Transfer Center, in the city's northeast sector.

The study focuses on demographic and physical factors that could influence transit ridership, as well as the characteristics, benefits, and disadvantages of four transit modes: bus rapid transit, historic streetcar, modern streetcar, and light rail transit. The evaluation assesses how those four technologies plus a No Build alternative (which assumes no major improvements are implemented by 2035) fulfill the proposed system's goal of increasing mobility options, decreasing automobile travel, attracting new transit riders, and stimulating economic development.

Based on evaluation factors used by the Federal Transit Administration's Alternatives Analysis, this thesis validates the LRCTP's recommendation for bus rapid transit to be implemented in this corridor. It also highlights the significant influence that the built environment and its regulating policies have for the success of high capacity transit.

With looming uncertainties for transportation funding at the federal level, this study recommends the continuous implementation of transit-supportive policies to create a compact and mixed use environment as a crucial step to increase the feasibility of high capacity transit, and also the chances of obtaining federal funds. Finally, this study urges planners to transmit the message that individual travel behavior affects the quality of our living environments.

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The author has granted permission for their work to be available to the general public.
Keywords
BUS RAPID TRANSIT, LAND USE, MASS TRANSIT, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, SAN ANTONIO, TRANSIT MODES
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Department
Architecture