Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
Thank you for standing by. All participants will be in listen only mode until the QA session. Now I'll turn the meeting over to Ms. Jennifer Symoun. Ms. Symoun, you may begin.
Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Symoun and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Urban Goods Movement. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.
Today we'll have three presenters, Arun Chatterjee of the University of Tennessee, Marsha Anderson Bomar of StreetSmarts, and Eugene Nishinaga of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District's Research and Development Division.
Marsha Anderson Bomar is President and Founder of Streetsmarts. Street Smarts is a transportation planning and engineering consulting firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Anderson Bomar has led a number of projects involving urban goods movement, including the Truck Origin-Destination Study for the Texas Department of Transportation; the Georgia DOT Study of Hourly Truck Movements in the Atlanta Region; the Delaware Department of Transportation Statewide Freight and Goods Movement Database; the Commercial Vehicle Roadside Origin-Destination Survey for the Florida DOT District 7 and Commercial Vehicle Surveys for the Hillsborough County, Florida MPO.
Ms. Anderson Bomar holds a Bachelor and a Masters degree from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in Mathematics and Transportation Planning and Engineering, respectively. She also holds a Masters of Civil Engineering with a concentration in Transportation from Princeton University. She is the author of more than two hundred publications and studies.
Eugene Nishinaga is currently the Manager of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District's Research and Development Division. He has held this position since 1991 prior to which he managed major projects to upgrade BART's train control system. As manager of an R&D Division for a transit operation his areas of technical involvement have included advanced energy storage devices, high temperature superconducting cable applications, artificial intelligence based diagnostic systems, active noise cancellation, fare collection technologies, non-destructive testing, and advanced control systems.
Eugene is currently a founding member of the Coalition for a New California Infrastructure (CNCI) and works closely with the University of California Berkeley to promote technology research in the fields of transportation, energy, and telecommunication.
Prior to his position at BART, Eugene was employed at the Boeing Aerospace Company where he originally served as an electronic circuit design engineer for the Morgantown People Mover system and later as a lead design engineer for the FTA-sponsored Advanced Group Rapid Transit (AGRT) research and development program. Eugene is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley with a degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences.
I'd now like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the lower right side of your screen. Please make sure you are typing in the thin text box and not the large white area. Please also make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. Once we get through all of the questions that have been typed in, the Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone. If you think of a question after the seminar, you can send it to the presenters directly, or I encourage you to use the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The LISTSERV is an email list and is a great forum for the distribution of information and a place where you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of Freight Planning. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.
Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site within the next week. Due to the size of the file, recorded files are available for viewing/listening purposes only and cannot be saved to your own computer. We encourage you to direct others in your office that may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.
The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar will also be available within the next week. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.
So, we are going to go ahead and get started. Again, our topic today is Urban Goods Movement. Our first presenter will be Arun Chatterjee of the University of Tennessee. If you think of questions during the presentation, or during any of the other presentations, please type them into the chat area on the screen. Questions will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. Arun, if you give me a minute I will bring up your presentation and let you know when you can get started.
Thanks a lot, Jennifer, for the introduction. I really appreciate this opportunity to discuss a transportation problem which is fairly common in urban areas but is often overlooked. The problem deals with curbside loading of trucks in downtown areas. Before I get into the specific issue of truck loading an unloading, I would like to review how it fits into the overall scope of Urban Goods Movement planning. From the broad perspective which requires an understanding of commodity flows [ Indiscernible ] internal movements, in usually issues related to these different types of movements that are different. What I will be addressing involves internal [ Indiscernible ] and more specifically [ Indiscernible ] in downtown areas. Please keep and mind that it is a very small subset of the entire transportation system and operation in urban areas [ Indiscernible ] . Unfortunately, at these facts are often overlooked. Another fact is overlooked in many cases is that trucks do not have a suitable alternative to parking along the curb side because of the lack of off street space. What happens before that, traffic officials not recognizing these approaches from a negative stand point and often prohibit trucks from parking along curbside and expecting that to the problem would just go away [ Indiscernible ] they do not go away. The next slide actually makes that point. The inability to accommodate the needs of pickup and delivery trucks can result in huge economic cost. Just look at these figures. I'm sure report [ Indiscernible ] aware of how much penalty fee these companies like EPS, FedEx pay. This came out in a newspaper article a couple of months ago. And UPS paid 18. $7 million for parking fees in New York City and the last fiscal year. Of that tax paid a. $2 million. These are not trivial amounts. [ Indiscernible ] from the carrier side and the city cited, the have to be processed. All of this amounts to a huge cost. The fact which is overlooked is that these costs ultimately are passed on, passed on first to the businesses and terms of fees and then the businesses [ Indiscernible ]. One important issue and it is the availability of off street loading space [ Indiscernible ] unfortunately some cities failed to include requirements for buildings to provide adequate of St. Living space -- of St. [ Indiscernible ] so, the point I'm trying to make is that this issue has to [ Indiscernible ] work with land-use planners to seek long-term solutions. They're has been researched done standards for off street loading spaces available if one would look for it there. They're are usually related to the floor space of the buildings.
