Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Sheltering from the Storm

Sheltering from the Storm

“Decision(s): The Minister approved the installation of seven bus shelters at the following bus stop locations: Red Houses Shops S, Clos Orange N, The Limes, Rose Farm E, La Hougue Avenue S, Hameau de la Mer W and Airport Garages N.”

“Reason(s) for Decision: To provide bus shelters at suitable locations to improve facilities for bus users, in accordance with the States of Jersey Strategic Plan and the Sustainable Transport Policy.”

Eddie Noel is continuing with his predecessors policy - Mike Jackson - who initiated the policy  and Kevin Lewis who continued it - of getting more bus shelters available, and while this may not make headline news in the JEP, I think it is of vital importance for a sustainable transport system. 
The reason for this is that when the weather is fine, more people tend to use the bus, when it is bad, they take to their cars. 

As a report in the Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2012 noted:

“Adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, fog, wind, or extreme temperatures may cause people to shift transportation modes or avoid traveling at all. The issue is important to transit agencies. If weather was shown to have a significant impact on ridership, agencies could take steps to mitigate the effects of weather, such as installing more shelters at transit stations, in order to maximize passenger comfort and ridership.”

The study looked at statistics in Pierce County, Washington as a sample case study, but also noted that the results are generally applicable elsewhere. 

In particicular, regarding buses, it commented that:

“Rain was the only variable that was significant in all four seasons. One inch (2.5 cm) of rain resulted in decreases in ridership of 1,777 (5.05%) for winter, 3,650 (9.73%) for spring, 2,726 (7.36%) for summer, and 2,304 (5.97%) for autumn. These results are logical, as rainy weather makes waiting for a bus in the rain unpleasant if no shelter is provided. When it rains, many people likely switch to automobiles for transportation if that mode provides a more comfortable experience.”

So one significant fact is that more shelters can help. As the report notes: “One way to improve the comfort of waiting passengers is by placing shelters at stops, which provide weather protection and a place to sit”

The addition of 7 extra bus stops in Jersey will certainly help retain passengers in bad weather, and is to be commended.

And more are on the way. Deputy Eddie Noel was kind enough to give me the details, saving the cost of a Freedom of Information request. He noted:

“We have 48 bus shelters of "our own" (TTS) in situ (of which 41 have been installed since 2010).  A further four await installation, the contractor is making good progress and it looks like they'll all be finished this side of Christmas. That will take us to 52 TTS shelters “

“In addition there are another 20 waiting shelters owned/administered by other parties e.g. Parishes”

“That makes 72 in total as at the end of 2015.”

And he also informs me by email that more are to come during 2016.

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