[PDF] ACRP REPORT 4. Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM

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Ground Access to Major Airports by Public Transportation

middle of the spectrum, shared-ride vans and dedicated rolling stock can be designed to accommodate baggage from the outset. A key issue in the design of a program of public mode services to airports is baggage accommodation, by one strategy or another.

The Importance of Baggage-Handling Strategies The Duration of Air Trips The composition of the potential market for public mode airport ground access services and the extent to which that market is constrained by the need for multiple bags are important considerations toward planning ground access services. The amount of baggage is largely influenced by the duration of the trip, and the duration of the trip is largely influenced by the purpose of the trip. U.S. aviation trips as a whole are divided evenly between those of less than 5 nights in duration and those of more than 5 nights. Specifically, 46% of all airline passenger trips are less than 4 nights, 34% of trips are between 4 and 6 nights, and 20% have duration more than 6 nights (39). Trip purpose has a strong influence on trip duration, as the business trip tends to be shorter than the leisure trip. Data from the American Travel Survey show that for airline passengers traveling on business, 62% of the air trips take 3 nights or less; only 38% of business trips take 4 or more nights. For the non-business trips, fully 65% take 4 or more nights. Looking at long-duration trips, only 11% of business trips take more than a week, while 26% of non-business trips take more than a week. The non-business traveler emerges as a major problem for baggage handling. Effect of Trip Duration on Choice of Ground Access Mode Home End of the Long-Distance Trip. The duration of the trip affects the choice of ground access modes in a variety of ways: at the home end of the long-distance trip, longer duration lowers automobile use; at the non-home end of the trip, longer duration increases automobile use. Looking first at the home end of the trip, the propensity to choose alternatives to the automobile increases as the trip duration gets longer. This fact reflects, among other things, the cumulative costs of several nights of parking, which increases linearly with trip duration. For trips of 3 nights or less, 14% of U.S. airport ground access is by modes other than the private automobile; for trips of more than 6 nights, 18% of U.S. airport ground access is by mode other than the private automobile. Here, the factor of parking costs is becoming more pronounced with the increase in duration. (The park-at-airport mode decreases from 64% of those traveling for less than 4 nights, down to 38% of those traveling for more than 6 nights.) Non-Home End of the Long-Distance Trip. At the non-home end of the long-distance trip, parking fees are no longer relevant, and the same pattern does not occur. For those trips of a week or less, 28% of the airline passengers use a mode other than being picked up by private automobile or renting an automobile. For trips of more than a week, only 23% of airline passengers choose such an alternative mode. The widest variation by trip duration occurs in the “pick-up” mode, which jumps from 32% for the trips of less than 4 nights, to 49% for trips of more than 1 week. Trips of long duration, which tend to be for non-business purposes, are marked by the willingness of friends, relatives, and colleagues to provide the pick-up and drop-off services. This form of ground access serves as a serious competitor to all public modes for the long-duration trip. Conclusion. Baggage will be an issue in the selection of public mode trips. Overall, the data on trip duration suggest that fully half of the trips to and from airports are made as part of a trip of 5 nights or longer. For the shorter duration trips, public modes face serious competition from the park-at-airport mode, while for the longer duration trips the strongest competition tends to come from the pick-up/drop-off mode, particularly at the non-home end of the full trip. In the U.S. experience, the non-business trip tends to provide a stronger market for public mode services than the business trip; the bad news is that these leisure trips tend to be of longer dura-

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