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

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of each partner in the collaboration; however, it does not have a clear locus of power to make—and to complete—the implementation of complex decisions. The two key challenges to the integration of services provided by separate institutions are (1) the integration of information, to describe the full multisegment trip, and (2) the integration of fare collection media to pay for the full multisegment trip. The project components most susceptible to problems in multiyear implementation are passenger information systems. Customer service, operations, and technical staff from all the operating agencies need to provide input into the design process. The customer perspective must truly be understood by all and a commitment must be made to do what is best for the customer, regardless of historical leanings and potentially conflicting policies.

The study report observes that the demands of an intermodal transfer station are unique; the passenger is different and has different expectations and needs. Therefore, the rail services themselves must be designed for the unique role; the space and amenities needed in a rail station and in the rail car are different for a long-distance traveler with luggage. Most important, the report documents the extensive coordination activities undertaken during the capital planning and construction process, and observes that such an intermodal mandate needs to be continued into the operational phase; once the service is running, the continued attention to service quality has to rise above single-agency budgets and priorities.

Integrated Baggage and Ticketing Strategies

Making the Collaboration Work. In the collaborative model of implementation adopted in Newark, there is no one single lead agency that can mandate the others to follow its recommendations; everything must be negotiated. This model causes each agency representative to, in effect, play two separate roles: the advocate for and defender of the agency’s legitimate self-interest, and the advocate of the best end-state for the customer. Rick Mariani of New Jersey Transit told a member of the research team, “each designee has to have an expansive view of the world beyond the organization’s boundaries. That view must be customer centered, that the outcome must be best for the customer.” The study report concludes: “For many in the rail agencies, the project was ‘just another station.’ A major lesson to be learned from this experience is that this is not true: it is not just another station . . . It is a facility in which a higher level of service is matched with a significantly higher fare. It has been argued elsewhere that the future of the public transportation will hinge on the ability to create separate market products for separate market groups, something the publicly subsidized industry has been understandably reticent to do. Indeed, a recent study sponsored by the Transportation Research Board concluded that there is no ‘market’ for airport ground access services; there are a series of unique market segments.” (44)

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