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Table 7: STRATEGIC APPROACHES TO COORDINATION General category Specific strategy Examples Strategies to adopt Business expansion Transit authority contracts to provide Medicaid or other human service agency trips Cost reduction Transit authority contracts with human service agencies to provide ADA paratransit services Synthesis/synergy Human service agencies coordinate/consolidate to create general public transportation system Productivity enhancement Transportation provides coordinated dispatching and promotes ridesharing among cooperating agencies Cost reduction Use of volunteers Shift of paratransit riders to fixed-route services Strategies to avoid Limited focus Only one type of passenger/client on the vehicles Administrative duplication Underutilized vehicles, dispatch/administrative/ ITS or GIS facilities Productivity problems Significant unused vehicle capacity Service duplication Duplication of routes and services Cost problems Unusually high per trip costs Chapter 5 Strategic Approaches to Coordination 99

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The existence of significant unutilized vehicle capacity; routes being run with less than full passenger capacity: vehicles idle during large portions of the day. Low productivities (passengers per hour, passengers per mile): performance statistics significantly below other operations of a similar nature in similar communities. Duplication of routes and services: vehicles of different agencies running the same routes, perhaps even at the same times of day (this is especially a problem when there are also areas lacking any service at all in a given community). Unusually high per trip costs: per trip costs significantly higher than other operations of a similar nature in similar communities. If any of these conditions are present in a locality, their presence should be taken as a clue that the coordination of human service transportation and public transit services may bring real benefits. LESSONS LEARNED FROM SUCCESSFUL COORDINATION EFFORTS Often, coordination Although the combinations of events, resources, interested parties, and the dynamics of their interaction differed among communities studied efforts have been (see Chapter 8), it is possible to see underlying commonalities within successful not only these different communities and situations. Often, coordination efforts because groups share have been successful not only because groups share the same agenda or goals but also because they could identify some common points on the same agenda or which to work. A social service provider worked with a local transit goals but also because provider because they were spending too much time on transportation they could identify services. A tribal government worked with a county government because both groups wanted to set up vanpools to a particular work site. some common points Success is much more likely if benefits can be clearly defined for all on which to work. involved. In most cases, the overall objectives were to provide more cost-effective transportation and to obtain funding from a wider range of sources than had been previously tapped. The coordination efforts that successfully met these objectives possessed the following common factors: 100 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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Real leadership and energy from political, human service, or In most cases, the transportation stakeholders. See Chapter 6 and Appendix A. overall objectives were A sound planning process, as described in Chapter 3, that to provide more cost- includes effective transportation Goals and objectives, including community mobility needs; and to obtain funding see Tables 2 through 5 and Appendices A, B, and C; from a wider range of A strategic plan to address the goals and objectives; see sources than had been Chapter 6; previously tapped. An operational plan, including budgets; see Chapter 6 and Appendix F; A detailed implementation structure; see Chapter 6 and Appendix G; and A commitment to replan and reconfigure services based on a thorough evaluation of results achieved in relation to goals and objectives (see Chapter 3). Sound technical support, including Planning and replanning based on results; see Chapter 3 and Appendix H; Uniform performance and cost definitions and reporting; see Chapter 6 and Appendix F; Sharing technical resources across agencies (data, resources, planning capabilities); and Use of information technology and other tools; see Chap- ter 6. Effective participation of all applicable community agencies and local leaders in the planning process. See Chapter 6 and Appendices A, B, and E. Demonstrated coordination benefits in financial and service terms (as described in this chapter), including full cost and performance information. Modifications to services and financial participation patterns. See Chapter 3. Chapter 5 Strategic Approaches to Coordination 101

