Transit Planning at Fehr & Peers

Successful transit helps communities thrive. It connects workers to opportunity, residents to activities, and friends and family to each other. High-quality transit operates safely, efficiently, and seamlessly with other local and regional transportation options to provide a convenient and appealing option for the entire community. Because transit directly affects how community members physically interact with their neighborhoods, a good transit system prioritizes both safety and efficiency at transit stops and in shared transportation spaces.

High Performance Transit

We use the latest planning methods, tools, and data to create high-performing, future-oriented transit that creates a sense of place and supports the ability of all community members to engage with their neighborhood, city, and region.

Future Oriented

We also understand that the needs of transit users and providers are changing rapidly. The rise of transportation network companies (TNCs) and a future with autonomous vehicles (AVs) present challenges and opportunities requiring foresight and planning today. We have cutting-edge research and experience to help our clients thrive alongside these new forces

Context Sensitive

We understand that successful transit planning requires careful consideration of all aspects of a high-quality transit system. Good transit planning also requires sensitivity to the local context at all times and always works to listen, think, understand, measure, analyze, and communicate.


Study Types

that improve access to transit.

Station Area Planning

Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan

Fehr & Peers helped prepare the Union Station Master Plan for Los Angeles Metro. Through extensive operational testing, close coordination with transit operations staff, and application of our expertise planning and designing transportation facilities in complex urban environments, we enhanced transportation efficiency and passenger amenities, while honoring the history and beauty of this iconic station.

Key to our approach was the use of a VISSIM micro-simulation model to evaluate how master plan designs would affect interactions between bus transit, pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicle modes, considering the high intensity of the bus activity at the station, high pedestrian volumes at crossings, busy freeway on- and off- ramps (including an entrance to a High Occupancy Toll lane), and congested arterial corridors. We also prepared detailed parking demand projections, recommended future parking supply and parking management strategies, and evaluated the design and capacity needs for vehicle access at entrances to parking facilities, drop-off locations, and internal intersections.

Corridor Planning

South King County High Capacity Transit Corridor Study

Fehr & Peers evaluated high-capacity transit options for Sound Transit on five corridors serving the Seattle Eastside and SR 520/University areas in the South King County High Capacity Transit Corridor Study.  We led a study of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the I-405 corridor, evaluating the existing transit in the corridor and identifying potential improvements as part of a future phase of high-capacity investments in the region. The study took into account transportation improvements already in the pipeline, as well as considered the effects of BRT on nearby interchange operations. The connection of the BRT route with bus and LRT service along I-5 was particularly important to the assessment of potential improvements.

TNC Partnerships & Analysis

Go Centennial Pilot Program

The Go Centennial Pilot Program provided fully-subsidized Lyft rides as a first/last mile connection for the Dry Creek Light Rail Station. This pilot marked the first time a public agency in the United States provided free rides to a transit station via a transportation network company, a milestone in the evolving relationship between ride-hailing companies and transit agencies.

Fehr & Peers created the operations plan for the Pilot Program. We defined the program’s expected user experience, assessed the partnerships required for implementation, prepared a promotional outreach campaign, designed the implementation phasing, and created performance measures to evaluate its effectiveness. Fehr & Peers also conducted a peer review of similar programs and forecasted the number of users of the program by developing a statistical demand model.

After completion of the Pilot Program, Fehr & Peers helped prepare and implement an evaluation plan to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the success of program in terms of its effectiveness as a transportation option, as well as the satisfaction with the public-private partnership, user experience, and media exposure. We also extrapolated data to evaluate the potential of an expanded version of the Go Centennial program in the future.

Service Planning & Operational Analysis

Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park Transit Feasibility Study

Fehr & Peers prepared a feasibility study to determine the viability of implementing one or more transit routes between the City of Fresno and Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks.  The three national parks had over five million combined visitors in 2008, with more than a million automobiles accessing the parks annually.  The feasibility assessment examined two transit routes: one between Fresno and Yosemite National Park and a second that would connect Fresno with both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

The feasibility assessment was based on a number of factors including local support, ridership potential, service standards, economic benefit, and financial sustainability.  An operating plan was developed that identified the route and service alternatives, concept schedules, operating standards, productivity targets, fare recommendations, fleet requirements, infrastructure requirement, and administrative responsibilities.

