The myriad of of transportation terms used by government agencies on a local, state and national level can make it hard to follow the issues and understand what is really being discussed. Below are some of the more frequently used transportation terms, acronyms and agencies. If you think of one we haven't included, send an email to email@example.com and we will be happy to add it!
AA – Alternatives Analysis
A detailed study of alternative transportation improvements to address specific issues in a corridor. All feasible alternatives are analyzed, resulting in the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) selected for implementation.
BRT – Bus Rapid Transit
Enhanced bus system that seeks to achieve a high quality transit service like light rail, at a lower cost using buses. BRT vehicles are generally low-floor, high capacity, low-emission buses, with rapid fare collection and infrastructure development. BRT runs in exclusive rights-of-way where possible.
CAC – Citizens Advisory Committee
The CAC is a required committee of the TBARTA Act and is comprised of appointed citizens from each county and transit provider in the region. The CAC's job is to review transportation issues and topics and make recommendations to the TBARTA Board.
Commuter rail is a transit mode that is a multiple car electric or diesel propelled train. It is typically used for local, longer-distance travel and can operate alongside existing freight, passenger rail lines or in exclusive rights of way.
Transit service that is provided on a regular, fixed-schedule basis along a specific route. Each fixed-route trip serves the same origins and destinations, unlike demand service.
A sales tax imposed on the sale of fuel, often dedicated to transportation and/or the construction of roads. Gas taxes may be imposed at the local, state and federal level.
Transit service using rail cars driven by electric power usually drawn from a third rail, configured for passenger traffic and usually operated on exclusive rights of way. Generally longer trains and longer station spacing than Light Rail.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV)
Refers to high occupancy vehicle lanes or carpool lanes, which are lanes reserved for people who share a ride in a carpool, vanpool and/or buses, or who drive a motorcycle. These lanes are marked with a diamond symbol and HOV signs.
High Occupancy Toll (HOT)
Refers to managed lanes, which employ pricing and vehicle eligibility to maintain free flow conditions and provide high occupancy vehicle (HOV) preference.
Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)
The application of information technologies, particularly GIS, to improve efficiency and safety of transportation systems.
A mode of transit that operates on steel rails and obtains its power from overhead electrical wires. LRT may operate in single or multiple cars on separate rights-of-way or in mixed traffic.
High occupancy toll (HOT) lanes that employ pricing and vehicle eligibility to maintain free flow conditions and provide high occupancy vehicle (HOV) preference.
Refers to the availability of multiple transportation options, especially within a system or corridor. A multimodal approach focuses on the most efficient way to move people or goods from place to place, whether by bus, trolley, light rail, streetcar, cable car and/or ferry systems.
Transportation service provided for persons who, because of functional disabilities (physical, cognitive or other) cannot access or use the public transportation system.
Designated parking areas for automobile drivers who then board transit vehicles from these locations.
Passenger transportation service, operating on established schedules along designated routes or lines with specific stops.
Publicly owned land that can be acquired and used for transportation purposes.
Development of commercial space, housing, services and job opportunities close to public transportation, thereby reducing dependence on automobiles, discouraging sprawl, improving air quality and helping to create a new type of community for residents. TODs are typically designed to include a mix of land uses within a quarter-mile walking distance of a transit stop.
An organization (public or private) providing local or regional multi-occupancy vehicle passenger service.
Transit Management Committee
A required committee of the TBARTA legislation, the TMC is comprised of the executive directors or general managers of each of the existing transit providers in the region.
Vehicle miles traveled. The total number of miles driven by a vehicle within a time period/geographic area. Used also in reference to fees associated with vehicle miles traveled as opposed to fuel usage.
Transit vehicles such as ferries that operate on water or oceanic routes.