Coming back to the curbside space, we also have too recognize that the trucks are not the only users. They're are competed with automobiles, transit buses, tour buses. A fundamental question is who gets party and where at which location. What I am going to do, my presentation is going to forecast on just to of these vehicle types, the service vehicles and the trucks. This shows the different dimensions or elements or components of the whole issue of the design and operation of the curbside truck loading sounds. What are the things that the traffic officials need to address to have a comprehensive plan? These would include [ Indiscernible ] some decision about what types of vehicles to use, recognizing the need, location, where to locate these loading zones, then design issues like length of these, marking of these clearly to distinguish them from other types of automobile parking [ Indiscernible ] should be introduced last but not least is enforcement. I am going to address these one by one.
First, the types of vehicles. Policies should vary. Out not one policy should apply to all of the vehicles, because there are vehicles, different types of vehicles with different to need. Trouble pattern is different. Size is different. For example, the food and beverage trucks usually show up very early in the morning to supply the restaurant and other place. And in contrast to that, UPS and FedEx probably show up right after that or a little bit later, right after the morning rush-hour. So, these things have to be recognized and understood. Also, the difference between the service vehicles and trucks need to be addressed. This is a picture that should be very denier to you. These are legitimate users of the loading zones. [ Indiscernible ] service vehicles, what are the service vehicles? These are [ Indiscernible ] electricians and this is a typical example of that [ Indiscernible ] pick up trucks. They're are some pertinent questions related to these service vehicles. They usually do not involve heavy loads to be carried it would involve tools and things like that. So, the question would be, should these be allowed to use truck loading sound? Should the truck loading sound be [ Indiscernible ] trucks? And some cases, even station wagons qualifying [ Indiscernible ] specified clearly and they end up using the loading zones . Because the ordinance may read that any battle with commercial tags is eligible [ Indiscernible ] and station wagons could get the commercial tag under certain circumstances.
This is an example of a city that recognized this issue. In San Francisco, into years ago, [ Indiscernible ] was a week. They did not allow the station wagons, but they did allow the vans and SUVs. One thing to note in this picture, the have painted the curb with yellow. And a distinct painting it makes it stand out and differentiate it from other users. The new regulation clearly specified that the loading zones are for trucks with six or more wheels. Six wheels, you get the front axle will have one wheel on each side. [ Indiscernible ] to wheels and the rear axle will have four wheels, to on each side. Questions may arise whether this is too restrictive or not. It sometimes may eliminate a user. This policy, these issues have to be addressed when making policy is related to a loading zones. Location, where to put to top place in the loading zones [ Indiscernible ] wait for complaints or requests to come and [ Indiscernible ] analysis of the land use [ Indiscernible ] availability of alternatives [ Indiscernible ] that would be the way to go. [ Indiscernible ] how long those loading zones should be. They're are too short, good sized vehicles will not be able to get an and they would be would double parking and blocking traffic. [ Indiscernible ] they should be minimum 40 ft. long, to make sure that there are not to short. I mentioned about the color of the curbs. I don't think [ Indiscernible ] Institute of Transportation Engineers, I don't think the Manual on Uniform Traffic Devises has a specific color for the curbside painting. Maybe there should be a standard color. One thing that is very ideal for loading those sidewalk cut out S [ Indiscernible ] what I mean by this as a situation like this, you have to have wide sidewalk to be able to provide [ Indiscernible ] this could be used for bus stops also, when the vehicle will not block the regular traffic lane. And there would be sheltered from in separate. The opportunities for providing this kind of designing happen should be looked into.
Hours of operation and time limits are also something that has to be examined carefully. I have referred to this before that there are different types of trucks coming in and serving different types of businesses. [ Indiscernible ] there has to be some policies related to their recognizing the needs of customers. Customers are the shippers and receivers. These things have to be addressed.
The question of how to increase the turnover also should be addressed, for automobile parking, the turnover of just 5 meters and the time limit on the leaders, should that be used for the loading zones also? I think some cities have at meters for truck loading zones where. There is enforcement. I cannot over emphasize the need for enforcement. No policy can be, can work unless it is enforced. By enforcement, it's not just for the trucks double parking, which is usually what happens, the truck and of getting the ticket. Enforcement should be also for the automobile's misusing the loading zones. It is very well done -- well known that there is misuse and off streets [ Indiscernible ] their art spaces for trucks to park and not using the curb space, it might be occupied by a dumpster or automobile. These things need to be looked into and avoided. Be [ Indiscernible ] lot of tools. Of the too upset those who get involved in. Enforcement works.
