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Integrating Performance Evaluation and Measurement with Public Outreach 73 4.2.4 On-Board Surveys On-board surveys involve distributing questionnaires to transit riders as they board the vehicle and either collecting when riders leave or asking the riders to return the surveys by mail. These sur- veys serve the same purpose for transit riders that mail-back surveys do for motorists traveling in the same corridor. 4.2.5 Internet-Based Surveys Internet-based surveys are becoming an increasing popular method to document attitudes and opinions. Typically, internet-based surveys, collected via a website or e-mail, allow for the creation of an unlimited number of questions. Many internet-based surveys customize the path respondents take to complete the survey by adding skip logic. This eliminates unnecessary con- fusion by skipping non-applicable questions and reduces "drop-outs" and overall frustration. Filtering and cross tabulating data are relatively quick and easy, as is developing custom charts for presentation. Results can be viewed "live" as they are recorded, responses can be browsed individually, and there is usually the opportunity to include open-ended comments. A disadvantage to using this type of survey is the difficulty with determining/controlling selection probabilities, which ultimately hinders quantitative analysis of data. Samples can be skewed toward a younger demographic compared to telephone interviews and, if not password protected, these types of surveys are easy to manipulate by completing multiple times to skew results. Internet-based surveys are not considered statistically reliable. 4.2.6 Executive Interviews Face-to-face interviews with representative opinion leaders and decision makers are often conducted to gauge congestion-pricing perceptions and institutional issue concerns held by key groups. Executive interviews, which usually last less than an hour, can help to heighten the visi- bility and viability of congestion-pricing as an effective traffic management and/or revenue gen- eration technique. Interview questions are designed to assess attitudes regarding various pricing scenarios and can help to identify where there is the greatest consensus and where there are the greatest differences. Interviews are also useful for establishing liaisons with business, environ- mental, and political leaders and for identifying opportunities for regional partnerships in build- ing community awareness and support for congestion pricing. Finally, executive interviews help to document the communication challenges foreseen by the interviewees and solicit participant assistance with facilitating broader communication of the study process and ultimate outcomes. Like focus groups, executive interviews provide in-depth insights, but have no statistical validity. Table 4-2 compares the relative costs and advantages and disadvantages of the different mar- ket research tools described above and identifies specific ways in which these tools can be used to obtain helpful information on public perception of issues germane to congestion pricing. 4.3 Constituency Building through Public Education and Outreach Sponsors of congestion pricing projects should use the information on public opinion gath- ered from their market research activities to refine their pricing concept and ultimately identify pricing policies that will appeal to the widest possible cross section of the public. Once a pricing concept has been selected, the focus of project outreach efforts changes to constituency build- ing. Constituency building is designed to secure broad-based support for the congestion-priced

