Decision Analysis to Address Extreme Weather: Extreme Weather Effects on Ridership and Modeling the Decision to Invest in Canopy Coverage

cta-extreme-weatherThis project applies a decision analytic methodology that takes considerations of extreme weather events to quantify and assess canopy investment options. The project collected data for two cases studies in two different transit agencies: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Utah Transit Authority (UTA). The CTA case focuses on rail transit station coverage and the UTA analysis focuses on bus stop canopy coverage.

The report is constructed in three parts. Part I presents the decision analysis approach and overall project design. Part II presents analysis to assess how canopy coverage effects ridership and revenue on extreme weather days. Part III integrates the analysis from Part II and other data into a final decision tree to present a workable decision model.

Principal Investigator(s):

Eric Welch, PhD
Director, Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies
Arizona State University

P.S. Sriraj, PhD
Director, Urban Transportation Center
University of Illinois at Chicago

Participants:

Eric Welch, PhD
Director, Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies
Arizona State University

P.S. Sriraj, PhD
Director, Urban Transportation Center
University of Illinois at Chicago

Qing Miao, PhD
Center for Science, Technology and Environmental Policy Studies, Arizona State University

 

Status:

09/05/2016

Objective:

Researchers set out to demonstrate how selection among different types of station coverage infrastructure may mitigate the loss of ridership due to extreme weather. The decision model includes the direct costs of each choice (e.g., technology) but also the indirect costs such as ridership losses associated with events caused by extreme weather. It includes probabilities associated with the different events identified in the model and perceived risks and risk tolerances of decision makers.

Strategy:

The work provides an initial decision tool approach that may be of use to transit decision makers as one input to help with complex decisions that require consideration of extreme weather effects on transit.

Expected Results or Products:

Findings of the two case studies of the service areas of CTA and UTA show that extreme weather effects ridership differently depending on station-level characteristics. In the CTA study, research showed that different types of rail stations have differential impact on ridership on bad weather days. In particular, subway ridership is significantly higher than that at the above-ground stations when extreme precipitation occurs. While the results did not show that canopy coverage on exposed train platforms affects ridership levels on extreme weather days, the research team considers this still an open question due to data limitations (only one year of data was used) and the lack of variability in station canopy coverage (most CTA ‘El’ stations have high levels of canopy coverage). In the case of UTA analysis, microdata analysis shows that installation of shelters and benches does mitigate the negative effects of weather on ridership on extreme hot and cold days. In addition, shelters also reduce the ridership loss due to heavy precipitation.

Download:

Download the report

Contact:

P.S. Sriraj
Urban Transportation Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
412 South Peoria Street, Suite 340
Chicago, IL 60607
Voice: (312) 413-7568
Fax: (312) 413-0006
Email: sriraj@uic.edu

Sponsors:

The Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
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