Before I close, I would like to point out that we should not look overlook some special situations. Many streets go through redesigning processes, some streets [ Indiscernible ] for a variety of reasons, geometric standpoint or it is becoming fairly common that some cities are bringing an, bringing back an old parking to provide more parking [ Indiscernible ] restaurant customers to have, in all of those cases, the parking officials must not overlook the need for the trucks that will bring in goods to these restaurants [ Indiscernible ] district in New York City is very special, a Chinatown in New York City, there are very special. And these are appealing areas. They have special needs [ Indiscernible ]. At the same time, how to serve this building there has to be special accommodations, special arrangement made in these cases for delivering the goods in freight to these buildings. This is a scene just from Greensboro to point out that things like that happen an many cities and they do redesign. This should be looked up at as an opportunity to accommodate the needs for freight.
In conclusion, I would like to point out that this task of setting up loading zones and operating it should be taken seriously by traffic engineers or traffic officials. [ Indiscernible ] It varies from city to city, but I'd like to point out that we must not overlook the off street loading space. Ideally, there should be enough of street loading space so that trucks don't have to park on the street. It has been found in some cities like Chicago [ Indiscernible ] they are not much problem with on street parking [ Indiscernible ] carriers and businesses, we probably pay attention to the businesses, but the carriers are often overlooked. For some reason, they tend to keep quiet. But, they are realistic and they should be brought into the decision making process. Lastly, I would like to recognize where I got the pictures from [ Indiscernible ] with that, I conclude my presentation. Thanks.
I have heard that people can't see the chat area. If this is the case, make sure that your screen isn't set on full screen mode. Hopefully, that will help anybody out and you will be able to see the chat area. We will open the phone line at the end for questions. With that, we are going to move on to Marsha Anderson Bomar of Streetsmarts. Marcia, if you give me just a second I will get representation up and you'll be able to get started.
Marsha Anderson Bomar:
Thank you, Jennifer. I appreciate that. First of all, I would like to say that the work that I am presenting is the initial output from a project that Street Smarts is conducting under contract to the Institute of Transportation Engineers for the Federal Highway Administration. We are wrapping up the first three-quarters of the project. As I get into the presentation, I will ask you for some input for the balance of the project. Today, I am going to be discussing two of the three case studies that we have developed so far. It has been a collaborative effort to assemble all of the information, all of the ideas and to put something together that we hope will be a capacity building tool for planners and maybe some engineers around the country. I am going to describe the focus of the project in just a moment. I'm going to talk a little bit about an issue that we encountered that we find interesting and challenging and that I hope collectively we can resolve. Then I'm going to go into talking about two specific case studies. Arun, I have to thank you because you did a great introduction about the general concepts of curbside management. I am going to get the chance to brag about New York City and some of the excellent things that have actually been implemented to deal with curbside management issues. Then, I am going to take you down to Florida for a little vacation and talk a little bit about freight villages and some of the other things that are being done in the Orlando metropolitan area. And I'm going to wrap up with a request for some input from the attendees and describing how we are going to finish out our product. The third case study I will not be discussing today is a case study that we did out in Los Angeles with Susan Bok. It deals with using GIS as a tool to improving truck movements. In a subsequent Talking Freight seminar or through our documentation which will probably be available next spring, you will get the details on that case study as well.
The whole idea that the Federal Highway Administration had when this project was initiated was to recognize that a lot of smaller cities, counties, agencies may not have the resources to embark on major studies to identify problems and solutions in their community with respect to good business. The idea was to put together descriptions of the problem and their solution to it ; ultimately leading to the transfer of applicable knowledge to all interested parties. To begin the process, we established a working group composed of freight professionals from both the public and private sector who have been involved in improving goods movements in one form or fashion for some period of time. We supplemented the dialogue with an extensive literature review where we identified planning studies that had been done. Now, I am going to get on my soapbox. The planners have done a great job, I believe, in documenting the studies that have been done to identify strategies for dealing with urban goods movement. It has been a little bit challenging to find those projects, which have actually been implemented. We worked very closely with the steering committee to track down and identify places where things have actually been done, and I hope that if by the end of this call, you know of other places where there are good things happening that you will let us know, because we do have an opportunity to develop one more case study. Once the case studies were identified, we went out and actually visited the areas, we met with the stakeholders, we gathered whatever documents were available, we took our own pictures, and then we came back and we wrote up the case studies.