Fehr & Peers was subsequently retained to prepare a service plan for the Fresno to Yosemite route. The Highway 41 route to Yosemite begins at the Fresno Airport and has stops at the Amtrak/Greyhound Station (downtown), north Fresno/State Route (SR) 41 hotels, Chukchansi Gold Resort-Casino, Coarsegold, and Oakhurst before entering Yosemite National Park (South Entrance) and stopping at Tenaya Lodge, Big Trees Lodge (aka Wawona Hotel), Half Dome Village, The Majestic Hotel (aka Ahwahnee Hotel), the Visitors Center, and Yosemite Valley Lodge. The route (one-way) is approximately 100 miles, and one-way travel time from the Fresno Airport to Yosemite Valley destinations is three to four hours. Service from Fresno to Yosemite National Park was initiated in 2015.

Environmental Impact Analysis

San Francisco Transit Effectiveness Project EIR (now known as Muni Forward)

Muni Forward is a multi-agency effort led by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agencu (SFMTA) and the San Francisco Controller’s Office to make transit service more convenient, reliable, and attractive to existing and potential riders. It includes a series of transit service enhancements and capital investments designed to improve safety and service reliability and reduce travel times. Muni Forward is comprised of four components: service policy framework, service improvements, service-related capital projects, and transit travel time reduction proposals.

Fehr & Peers prepared the transportation analysis for the environmental impact report, which included an innovative GIS-based methodology to estimate changes to transit ridership stemming from Muni Forward proposals. Other components of the analysis included travel demand forecasting; traffic, bicycle, pedestrian, and parking/loading analysis; and the development of a series of graphics to help SFMTA better communicate with the public regarding the Muni Forward program. Fehr & Peers provided staff to work in-house at SFMTA to assist the creation of these graphics and provided specialist GIS services to QC SFMTA’s Muni Forward GIS shapefiles.

Equity Analysis

King County Metro Long Range Plan

In this long range plan, King County Metro developed a vision for the County’s transit system and a set of performance measures to assess mobility across the County. Fehr & Peers assessed the range of transit investment alternatives based on ridership forecasts, mode split, and emissions, as well as several equity metrics, including access to frequent transit service for minority, low-income, senior, and persons with disabilities households.


Focus Areas

applying extensive project experience and research at the cutting-edge of transit planning

Optimizing Transit in Complex Environments

Multimodal Operations Analysis

Fehr & Peers has developed unique expertise in micro-simulation by successfully applying PTV’s Vissim software to solve problems on some of the most complex transit projects in the country. Transit operations must be closely integrated with all travel modes, adjacent transportation networks, and nearby land use contexts to be successful. Our extensive experience with operational analysis for all modes of transportation provides us with a unique perspective on transit projects.

Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan
As part of the development of the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan, Fehr & Peers prepared an extensive technical report that detailed existing and projected transit operations at the station. In addition to evaluating transit operations, pedestrian flows, and transfer times through the station, we used a Vissim microsimulation model to simulate detailed traffic and transit operations for the Patsaouras Transit Plaza and all vehicular and pedestrian entrances at Union. Click here to see more.

Transit Efficiency and Effectiveness

Fehr & Peers enables cities and agencies to better understand the role that transit plays in providing efficient and effective mobility solutions with in-depth quantitative analysis. We have developed numerous transit and corridor master plans focusing on strategic operational and capital investments to support transit throughout a multimodal network.

King County Metro Transit Long Range Plan
Fehr & Peers provided critical technical analysis in the development of King County Metro Transit’s Long Range Plan. We created unique tools for this effort, including a GIS-based quick-response ridership forecasting model and a transit mobility index integrated with several regional travel demand models. Using these tools, we developed and assessed a set of transit system network alternatives that adapted to upcoming high-capacity transit investments and regional population growth. Click here to see more.

Transit Signal Priority Strategies

Fehr & Peers possesses specialized expertise with state-of-the-art Transit Signal Priority (TSP) strategies and technologies to maximize the efficiency of transit services and help agencies meet their goals. We develop comprehensive analyses based on the specific needs of transit agencies and the unique characteristics of each corridor to evaluate and identify the most appropriate TSP techniques for every situation.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Light Rail Enhancement
As part of VTA’s Light Rail Enhancement project, Fehr & Peers evaluated existing TSP strategies for light rail vehicles at twenty-three intersections along the North First Street corridor and analyzed three improvement alternatives using a Vissim microsimulation model. The final deliverable package included detailed signal timing plans for the proposed TSP treatments and specific deployment recommendations for the corridor. Click here to see more.

