Abstract

This study evaluates the benefits and costs of smart transit technologies at San Luis Obispo Transit, a small transit operation. In 2001, the California Department of Transportation test-deployed its new program entitled “Efficient Deployment of Advanced Public Transportation Systems (EDAPTS)”. The purpose of the field study was to make low-cost, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technologies readily available to small and medium size transit properties. The system developed applies digital communications links, open source designs, solar powered real-time arrival signs, and innovative data links to improve transit service and safety at a total investment of $150,000 (2007 dollars). An evaluation was undertaken in 2007 to determine the economic justification of the program and assess the case for commercialization. Benefit-cost analyses were conducted for 5-, 7-, and 10-year service lives of EDAPTS components using discount rates of 5%, 7% and 10%. A conservative analysis excluded consumer surplus as benefits and shows benefit-cost ratios of 3.7 to 6.1. With consumer surplus, the ratios range from 4.5 to 7.5. This indicates that $1 invested in EDAPTS resulted in nearly $4 of benefits to constituent groups. Since the benefit-cost ratios substantially exceed 1.0 in all cases, results confirm that EDAPTS provides an economically sound smart transit solution for small and medium size transit properties seeking low-cost easily deployed ITS solutions.

Disciplines

Urban, Community and Regional Planning

Publisher statement

The definitive version is located at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/am/2009/am/default.asp.

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URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/crp_fac/43