The biggest challenge that we felt that we faced was the lack of documentation on the implementation portion of these projects. Even though you can't see the slides, I'm going to talk a little bit about the New York case study. There is a lot of activity that happens all day and all night long. Many of those activities require deliveries, require service vehicles as were mentioned. The New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) did a freight plan and they recognized that one of there big challenges was dealing with the traffic congestion, the accidents, all of the other consequences of having issues with not enough or at least apparently not enough curbside space to handle all of the truck traffic. A study was done, its recommendations led to the development of commercial vehicle loading zones that were very clearly marked. They also employ what they call muni meters. They are meters that employed a pricing strategy that is developed to encourage the vehicle to get their delivery done and then move on. So, the longer you stay, the higher the per hour price is or the per minute price is for staying in that parking space. And you can tell when you walk around there that there are a lot of regular users, because the have plastic stick-on pockets where they put their receipts from the meter. They did have a lot of enforcement to get the program up and running, and with great success. There were some obvious costs involved, one of them was increasing enforcement. If they had not increased enforcement, then there would be no impact from having to pay a fee to stay in a parking space once your time had elapsed. The benefits were maybe even greater than the New York City DOT anticipated. They've certainly expected to affect some changes with the availability of curb space. They did increase the average dwell time from three hours down to 45 minutes. Some of the other consequences were pretty powerful, but I am not sure of the percentage of reduction in excess in the area. By use of the meters, they did experience and increase in revenues. It was only in a limited area, because it was initially just an experiment. I don't think they collected $18.7 million from the muni meters, but it does offset the cost and leads too, perhaps, I would call it a more friendly environment for the operation of commercial vehicles.
As part of their overall development of strategies, they identified another opportunity to look at where the through trucks were moving or where they needed to move and they designated a series of through streets, and what that really means is that during the designated hours, you can turn onto one of those streets designated as a through street. You can see the dark lines on the grid map. Once you are on that street, you can't turn off of it until you reach the designated area. That makes for smoother operations at the intersections and it had the positive consequence of allowing them to have, on the through streets, only parking on one side for trucks and on the other streets, they were able to incorporate parking on both sides. They drew more of the through traffic to those streets. So, it opened up some capacity for some additional curbside space on the other streets. The cost of this was minimal. There was obviously some communication that needed to happen to inform citizens as well as commercial vehicle operators of the changes. New signage was also required to inform drivers of the changes.
The benefits have been enormous relative to the cost. The travel time on those streets has been dramatically decreased. They increased commercial vehicle parking spaces. This program decreased the total number of accidents, which mostly were accidents at intersections where the vehicles were turning or accident somewhere else along the through streets, between the trucks that were trying to move straight through the areas and the trucks that were maneuvering in and out of the curbside space is. A lot of very positive consequences have come about from this implementation.
We believe that there are a lot of elements of this program that are transferable to other areas. It is encouraging to hear that Arun has drawn the same conclusions that some kind of parking strategy, whether it is a pricing strategy or maybe an enforcement strategy, could benefit any downtown area. With the through streets program, you may choose to designate those restricted routes for all vehicles, as did New York, or simply restrict trucks from turning since the speed with which the trucks can turn is much slower, and it obviously eats up capacity of an intersection.
Orlando was our next case study. As everybody is aware, it is a major tourist area. It also has a burgeoning industrial area, which, because of the growth in the metro area, has become part of the core area. They don't necessarily want to relocate, but they do have to get their trucks in and out. So, MetroPlan, which is the planning organization for that area, embarked on a freight mobility plan. One of the things that they did that I believe helped to make this whole program quite successful was that rather than doing this in isolation, they actually opened this up and partnered with a large number of other cities and agencies to make sure that the whole idea of planning for freight movement, for goods and service movement, was consistently thought about and planned for through the entire area. The primary focus of our case study when we initially visited with the folks in Orlando, was to look at the freight village concept that they were promoting. We learned about several other things that I will discuss in a moment that were also very constructive. But, I want to mention first the whole idea of the freight villages. When you have a cluster of like developments, in this case, industrial developments that generate a lot of truck activity, if you can decide which are the appropriate streets to handle the truck activity and make sure that the streets are properly designed, that traffic signal timing works well to those kinds of vehicles, by virtue of making the system very friendly to those vehicles, they will tend to want to use those streets. The complementary part of that is then if you have any nearby residential or retail areas or office areas that need other types of vehicles to come and go easily, by clustering your freight related activities and providing the infrastructure for those activities to occur, you make the other environment more compatible with and friendly toward those other land uses. In Orlando, they developed a new zoning classification that will enable the development of these villages. They did a lot of analysis, some of which was based on GIS work to look at separate land uses and a variety of demographics. Then, they were able to identify areas that appeared to be either existing areas that could be further developed into these freight villages or into a whole new area where it made sense to begin the process of promoting the development of that area as a freight village. In addition to the intended consequences of developing those specific areas, there were some important, but unexpected accomplishments. In the work that they did, they developed a sense within the community of how important it is to incorporate freight in their process, there were able to incorporate language which specifically called out the need to address the truck related activities. Trucks have to be a regular part of the planning process. The City has set up regulations to protect the access that is needed for different activities to occur. The picture that you are looking at is a straight through historic downtown, the little city of Eatonville. What is special here is that, in just looking at some map, it looked like this road was a great place to develop a truck corridors. In a meeting with the stakeholders in the area, they worked to develop an alternate route that would serve the needs of the goods movement system while minimizing impacts on these citizens. They then acquired some funding to restore historic downtown Eatonville.
