Fast Tracked: A Tactical Transit Study | TRB

Type: Research Guide

Status: Published September 2019

In 2019, Street Plans produced a research report for The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Titled FastTracked: A Tactical Transit Study, the report examines transit projects that use low-cost materials and accelerated timelines to expand transit.

Cities across North America are looking for ways toaccelerate and improve transit projects more than ever before, which is why our latest research report offers a comprehensive look into projects that use low-cost materials and accelerated timelines to expand transit.  Projects included show improved transit speed, access, and ridership at a fraction of both the cost and time of conventional projects. This is a first of its kind study that focuses on how North American cities are increasingly turning to the Quick-Build methodology to expand transit options, improve existing service, and increase ridership.

Tactical transit projects are those that are implemented within 1-2 years of inception, and cost under $200-300,000. Projects were divided into three categories based on their intended outcome: speed and reliability, access and safety, and rider experience. Among the most notable findings were:

  • 6.7 miles of new, dedicated bus lanes piloted, with an average project timeline (conception to implementation) of 11 months
  • Projects in the Speed + Reliability category saw transit travel time savings from 20%-50%, with the most common savings being 20%-30%.
  • Projects in the Access + Safety category showed increases in ridership of up to 17%.

The report details 20 bus and streetcar “Tactical Transit” projects that showed improvements to speed, access, ridership, and rider experience. Whether it’s transporting commuters faster from A to B, reconfiguring a roadway to increase safety for all users, or making simple improvements to provide a more comfortable ride, these projects produced positive results in the short-term, while longer term planning continues.