Advanced technologies are deployed in the transit industry in an effort to improve the safety, reliability, and efficiency of public transportation services. The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority's (CCRTA) Advanced Public Transportation System (APTS) project is an application of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to fixed route and paratransit operations in a rural setting. The Cape Cod APTS was initiated through a partnership between the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA) and the Moakley Center for Technological Applications at Bridgewater State College. This report evaluates Phases I and 2 of the project, which were implemented between 1997 and 2000 and included the following components:
- An automatic vehicle location system (AVL) using global positioning systems (GPS) technology
- Mobile data computers (MDC) on transit vehicles
- A dedicated radio system for data transmission between MDCs and dispatchers
- A "silent alarm" feature
- A state of the art fast local area network (LAN) at the CCRTA operations center
- AVL/MDC host software that includes a geographic information system (GIS) mapping system to display real time vehicle locations at the operations center
- An Internet site with GIS mapping so that customers can view real-time bus locations
Among the main goals for the Cape Cod APTS were improving dispatch operations, reducing the cost per passenger trip, providing better transit information, enhancing the amount and quality of data available for planning and analysis, improving safety and security for transit operators and customers, and promoting open, interoperable systems in ITS.
This evaluation report provides findings on the benefits and impacts of the APTS to the CCRTA and its customers, including operational benefits, costs, impacts on system-wide performance measures, and technological, institutional and other issues related to the deployment. A set of lessons learned is also presented.
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