Another creative way they got input from the stakeholders was by giving truck drivers disposable cameras and saying that we know that as you drive around to see all kinds of things that are problems for you, so please take pictures and let us see what we can do to fix the situation. So, they took some great pictures where the turning radius was not sufficient, where traffic signals were not visibles or were not properly aligned. They found misaligned lanes that cause problems for them, railroad crossings that were problematic. And it gave the agency a wish list of projects, many of which have been fixed now and the next batch are on next year's program for fixing, that have enabled the truck activities to happen in a very productive and very neighborly way, a very constructive way. We think that a lot of these elements are transferable to other communities, developing any new zoning classification for freight villages, certainly something that larger communities may want to look at, communities that are perhaps evolving from rural or suburban to more urban type communities may choose to look at something like that. Involving truck drivers and identifying problems and helping them feel like their voices are heard by fixing some of those problems is also something any community can do.
The next steps for this project. This is where you get to be involved. We have three of the four case studies just about complete. We appreciate any information you might have about similar projects or anything else that has been implemented to improve goods movement in urban settings. With that, I am going to end my presentation with my contact information displayed. So, if you don't have the opportunity to share your thoughts with me at the end of this presentation I hope that you will call or e-mail me with your ideas and I will be happy to do the follow-up to see if we can develop your ideas into a case study. Thank you very much for your time.
Thank you, sure. At the end of the seminar, I will bring up a slide that has all of the presenters e-mail addresses. It will be back later. Before we move on to the next presentation, it is my understanding that nobody except for the presenters is seeing the chat area. I apologize for that. I think I have resolved the issue and I'm going to try to change something now that will enable everybody out there to see the chat area. If for some reason this does not work, as I said, we will be opening the phone lines for questions and answers afterwards. If this doesn't work and you are unable to see it, you will be able to ask questions over the phone afterwards.
Our next presenter is Eugene Nishinaga of the Bay Area Rapid Transit District's Research and Development Division. Gene, I am bringing up your presentation and you will be able to get started.
We are a rapid mass transit system. I think the nature of my talk is different from the previous to speakers. I am going to be discussing the potential of possibly carrying a high-value freight using the transportation system that we operate, which is a rail system, which some of the airports in the area and it goes across the San Francisco Bay. We believe that we may have a resource here that may be useful to alleviate some of the great issues here in the Bay area. But, before I get into the subject, I would like to have a commercial break and that we are doing the investigation of the feasibility of this under the auspices of the Coalition for a New California Infrastructure. The list of members includes major research institutions and California, UC-Berkeley, [ Indiscernible ] Labs, a research institute, and most recently, we have the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority. These are all major players in the field of transportation research.
The investigation of the potential freight, we are looking to do is, together with our colleagues at the Institute of Transportation Studies, they have a group there, the partners for Advanced Transportation and highways. It is with their research that we are looking to do an investigative study of whether or not there is a potential to carry freight on a rapid transit system. Where are we now? At this point, we haven't done much more than having a few discussions with Federal Express and also a discussion with ups as well, regarding whether or not there would be value in carrying their types of freight on a transit system like ours. And we are seeking funding for a preliminary feasibility study and we are expecting some of the money to come from the California Department of transit. Why are we looking at carrying freight on a rapid transit passenger carrying system? Depending on parties, the reason for doing this is different. From a government standpoint, the movement of goods is something that needs to be addressed.
Congestion management is key to the economic viability of the region. So, [ Indiscernible ] the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, California Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, [ Indiscernible ] Congestion Management Agency, these have all expressed an interest in having us all look at a case for carrying freight. From a sustainability transport [ Indiscernible ] and the Federal Transit Administration has a purchase and expressed an interest in seeing whether or not there are opportunities to share a track for both freight and passenger operations. From our standpoint, [ Indiscernible ] the rationale goes something like this. BART as a passenger carrying system, does have some excess capacity. Especially, when we look at the peripheral lines that feed the downtown areas, we have excess capacity there, because the way we have been constructed, multiple lines merge into one, which means that the lines, before they merged, have additional capacity. And, in the reverse commute direction, of course, we have plenty of capacity. So, the question is can this extra capacity because it put to good use and produce revenue, with the interest being that this additional revenue could offset the cost of the passenger carrying service. Let's take a look at what it is that we might potentially have to offer. As I mentioned, we have excess capacity in some lines in some directions.