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Strategies for Although other local coordination efforts could succeed without addressing all of these factors, the chances of success improve greatly successful when most or all of these factors have been covered. The statewide coordination should strategies for coordination differ appreciably from community differ from place to coordination strategies, but some of the local success factors are also key to success at the state level. Many of the cases demonstrate that place depending on using multiple concurrent coordination strategies is more effective than local goals and only one. Actual strategies for successful coordination should differ objectives, local from place to place depending on local goals and objectives, local human service programs, the availability and type of local human service transportation services, the political environment, the current status of programs, the coordination and coordination planning, and many other factors. availability and type Recommendations for successful coordination include the following: of local transportation services, the political Involve all significant stakeholders in-depth and from the environment, the beginning; current status of Clearly identify the needs and concerns of all parties; coordination and Focus on improved data collection and reporting to let all parties coordination planning understand the full cost and service implications of their and many other transportation decisions and understand for themselves the factors. benefits of coordination; and Focus on the benefits that should be achieved: expanded service, lower unit costs, and better service quality. Applying these strategies will lead to coordinated activities of a large number of different agencies that provide or sponsor transportation services. SUMMARY We still need more coordinated transportation services in rural communities. There is still too much duplication, too little cost- effectiveness, and, overall, too little service in many localities. We would see more coordinated transportation services in rural areas if the planners, operators, and overseers of such systems had both more knowledge and a common understanding of these factors: what benefits 102 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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to expect from coordination, what to expect as one goes through the coordination process, what actions to take, what procedures to follow, and whom to contact and when. Coordination strategies to adopt include The transit authority contracts to provide trips to Medicaid or other human service agency clients. Human service providers provide ADA paratransit services under contracts to transit authorities. Transit authorities and/or human service providers offer incentives to paratransit riders to use fixed-route transit services. Human service agencies coordinate or consolidate their separate transportation services and functions to create a general public transportation system. Transportation providers institute a communitywide coordinated dispatching operation so that all vehicles in use can accommodate all types of passengers at all times. Travel services are expanded to more residents of the community through various low-cost strategies. Transportation situations to avoid include Vehicles and drivers used to serve only one client or trip type. Multiple dispatch facilities and other administrative operations. The existence of significant unutilized vehicle capacity; routes being run with less than full passenger capacity; vehicles idle during large portions of the day. Low productivities (passengers per hour, passengers per mile). Duplication of routes and services. Unusually high per trip costs. Applying the strategies addressed in this chapter will make coordination much more readily achievable. Chapter 5 Strategic Approaches to Coordination 103

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TOOLS FOR ADDRESSING DETAILED COORDINATION ISSUES Chapter 6 This chapter provides information on a variety of specific topic areas that are expected to be vital in the continued success of coordinated transportation systems. For ease in accessing this information, the topics are presented in alphabetical order (not in order of importance). The topics included in this chapter are Accounting and financial management; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504, and coordinated rural transportation services; Budgeting; Consensus building and setting goals and objectives; Involving stakeholders; Marketing and public information; Monitoring and evaluation; Needs assessment; Organization of the planning process; Organizational framework for coordination; Strategic direction--strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; Technology; Vehicle fleet status and evaluation; and Volunteers. Chapter 6 Tools for Addressing Detailed Coordination Issues 105