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74 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects facility, recognizing that different issues or aspects of the pric- ing project will be of interest to different groups. In order to Validating the Cost of Subsidizing be most effective, constituency building activities must be tai- a HOT Lane's Operation lored to different audiences or interest groups and focus on One major challenge that the Washington State De- their areas of interest. partment of Transportation (WSDOT) has faced with Constituency groups with an interest in the use of congestion the SR 167 HOT Lanes demonstration is conveying to pricing may include the following: the public and elected officials that the Depart- ment's intent in converting the HOV lanes to HOT Elected Officials operation was not to generate revenue but rather Transit Agencies and Advocates to manage the operation of its existing infrastruc- Environmental Advocates ture to improve traffic service and the overall effi- Employers ciency of the SR 167 corridor. Despite this, the legis- Public Agency Staff lation enabling the SR 167 demonstration requires The Media WSDOT to report on the "ability to finance im- Neighborhood Groups provements and transportation services through Special Event Groups tolls [collected on the SR 167 HOT lanes]." Trucking Interests Services Organizations It is known, however, that the SR 167 HOT lanes Taxi and Rental Car Industry operate at a deficit, with operating costs exceeding Retailers average monthly toll proceeds by a factor of nearly three. This has caused some to question the ration- To arrive at a positive outcome, the constituency-building ale behind the conversion. However, WSDOT's activities for congestion pricing projects should include the modest investment of $60,000 per month, or following steps: $720,000 per year, has resulted in a 21.5 percent Segment audiences by common interest and priority to the increase in average peak-period speeds on the con- success of the facility gested SR 167 general-purpose lanes and an 11 per- Indicate the outcome (action you want them to make, cent increase in average volumes in the corridor. knowledge you need them to have) from the communication The reality is that the cost of subsidizing the opera- effort tion of the SR 167 HOT lanes is pennies on the dol- Highlight the information that will be of most interest to lar compared to the cost of implementing physical that audience enhancements to SR 167 that could achieve the Identify the most effective location to provide information same level of congestion reduction as the HOV-to- work, home, public facility, etc. HOT conversion. WSDOT's challenge has been help- Determine the most effective communication tool (print, ing its stakeholders understand the overall value broadcast or web/social media advertising; direct mail, media for money that the project brings. (This challenge relations, hotlines, displays, corridor tours, neighborhood may be eased, as WSDOT anticipates that toll rev- or employment-site meetings, etc.) for those individuals and enue will continue to approach operational costs locations and eventually the system will break even.) Identify the important milestones in the communication process Education and outreach efforts offer multiple opportunities to build understanding and sup- port for performance measures as unbiased indicators of a priced facility's success. Comparing and contrasting individual performance measures of the existing (and likely poorly functioning) facility to the anticipated performance of the newly priced facility during this phase helps to diffuse distrust of change as well as build accurate expectations for future operations. Individual performance data elements will have varying interests given the audience. When con- sidering the congestion pricing project, the outreach specialist will have to secure and translate individual performance data to help it become "real" to specific audiences. Sharing information on existing conditions as well as anticipated or actual outcome data will build interest and trust-- and ultimately cultivate new congestion pricing champions. For example, the trucking industry

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Integrating Performance Evaluation and Measurement with Public Outreach 75 will be very interested in how the introduction of congestion-priced lanes would influence traffic volumes at different times of the day. They will likely support the project if it increases windows of uncongested periods of time during which they can schedule deliveries. This may have a sig- nificant effect on their financial bottom line and, as such, create a constituency of interest and support for potential priced facilities. Table 4-3 indicates the likely level of interest in different performance measures identified across the 13 market constituencies. Before engaging in outreach or education activities with these groups, sponsors of congestion pricing projects should review which particular performance indicators will be of strong interest to the group and then tailor information to focus on those areas to achieve the greatest potential of gaining support. Table 4-3. Performance measure interest by market. Taxi/Rental Car Organizations Services Movement Orgs Environmental Interests Enforcement Agencies Neighborhood Groups Special Event Groups Public Agency Staff Trucking Interests Transit Agencies Elected Officials Retail Interests Employers Strong Interest Some Interest Media Limited Interest SYSTEM IMPACTS Volume & Throughput Average Daily Traffic Corridor Average Daily Traffic Priced Lane(s) Traffic Volume Weekly GP Lanes Traffic Volume Weekly Priced Lane(s) Average Daily People Volume GP Lanes Average Daily People Volume Priced Lane(s) Speeds & Travel Time Peak-Hour Travel Time in GP Lanes Peak-Hour Travel Time in Priced Lane(s) Delay in GP Lanes Time Savings in Priced Lane(s) Cost of Delay Occupancy Mode Share/Split Average Vehicle Occupancy Parking Park-N-Ride Activity (lot counts) UTILIZATION User Characteristics HOV Usage SOV Usage Hybrid Usage Demographics/Socioeconomics Trip Characteristics Frequency of Use Departure Times Trip Length Reason for Use/Trip Purpose (continued on next page)

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76 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects Table 4-3. (Continued). Taxi/Rental Car Organizations Services Movement Orgs Environmental Interests Enforcement Agencies Neighborhood Groups Special Event Groups Public Agency Staff Trucking Interests Transit Agencies Elected Officials Retail Interests Employers Strong Interest Media Some Interest Limited Interest OPERATIONS Finance Revenue Average Toll Enforcement Violations Penalty Notices Issued/Paid/Unpaid Representations & Appeals Safety Collisions Incident Response Time Speed Differential On-the Job Injuries Customer Service Call Center Performance Call/Email Activity ENVIRONMENT Air Quality CO Emissions VOC/TOG Emissions Nox/NO2 Emissions Noise Noise Levels Fuel Consumption TRANSIT Performance General Operational Impacts Travel Times/On-Times/Excess Wait Average Speed Occupancy Ridership Average Vehicle Occupancy Finance Farebox Revenue Safety On-the-Job Injuries