We are a reliable form of transportation to and from many sites. I will show you a map. We offer long service hours, we do have a large fleet of rolling stock. And in fact, we do have some excess vehicles that could be put to use here. And we have several access points that could be used for freight. All this needs to be looked at as part of the feasibility study.
Let's take a look at traffic density. This is kind of a stick figure, but this is basically a simple figure to show how our lines are constructed. Up in the top, we have a line that comes down. From the top, there is a line that comes from Richmond and travels underneath the Bay. A line [ Indiscernible ] to this city of [ Indiscernible ], going by the San Francisco airport. We have a line that goes from San Francisco into [ Indiscernible ]. And we have a line goes through San Francisco and also from Fremont, a line that goes from Fremont through the city. What we have here is, the frequency of train operations on these peripheral lines, we are talking about a trains per hour down to Richmond, four per hour into San Francisco, with an average space of seven. Five minutes between trains.
Through San Francisco, we can operate 20 or more trains per hour. What that means is that the rail and the control system that operates the rail is able to support 20 trains per hour on a line. But, you see on the peripheral lines we are only operating 8 trains per hour, 12 trains per hour here. So, there is excess capacity if we choose to use it for a free application. Here is a map of the Bay area, and you see here that these are the strategic sites that are of interest, the Oakland International Airport and the San Francisco International Airport. As I click here, the EC the yards from which, where trains are maintained and where trains dispatchers at the beginning of the day. And you see here the travel time is 59 minutes [ Indiscernible ] to the yard. And green, you see the travel times from each of the locations. It is generally an hour from yard to yard. It is roughly about the travel time from each of the yards to another major yard. Superimposed on top of this, I show here and Red, the FedEx stations. These are the sites where FedEx has distribution centers. You can see here, especially in the Concord area, there is a distribution very close to the station, and the Oakland International Airport is a major entry point for the freight that FedEx carries into the Bay area. There is great interest in using [ Indiscernible ] to go from Concord to smack you see also a distribution center in Union City which is not far from the yard.
Our revenue service hours, we do operate standard 365 days a year. On weekdays, we start at 4:00 in the morning and go until midnight, Sunday is until midnight. We operate in seven minute frequencies [ Indiscernible ] and 20 minute frequencies in the evening. Clearly, we operate long hours reliably. Our general on-time performance, which means are arriving at the destination station within five minutes of our scheduled time, traveling and to end, we achieved approximately about 95% of the time, we are really able to arrive there within five minutes of there scheduled time. Our vehicles, they are approximately 70 feet long. Each vehicle can carry, without modifications, that's 1,002 under 25 cubic feet. Door cut off, this turns out to be a problem, it is 4 feet 6 inches wide in 6 feet 6 inches wide. And I was sure you the containers that FedEx wants to put on here, there are a little bit to big. We can carry about 30,000 pounds per car. Each car has 600 HP per car. We're able to achieve an acceleration rate of plus or minus to miles per hour per second. The show's a high throughput through our system, in reaching a maximum speed of 80 m.p.h. on peripheral lines. And terms of access points, here is a picture of a station platform. It's not likely that we are going to be able to use station platforms as loading forms. But during off-peak hours, there is plenty of space. Most likely, we'll be looking to load freight at some of our yards. Here is an aerial picture of the Hayward yard and. This is an access point that we have near downtown Oakland. This actually is the class -- closest to the airport. [ Indiscernible ] it is not clear whether not they can actually uses. In some of our yards, we actually have a platform in the yard that, since it is in the yard, passengers are not using this. However, it does allow easy access to a train that stops at this platform. If needed, we can remove seats. This car here, the top left-hand picture is a car with all the seats in it. The bottom right hand picture here is a car that is undergoing maintenance. It's pretty messy, but you can see that the seats have been removed. If necessary, that is an option we can explore.
FedEx has come to us with some possible scenarios. Low volumes and there would be to use on modified cars and add an extra car onto current trains that are already operating. This allows [ Indiscernible ] to be able to use the train operators and would not to have a separate operator for carrying freight. [ Indiscernible ] packages would be loaded and unloaded at passenger platforms. It's not clear that we will allow this to be done. I am not saying that we will be about to fall this an area peckers scenario number two has us carrying much higher volumes of freight. Here we are looking frames designed specifically for carrying freight and packages are being loaded and unloaded at the yards.
