Technology And Mass Transportation Essay Research Paper

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Technology And Mass Transportation Essay, Research Paper At a time when mankind is applying technology in our daily life at unprecedented speed, and as the number of cars on the road is increasing and creating more congested highways than ever before, the number of people who opt to take advantage of mass transit and other alternative transportation continues to grow as well. Metro-North Railroad, the second largest commuter line in the United States, provides more than 200,000 trips each weekday and some 62 million trips per year in New York and Connecticut. “Choosing mass transit or ridesharing as a means to and from work has never had more advantages,” said Philip J. Clark, regional director for the New York State Department of Transportation. “With the increase in

the number of riders on mass transit, train and bus schedules are being changed to accommodate additional riders, allowing more freedom in choosing departure times to and from work. Sharing the ride also reduces traffic congestion, is less stressful than driving alone, reduces air pollution, and allows riders the time to do other things that cannot be done while driving alone.” Choosing alternative transportation is also financially beneficial. With the rising cost of auto care, leaving a single-occupancy vehicle at home can mean big savings from the money saved on gas and insurance to wear and tear on the car. Mass transit has also served as a way to increase capacity safely (by allowing closer vehicle spacing, with computers that react faster than humans to avoid collision),

reduce travel time (by operating vehicles at higher speeds), and reduce costs. Mass transit as well requires less fuel consumption and emits less pollutant per rider than cars; requires less pavement to be laid, fewer parking garages etc.; and occupies less vehicle space on the road, therefore reducing traffic jams. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has established the Advanced Public Transportation Systems (APTS) Program as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s initiative in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). ITS, the integration of several information and control technologies, is a tool to enhance mobility, energy efficiency, and environmental protection. The APTS program was established to encourage innovation and to develop worthwhile approaches that

use advanced technology to improve public transportation and ridesharing. Computer-based vehicle tracking systems are being used extensively by transit agencies to monitor their vehicles. Over the last four years, their uses by transit systems in the U.S. has increased more than 200 percent, and there are now at least 58 automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems in operation, under installation, or planned for the future. The benefits of AVL are numerous and varied. Most systems experience more efficient and on-time operations as their schedules are improved and are better able to respond to disruptions. Safety and security typically increase, since the dispatcher knows immediately where to send help. AVL information also provides very useful inputs to passenger information and

traffic signal preferential treatment systems. Traveling at the pace of our ever technological society has allowed geographic information systems (GIS) to improve the mass transit business. GIS combines an electronic map and a relational database and allows users to visualize and analyze relationships between non-related data whose only common feature is that they are in the same basic location. A GIS has four necessary components: computer hardware, a software package, data, and people to design and use it. There are many uses for GIS in transit, including display and analysis of facilities, emergency call location, trip planning route choices, on-time performance data, and origin and destination of clients. Travelers can access this information through a variety of media,