Bus/Bike Interface Design Guidance

Fehr & Peers has extensive experience planning and designing infrastructure that accommodates both bicycles and buses, with a particular focus on intersection approaches, bus stop designs, and lane configurations. We adapt prevailing design guidance to provide sensitivity to local contexts, resulting in designs that balance the needs of multiple modes and stakeholders.

Los Angeles Metro Bike/Bus Interface Study
For the Los Angeles Metro Bike/Bus Interface Study, Fehr & Peers developed a design guidebook concerning the interface of buses and bicyclists on busy urban streets. We adapted findings from before-and-after corridor studies and conducted outreach campaigns to cyclists and bus operators to fill important gaps in existing literature. Click here to see more.

Next Generation Cities

Right-sized Transit Services

Fehr & Peers understands that every transit option has a role to play in providing mobility to a region. Rail and high-capacity bus options serve an important “backbone” transit role of moving large numbers of people efficiently along high density corridors. TNCs provide door-to-door service and play an increasingly important role in moderate- and low-density areas underserved by transit. Crowd-sourced micro-transit options can help fill in the gaps in transit coverage by using data and on-demand flexibility to efficiently serve moderate demand corridors and first/last mile connections to backbone transit services. We consider the full range of available transit options and how they fit together to promote livability and mobility.

Simulation of TNCs and AVs

Fehr & Peers has the expertise to help guide policymakers at both the regional and local levels adapt to the emerging trends and technologies of TNCs and AVs. To assist the development of transportation policies at the regional level, we have used travel demand models to assess the potential effects of TNCs and AVs on travel behavior, roadway facility capacity, and mode choice. On a localized level, we use traffic simulation tools to model the behavior of TNCs and AVs. This helps predict their effect on traffic operations and facilitates design recommendations that better accommodate these modes of travel.

Automated Transit

Fehr & Peers utilizes the latest academic research and our experience analyzing AVs to identify potential opportunities for automated transit to enhance transit service quality and reliability. We use traffic simulation tools to model the behavior of automated transit vehicles and compare the behavior to existing transit services to assess the potential benefits of autonomous transit on a corridor or in a region.


Advanced Transit Metrics

enabling better decision-making on transit investments using innovative big data sources and new tools to supplement traditional techniques.


Reliability+ is a GIS-based tool that quantifies and visualizes transit speed and reliability throughout a corridor or a transit network. The tool incorporates AVL data to determine the variations in speeds, travel times and reliability between route segments and time-of-day. While traditional methods utilize stop-based segmentation to classify results, Reliability+ provides the flexibility to develop customized street segments to develop more refined analysis for hotspot analysis. This level of detail helps cities and transit agencies appropriately scale transit priority improvements along a corridor or throughout a system.


Estimating ridership is a critical component of all transit planning or investment decisions. Ridership+ uses statistical regression analysis to enhance system-level models by focusing on individual station-level variables. Using station-level land use and transit service characteristics allows for quick-response ridership forecasts for new transit routes or extensions. Ridership+ can also be used to provide rapid analysis of the effects of station-area investment decisions like changing feeder bus service, adding or removing parking, improving active transportation connections, or making land available for transit-oriented development (TOD).

Transit Demand

Fehr & Peers employs a mix of traditional data sources, such as travel demand models and the Census and Big Data from cellphones and other GPS enabled devices to provide highly detailed and accurate assessments of where and when there is demand for new or improved transit services, so that clients are able to plan projects to effectively capture riders and serve existing patrons, while avoiding “black box” planning debates that may arise from over reliance on model data.

Performance Measures

Measuring performance is essential to allow agencies to benchmark service quality and identify areas for improvement. Calculating delay is particularly critical for assessing performance, and Fehr & Peers utilizes macro- and micro-simulation and Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) methodology to assess person-delay at intersections. We also analyze automated passenger count (APC) data to provide ridership, occupancy, and seat utilization statistics.


Contact Us

regional transit practice leaders.

Northern California

Nate Conable
Principal, Oakland Office

Southern California

Michael Kennedy
Senior Associate, Los Angeles Office

Pacific Northwest

Aaron Gooze
Associate, Seattle Office

Rocky Mountains

Jon Nepstad
Principal, Salt Lake City Office


Matthew Ridgway
Principal, Washington, D.C. Office