There are a number of issues that need to be examined here. First of all, integration of cargo at BART, there is a problem, because the existing containers that are being is our a little bit too large to fit through the door was. They are about an inch to wide and an inch to high. But, that means that we can get them through the doors as they currently exist. So, will have to do something, either modify the contenders or modify the vehicles. Modifying the containers is not an easy thing to do, because these contenders by all over the world. If they change it here, they got to change it for all of the destinations. Vehicle modification is an expensive thing for us to do. But, have been discussing things like can you take your containers and make to small containers out of them and either bolt them together, stack them together or put too into a larger container and then take the to smaller containers and put them on our trains. We have discussed possibly modifying our vehicles. You can see here, this is an existing vehicle that was going through some rehabilitation. We do have an doors as opposed to [ Indiscernible ] side doors. Or, we may consider building specific use of vehicles, a flatcar, for instance, this is just the model, but where the containers would be loaded without the outer shell of the car. What configuration would we use? If we had modified BART cars, which operate them with larger doors and our normal [ Indiscernible ] with one of the cars designated as a FedEx or UPS car. We could build flatcars and attach them the end. Or put them in the middle. All of these have issues. None of this is easy to do, in that is why the preliminary feasibility study needs to be done.
Infrastructure issues, do we have the facilities that we can make available to the function? Do we have extra vehicles? Week to have more vehicles than we actually need at the moment. So, I think that we may need to allocate other vehicles for this application. My screen keeps changing here. We must be able to accommodate retrofitting. Of course, all of that will cost. The cost of retrofitting will have to be covered by some source. Most likely it will not come from traditional sources of funding that BART draws from. There are a number of logistical issues. It must be able to travel through the system without interfering with passenger service is. It also cannot interfere with non revenue hours. But it must likely would have to have a staff of qualified personnel that are there just to plan an operate cargo service. And most importantly, the security issue. We would be very concerned that anything brought on board our system, there have to be great security him in the yards and once they are on the article. We have been looking at things, some technologies for monitoring the condition of freight containers. What you see here are pictures of some communication devices we could put into the containers that are brought on board to monitor the condition, has the cover been open, and transmit that there has been an intrusion of the contender in to some central facility so we can treat it with caution.
The system has been proposed for use in some seaports, putting them into contenders. Again, if anyone were to entry by drilling a whole in the container or striking with a tool, it would set off an alarm. Would send a signal to a central dispatch center, allowing law enforcement to be informed and dispatched to prevent theft or intrusion.
In closing, the planned next steps are to identify funding sources to do the study and apply for grants, to look at the various scenarios. We'd love to perform, then, the proof preliminary feasibility assessment based on requirements and needs, and determine if the business case exists. If we do find that it is feasible to do and there is a business case, only if there is a business case, we then look to do a follow on.
Thank you Gene. I hope everyone enjoyed these presentations.
I'd now like to start off the Q&A session with the questions posted online. Once we get through those questions, if time allows I'll open up the phone lines for questions. I'm actually not seeing any of the question so if the presenters could read off questions that they see, I would appreciate it. Gene, are there any questions for you?
How would the freight be transported to the final destination once it is off the trains?
At that point, it would be picked up by FedEx or UPS trucks and taken from the facility to their facility for distribution. We would be very concerned about what it will do for our on-time performance. As far as the cost of modification of vehicles, we have not looked at that it. We are really just at the discussion stage with FedEx and UPS. We have not done any actual estimating avoid a cost, what it would take. We are looking for funding for the preliminary study.
Another question, it says it sounds like the configuration of current transit cars is sufficient for mixed use. Would it be possible to have some sort of dedicated train rather than modified BART cars?
A lot of urban operators used to operate [ Indiscernible ] in the past. It sounds like there might be some opportunity for this. It also sounds like BART has dedicated [ Indiscernible ]. This might be a real opportunity within the airports, also between EPS, FedEx this month. But it is something that we want to give serious consideration too. What would it take to modify an existing car or to purchase cars that essentially have the same motor transit and control equipment on them? And in order for this to carry serious amounts of freight, this is what we would have to do. At this point and time, we don't have costs for this. But, I do know that we have some vehicles that could be, extra vehicles that could possibly be allocated to freight. It means will have to take the show off and make it more amenable to carrying freight.
Because of the security concerns, could hazardous materials not be transported?
My first guess is that we would not allow hazardous materials. That being said, you could have a dedicated car and not mix with passengers, of course, it might be considered. At this point, we have looked into that.
Is there a model ordinance for of street loading?
I don't think have it an electronic format. I could copy from the report and mail it to them.
M. Anderson Bomar:
I have one, one of the early ones from Dallas. I can scan it an e-mail it. If you just send me an e-mail, I'll respond with a copy of that ordinance.
