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California State Rail Plan 2018

14 December 2017

Steer Davies Gleave is part of a consulting team that developed the 2018 State Rail Plan for Caltrans. In an initial phase, our firm was leading the data collection and preparation of service plan concepts for the rail plan. An intensive inventory of the existing rail services and infrastructure was conducted and provided the basis for the initial concept development. These initial concepts were designed to provide high quality rail service in the State of California and enable seamless door-to-door travel within the State. 

After completion of the first phase of the Network Integration – Strategic Service Plan, Steer Davies Gleave continued to support Caltrans as part of a larger consulting team to develop the State Rail Plan concepts as well as the evaluation of the ridership impacts and related economic impacts. Our responsibilities included support for the concept development, data analysis for purposes of ridership analysis and development of a customized ridership market analysis tool that is used to evaluate high-level ridership impacts of proposed service plan concepts.

Steer Davies Gleave was providing analyses and conversions of data that translate high-level strategic service plan definitions (“netgraphs”) into data that can be coded into the ridership market analysis tool (RMAT).  This model framework methodology that Steer Davies Gleave developed reflects station and transfer conditions as well as the proposed connectivity between different rail services and local access modes.

The market analysis tool is based on detailed model input data from a traditional demand model but uses the impedances and demand information to estimate rail market shares and ridership potentials using a simplified process.  The tool is able to differentiate between coordinated and un-coordinated schedules and is sensitive to changes in service frequencies, reductions in travel-time and changes to travel times in competing air and car travel.

The analysis compares base year and outer year ridership for existing and proposed service plan concepts and the output was used to gauge whether the supply and demand in various corridors are aligned or if there is the need to adjust services to achieve a balanced condition. The output of the ridership assignment process was utilized in benefit-cost evaluations and environmental benefit estimation of the rail vision.

Findings and summaries of the analyses were discussed with Stakeholders form rail operators and rail planning agencies to receive feedback and build consensus for the final service plan vision.

The Draft Rail Plan was recently published and feedback from the public is currently being solicited.  The Final Rail Plan will be published in 2019 and is the basis for a long-term strategy to develop the State Rail System according to the goals identified the Vision statement of the Rail Plan.

Tags: Rail
Category: Press releases

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