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“AERIAL TRANSIT ORIENTED PLANNING: A Framework for Intermodal Vertiport Site Selection” by Trevor Ragno

As human population has increased in recent decades, so too has automobile usage. This upsurge in automobile use has contributed to a rise in greenhouse gas emissions, traffic gridlock, urban sprawl, and an increase in transportation and infrastructure costs. Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is designed to reduce the number of automobile trips by creating opportunities for multiple alternative modes of travel and encouraging transit ridership.

Despite an increase in the number of TODs across America, transit ridership has been steadily declining as ride-hailing applications make conventional automobiles more accessible. Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft have a synergistic relationship with transit stations in that they aim to accomplish goals similar to those of TODs; they are nearing the point of commercial viability and offer a faster, cleaner, and safer alternative to automobiles and promise to elevate the perception of public transit riders, literally.

It is essential that the vertiport infrastructure eVTOLs require to take-off and land is integrated into intermodal transit stations so riders may take advantage of this new transportation technology. Aerial Transit Oriented Planning (ATOP) builds upon the concept of TOD by linking distant transit systems and intends to mitigate the risks associated with the introduction of eVTOL technology through the thoughtful integration of vertiports into multimodal transit facilities.
This research explores ATOP and possible eVTOL vertiport developments in Orlando, Florida and answers the fundamental research question: How can developers and planners choose among alternative vertiport locations?

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