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Integrating Performance Evaluation and Measurement with Public Outreach 77 Table 4-3. (Continued). Taxi/Rental Car Organizations Services Movement Orgs Environmental Interests Enforcement Agencies Neighborhood Groups Special Event Groups Public Agency Staff Trucking Interests Transit Agencies Elected Officials Retail Interests Employers Strong Interest Media Some Interest Limited Interest PUBLIC PERCEPTION Acceptance Awareness General Fairness/Equity SOV Use for a Fee OK? Tolling HOVs OK? Free hybrid access OK? Time-of-day Pricing OK? 24-hour Operation? Tolls to Support Transit Affordability Satisfaction Perceived Time Savings Perceived Safety Signage Enforcement Effectiveness Congestion Reduction Improve Urban Environment Media Coverage # of Article/Reports Pos. & Neg. Economics & Land Use Goods and Services Movement Housing Decisions Once the decision has been made regarding what information needs to be shared with which audiences, the next step in the public outreach and education plan involves identifying which communication methods would be the most effective and appropriate to deliver the informa- tion. Table 4-4 lists an array of materials and approaches that can be used to deliver information on congestion pricing projects and summarizes the respective advantages and disadvantages of each approach/material. Approaches and materials include print media (e.g., brochures, adver- tisements, issue papers, and lengthy technical reports) and broadcast and social networking media. Each of these media will reach different types of constituencies. For example, younger people may be more likely to use social networking media, while homeowners would be more likely to see flyers included with utility bills. Care should be taken to match the different out- reach and education techniques with the audiences being targeted. However, no matter what techniques are selected as part of the congestion-priced facility's education and outreach plan, data about the performance of the existing facility as well as details about the benefits of the new priced facility should always be presented consistently and concisely.

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78 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects Table 4-4. Education and outreach techniques. Techniques Advantages Disadvantages Printed Public Can reach large target Only as good as the mailing Information Materials audience list/distribution network Fact sheets Allow for technical and legal Limited capability to Newsletters reviews communicate complicated Brochures Encourage written responses if concepts Issue papers comment form enclosed No guarantee materials will be Facilitate documentation of read outreach process May need to be translated into various languages Information Repositories Relevant information is Information repositories are Libraries, city halls, accessible to the public without often not well used by the distribution centers, schools, incurring the costs or public and other public facilities are complications of tracking good locations for housing multiple copies sent to different project-related information people Can set up visible distribution centers for project information Technical Reports Provide for thorough May be more detailed than Technical documents explanation of project decisions desired by many participants reporting research or policy May not be written in clear, findings accessible language Print Advertisements Potentially reach a broad public Expensive, especially in urban Paid advertisements in areas newspapers and Allow for relatively limited magazines amount of information May need various formats to ensure language requirements of audience are met Broadcast Advertisements Reach a broad public Expensive, especially in urban Paid or in-kind on the radio or areas television Allow for relatively limited amount of information May need various placements to ensure language requirements of audience are met Information Inserts Provide communitywide Expensive, especially in urban A fact sheet inserted into distribution of information areas another periodical Presented in the context of May need various formats to local paper, insert is more likely ensure language requirements to be read and taken seriously of audience are met Provide opportunity to include public comment form Internet and Social Media Inexpensive to implement Needs to be constantly Outreach Allows for two-way monitored and updated to Facebook communication remain fresh MySpace Access to those with varying Twitter degrees of internet savvy E-Blast Website Optimal location to post Needs to be constantly detailed information monitored and updated to Allows for ability to ask remain fresh questions Access to those with varying degrees of internet savvy Bill Stuffer Widespread distribution within Limited information can be Information flyer included service area conveyed with monthly utility bill Economical use of existing Message may get confused as mailings to the mailing entity Information Hotline People don't get "the run Designated contact must be A phone number for public around" when they call committed to and prepared for access to prerecorded project Controls information flow prompt and accurate responses information or to reach Conveys image of project team members who "accessibility" can answer questions/obtain Easy to provide updates on input project activities

