1. Category:
Planning & Environment
Question:
Is there a webpage I can consult to learn more about FTA’s NEPA process?
Answer:
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2. Category:
Planning & Environment
Question:
Is the Simplified Trips on Project Software (STOPS) described in the FTA New/Small Starts policy guidance available to the public? How does one obtain a copy?
Answer:
STOPS is the simplified model for fixed-guideway ridership forecasts that FTA promised in the new regulation on capital projects. FTA has completed development of the model and it is available on the following FTA webpage: http://www.fta.dot.gov/grants/15682.html. In brief, STOPS uses: * GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) files to describe metro-area transit service in a nationally consistent way; * CTPP2000 files to describe metro-area worker flows in a nationally consistent way; * metro-area demographic forecasts to move the flows to some later year; * metro-area highway impedances to describe zone-to-zone highway conditions; * a nested logit model to predict transit/transit-access shares of the (factored-to-trips) work flows; * parallel factoring and a logit mode-choice model for HBO trips; * predicted HB transit trip ends to derive flows and a logit mode-choice model for NHB trips; * calibration against 10 fixed-guideway systems based on their detailed rider surveys; * validation against count data for 14 other fixed-guidway transit systems based on their count data; * national parameters (coefficients and calibration constants) with a localized calibration to each metro area as part of its application. STOPS predicts zone-to-zone transit travel by trip purpose, peak/off-peak periods, access-mode, and household auto-ownership. It assigns the transit trips to the GTF networks and reports station-to-station trip tables and rider volumes on lines/links. STOPS knows nothing about transit travel by students at major educational institutions or large special generators (airports, ballparks, etc.); so if those markets are important to specific forecasts, other methods will be needed to supplement STOPS-based forecasts. We estimate that it will take two weeks from a standing start to assemble the information, run STOPS, and interpret the results sufficiently to qualify them as "forecasts" -- the last a frequently omitted step, even with conventional models, unfortunately. And we're guessing that will shrink to one week for experienced users. STOPS has its own software except for some GIS functions whose main job is to relate the potentially different zone systems in the CTPP, the MPO's demographic forecasts, and the MPO's highway impedances. So, users will need GIS software but no travel-forecasting software to apply STOPS. STOPS is entirely optional. So sponsors that have ready-to-go regional models or incremental data-driven models at their disposal may choose to forego any STOPS application. And sponsors who don't like STOPS forecasts can use their own models instead. Standard FTA QC requirements (data, validation, inspection of forecasts) apply where the forecasts are prepared with locally developed methods. FTA reviews of STOPS-based forecasts won’t need to deal with data, validation, or the methods used to prepare forecasts.
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3. Category:
Planning & Environment
Question:
My account on FTA.gov says that I'm subscribed to a variety of email lists, including all planning-related newsletters, but I did not receive the latest one regarding final rule changes to transportation planning. Our Director forwarded me the email -- that's how I found out about it. I've checked my SPAM and junk folders but had no luck. Anyway, I was wondering if someone could please verify that I'm subscribed to these email alerts. Thanks!
Answer:
Hello. You are receiving bulletins through GovDelivery, FTA's electronic e-blast system. You signed up for GovDelivery through our website. At that time, you chose specific categories to indicate your interest in receiving updates about various FTA programs and initiatives. You can check your GovDelivery subscription to see whether the categories you've selected are up to date. Go to https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOTFTA/subscriber/new and enter your email address, then "submit." The categories you chose will be checked. You can uncheck or select new categories as you wish, then "submit." The planning rule GovDelivery bulletin we sent last week went to a variety of categories, including Planning and Environment.
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