Marsha, do you have any questions typed in for you?
M. Anderson Bomar:
There was a question about, has there been consideration given to using the airport [ Indiscernible ] for the freight villages?
In all the conversations that I have been involved in, that has not been specifically identified. Of course, that's partially based on the nature of the areas where we have had this conversations. But, that is an excellent suggestion, assuming that it has any type of connectivity and to the road network, arterial level road network and beyond. I think that would make a great location for a freight village. Someone from federal highway suggested that we consider a case study perhaps in a London. I would love to do that. I don't think our budget right now would accommodate that. But, I suspect that there are some very excellent examples overseas. I know some work is being done in the Netherlands in particular. They also suggested that the Federal Highway Administration scanning program have some good information. I have not already reviewed that, I will make sure that we do to make sure there is good information in their report.
Howard Mann is on the line and I want to thank him. He is from New York City and was instrumental in helping us too be able to pull the information together on that case study. He does have a question about whether there are political issues regarding the land use necessary to make the freight villages happen, and he asked for a contact in Orlando. I am sure that there were political issues in the early stages of the dialogue with the stakeholders. I've believed that in the process of putting the zoning ordinance together a lot of the trade-offs were made to help identify the places. The intent was so positive that it went through a fairly smoothly. The intent was to protect the integrity of the neighborhoods. They are obviously going to be some trade-offs. You have to analyze the existing land uses as well as your road network to see what locations might make sense. And then, a lot of times, what has to happen is you have to look for areas where, perhaps, the existing land-use has outlived its useful life and is ready for a transition. Perhaps it is a green field. I don't think there is an absolute formula for it too, for the location of those villages.
Sarah sent a comment. She said she loves the idea for truck drivers. They have identified some small issues. They have provided a common site on their website. They do have a freight forum. So, there is a place for truck drivers or others to provide some input too. I like that. I don't know that we have provided that kind of a place for the street committee to have that kind of voice. I think there are periodic activities, but I think that's an interesting tool to provide them with an ongoing activity.
Does that cover it as far as your questions?
M. Anderson Bomar:
There are a couple more.
I don't have an instant answer, but I will look into that and see if that has been addressed. It did not come out in the initial research that we did, but I will look into that a little bit further. If you will send me an e-mail, I will follow up and see if I can't find some information.
Marian Waldinger sent a question, can we recommend a guidebook for conducting [ Indiscernible ].
I have some information that I can send to you. I don't think there is an actual guide book developed right now. We do a lot of that kind of data collection. Generally, it is so dependent on what you are collecting the data for that there is not a one size fits all guidebooks for doing that. But, I will be happy if you would get and touch with me, I can certainly send you some examples of things that other people have requested and methodologies that have been used to conduct truck and freight studies.
Was there anything else?
Jennifer, I would like to make a comment. I made a comment that I should have added a caveat to it. I may comment about [ Indiscernible ], and a huge parking tickets, millions and millions of dollars being paid by UPS and FedEx and companies like that. I think I made a flat statement. [ Indiscernible ] to the customers. But, that is really conjecture. I do not know exactly how much [ Indiscernible ]. I'm sure it hurts the bottom line of the company's to try should have added some caveat to that.
Thank you Arun.
M. Anderson Bomar:
John just posted a comment that we may not have to go to Europe to look a best practices, that he believes that there are some good ones in Toronto. So, I will check into that further.
I would like to comment on the question about Hazmat. [ Indiscernible ] would not be an issue, but we would not allow explosives and the types of hazardous materials and things like that.
Interesting point. At this point, we will open the phone lines. I know it is almost time to end, but since we had some glitches, I wanted to give anybody a chance to ask their questions over the phone. Operator, if you could give instructions.
[ Indiscernible ] to withdraw your question, you may press star in then too. Once again, to ask a question, press star in then one and record your name. One moment for the first question.
At this time, there are no question.
Okay, thank you.
I think if we have no further questions typed in, we will go ahead in close out today's seminar. I want to thank all three presenters and everybody for attending today. I want to thank you for bearing with us as we get used to doing this new system. I know there were a few issues today. I think you'll find that this is very similar to WebEx and we will resolve all problems so, again, thank you for attending today's seminar.
The recorded version of this event will be available within the next week on the Talking Freight website. I will send out an email to all in attendance to let you know when it becomes available.
If you do not register and advance for the seminar, and you did manage to log in, if you could type into the chat area your e-mail address, that would help greatly since I don't have that from the registration list.
The next seminar will be held on December 20, and is titled "Industry Performance Metrics." If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this seminar. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so.
I will be posting the first few seminars of 2007 for registration in the near future in. I will send out an e-mail to the LISTSERV to let you know when registration is open. Thank you everybody enjoy the rest of your day.