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Integrating Performance Evaluation and Measurement with Public Outreach 79 Table 4-4. (Continued). Techniques Advantages Disadvantages Media Relations Very inexpensive method for No guarantee of reporting News releases broad audience reach accuracy Feature stories Inability to ensure that stories Editorial briefings will run in a timely manner News conferences Podcasts and Webinars Good forum for providing Relatively limited reach given detailed information length of presentations and Webinars can include one-to- access to internet one communication Information Centers and Provide an opportunity for Relatively expensive, especially Field Offices more responsive ongoing for one project only Office established with communications Access is limited to those in prescribed hours to distribute Give the project a visible vicinity of the center, unless information and respond to presence in the community facility is mobile inquiries Expert Panels Encourage education of the Require substantial preparation Public meeting designed in media and organization "Meet the Press" format. Present opportunity for May enhance public concerns Media panel interviews balanced discussion of key by increasing visibility of issues experts from different issues perspectives. Provide opportunity to dispel misinformation Briefings Control of information/ Project stakeholders may not Use regular meetings of social presentation be in target audiences and civic clubs and Opportunity to reach a wide Topic may be too technical to organizations to provide an variety of individuals who may capture interest of audience opportunity to inform and not have been attracted to educate. Normally these another format groups need speakers. Opportunity to expand mailing Examples of target list audiences: Rotary Clubs, Similar presentations can be Lions Clubs, Elks Clubs, used for different groups Kiwanis, League of Women Builds community goodwill Voters. Also a good technique for elected officials. Central Information Builds credibility and helps Limited opportunities exist for Contact address public concerns about providing technical assistance Providing access to technical equity Technical experts may counter expertise to individuals and Can be effective conflict- project information organizations resolution technique where facts are debated Tours Opportunity to develop rapport Number of participants is Provide tours for key with key stakeholders limited by logistics stakeholders, elected officials, Makes choices more familiar Potentially attractive to advisory group members, and protestors the media Open Houses Foster small group or one-on- Difficult to document public Allow members of the public one communications input to learn at their own pace. Ability to draw on other team Agitators may stage themselves The open house location members to answer difficult at each display should be set up with several questions Usually more staff-intensive stations, each addressing a Build credibility than a meeting separate issue. Resource Conducive to media coverage people guide participants through the exhibits. Community Fairs Focus public attention on one Public must be motivated to Central event with multiple element attend activities to provide project Conducive to media coverage Usually expensive to do it well information and raise Allow for different levels of awareness information sharing In-Home "Coffee Relaxed setting is conducive to Can be costly and labor Meetings " effective dialogue intensive Small meetings within Maximize two-way neighborhood, usually at a communication person's home (continued on next page)

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80 Evaluation and Performance Measurement of Congestion Pricing Projects Table 4-4. (Continued). Techniques Advantages Disadvantages Meetings with Existing Opportunity to get on the May be too selective and can Groups agenda leave out important groups Small meetings within Provide opportunity for in- neighborhood, usually at depth information exchange in a person's home non-threatening forum Survey-Facilitated Immediate graphic results Software limits design Workshops prompt focused discussion Potential for placing too much Any sized meeting when Areas of agreement/ emphasis on numbers participants use interactive disagreement easily portrayed Technology failure computer technology to Minority views are honored register opinions Responses are private Level the playing field Advisory Committees Provide for detailed analyses General public may not A group of representative for project issues embrace committee's stakeholders assembled to Participants gain understanding recommendations provide public input to the of other perspectives, leading Members may not achieve planning process toward compromise consensus Sponsor must accept need for give-and-take Time and labor intensive Task Forces Findings of a task force of Task force may not come to A group of experts or independent or diverse consensus or results may be representative stakeholders interests will have greater too general to be meaningful formed to develop a specific credibility Time and labor intensive product or policy Provide constructive recommendation opportunity for compromise Panels Provide the opportunity to May create unwanted media A group assembled to debate dispel misinformation attention or provide input on specific Can build credibility if all sides issues are represented May create wanted media attention Workshops Excellent for discussions of Hostile participants may resist An informal public meeting criteria or analysis of what they perceive to be the that may include alternatives "divide and conquer" strategy presentations and exhibits Foster small group or one-to- of breaking into small groups but ends with interactive one communication Knowledgeable small-group working groups Ability to draw on other team facilitators are necessary members to answer difficult questions Build credibility Maximize feedback obtained from participants Foster public ownership in solving the problem