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cltheel.sdl

Denver and Charlotte Transit and Weather Data

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Hey guys, I'm doing my city planning final paper on the link between public transit ridership and weather to see if there are drastic changes between ridership and weather extremities. I was wondering if you guys would know where I would find daily (or monthly) ridership data for Denver and Charlotte (light rail and/or bus system) as well as weather data so I can plot ridership vs. temp/precip/humidity? I looked on the NOAA site for weather, but I couldn't find the historical data, and I don't know what site to use for Denver and Charlotte transit data. I would really appreciate all your help.

Thanks.

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Whoa! City planning, and you're going to delve into transit? Get ready for a lot of frustration my friend!... :w00t: ...Just kidding. Just keep lots of hard liquor around and you'll be fine. Seriously though, we do need more planners that understand transit.

I can help you some with Denver, but not a lot with Charlotte, although some of these will apply to both. So try these for starters:

RTD-Denver/Reports

Denver Regional Council of Governments

Bureau of Transportation Statistics/Search Filter

APTA~Resource Library

The first two are for Denver's transit agency, RTD, and the MPO, "Dr. Cog". Most of the published stats you get here are very generic, separated by quarters, or months at best -- not very useful for sharpshooting weather events I'm afraid. What I might suggest is that you contact the Public Info people at RTD, tell them exactly what you need, and perhaps they can give you more exacting trend information that isn't put out for public consumption, then you can crosscheck with your NOAA info.

RTD~Public Information Page

The latter two are for the USDOT's BTS search site, and for APTA's resource page which, although membership is required for some search functions through their site, they have some quick links to the outside (including BTS) that can be useful for whatever agency.

General trends from Denver, just from my own observation...On LRT there is little variation between rain and clear days with ridership, and virtually no flux in capacity. On snow days, ridership goes up slightly, while capacity is restricted by a small degree due to train glitches (not from mobility, but from systemic delays caused by sticking doors and the occasional switch problem). Denver does not shut down completely, even during blizzard conditions, although the activity level does tend to go down in proportion to the severity of the WX event. LRT tends to maintain a regular schedule, while the bus side is subject to volatility from the traffic grid, as could be expected. If you go through the list of Customer Satisfaction Surveys on the top link, they have some useful demographics, from which you can extrapolate data.

By the way, keep in mind also that RTD's ridership figures spike on special event days (of which there are quite a few considering that LRT serves the venues for the Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rockies plus a whole gaggle of concerts and conventions downtown. So you may need to do some extra crosschecking to get reliable data. In effect, you'll have jam-packed trains to Bronco or Avalanche games even on blizzard or thunderstorm days, while you may have a good number of regulars stick to their cars during a downpour or ultra cold day (like we have now) just to go to work. It's all a question of where you have to go, what the parking there costs, and what's at the other end.

Good luck!

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