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ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT Description Careful accounting is Any organization that uses public funds has an obligation to keep good accounts of how those funds are spent. Careful accounting is also a requirement. needed for planning and budgeting, to satisfy reporting requirements of funders and government agencies, and for audit purposes. Relevance to Coordination An organization that provides coordinated services has special requirements for accounting and financial management. It needs to be able to determine how much to charge participating agencies for their share of coordinated service and to justify those charges. Agencies that purchase funding from or contribute funding to services need to be able to fairly and realistically assess what it would cost them to provide the same services on their own. Good accounts are needed as input for monitoring and evaluation. Methods Financial management tools for coordination include detailed cost accounting, budgeting, cost allocation models and formulas, and negotiated or regulated rates. Cost Accounting: Detailed and accurate tracking of all expenditures is needed to support reporting, budgeting, cost allocation, and rate setting functions. Funding agencies typically have minimum requirements for accounting categories to which each expenditure needs to be assigned. These expense categories include salaries, fringe benefits, purchased services, fuel, other supplies, rent, and utilities. In addition, a useful accounting system will be able to separate costs within each expense category according to function and/or project. In an organization that provides only transportation, typical functions include at least administration, vehicle operations, and maintenance. In multipurpose agencies, transportation will be one group of functions among others. Projects might be specific services provided for participating agencies. 106 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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Budgeting: A useful budget will include expected total expenditures within each expense category and function or project. Funders usually require a budget to obtain funds. When agencies coordinate through interagency agreements, participating agencies may need to work together on their budgets taking into account expected payments and income among the agencies. In any coordination arrangement, good In any coordination budgeting is essential in order for participating agencies to know what arrangement, good to expect, to anticipate problems, and to provide guidance to ensure that the coordinated service continues to meet their needs. Budget tracking budgeting is essential. should be an integral part of the accounting system so that participating agencies can receive regular reports of actual expenses compared to the budget throughout the year. Cost Allocation: When agencies coordinate they have to agree on how to share costs. The information provided by a good accounting and budgeting system is essential to the process of cost allocation. Other kinds of recordkeeping, such as passenger counting and tracking vehicle mileage, are also useful. In sharing costs, it is important to recognize that all costs need to be shared, even costs such as agency administration and "overhead." One way to allocate costs is by means of a cost allocation model. Such a model distributes costs among projects or specific services when these Cost Allocation costs cannot be separately tracked. For example, if it is possible to directly track how many hours per week each driver spends on each Model--distributes type of service provided, a cost allocation model may not be needed for costs among projects driver labor. More commonly, driver hours and many other things or specific services. cannot be separated and tracked so easily, so a cost allocation model is needed that distributes the cost by specifying how each category of cost should be allocated. For example, the cost of driver labor might be divided among services according to the number of vehicle hours used for each service, while the cost of maintenance might be divided according to the number of vehicle miles for each service. If there is a substantial cost for fare processing (for example in a system that uses taxi vouchers), that cost might be divided according to the number of passengers sponsored by each participating agency. If clients of several participating agencies (or residents of several jurisdictions) ride on vehicles at the same time, vehicle miles and hours for each service type can be easily separated. This will require some method to divide vehicle hours or miles among participating agencies. Such a method can use a statistical estimating procedure or detailed recordkeeping. Chapter 6 Tools for Addressing Detailed Coordination Issues 107

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Cost Sharing In many cases, costs are shared by means of a negotiated cost sharing formula. For example, a city and county may share the cost of a bus Formula--costs are route that passes through both jurisdictions based on the number of shared by means of passengers that board the bus in each jurisdiction. In other cases, cost negotiation. might be shared based on the population of the areas served. Negotiated or Participating agencies may be charged negotiated or regulated rates. Regulated Rates-- For example, in many states, Medicaid pays an established rate per trip and per mile. In other cases, the rate for each participating agency may the rate for each be set through contract negotiation or bidding. participating agency may be set through Considerations contract negotiation or bidding. Accounting, budgeting, and cost-sharing requirements are strongly influenced by state regulations that govern coordinated programs, recipients of public transportation funding, and purchase of service by human service agencies. While these requirements may seem burdensome, any effective coordination program will gain credibility from good accounting, budgeting, and cost allocation. Examples Detailed Cost Lane Transit District in Eugene, Oregon, is an agency that uses a Allocation Model--a detailed cost allocation model for its coordinated paratransit service. A process to divide vehicle time using detailed records of the exact time process to divide that each passenger gets on and off a vehicle has been developed by vehicle time using People for People for its coordinated service in eastern Washington state. An example of rates set by contract is provided by Dodger Area detailed records. Rapid Transit System in Fort Dodge, Iowa. In Florida, county transportation coordinators file a rate structure as part of their transportation disadvantaged service plans. The rates must be based on a cost allocation plan or bid process. Resources Burkhardt, Hamby, MacDorman, and McCollom, Comprehensive Financial Management Guidelines for Rural and Small Urban Public Transportation Providers, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Multi-State Technical Assistance Program, September 1992. 108 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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Case Studies of People for People and DARTS in TCRP Report 91, Economic Benefits of Coordinating Human Service Transportation and Transit Services, 2003. Establishing Cost Sharing Agreements, in Lyons and vanderWilden, Innovative State And Local Planning For Coordinated Transportation, February 2002 at http://www.fta.dot.gov/library/ policy/islptc/establish.html. Florida rate setting guidelines in Coordinated Transportation Contracting Instructions, Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged, July 2002, at http://www11.myflorida.com/ctd/. Koffman, D. Appropriate Cost-Sharing for Paratransit, in Transportation Research Record 1463, Transportation Research Board, Washington DC, 1994. Chapter 6 Tools for Addressing Detailed Coordination Issues 109

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ADA, SECTION 504, AND COORDINATED RURAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES Description This section provides a broad overview of the requirements of the ADA The ADA established as they pertain to coordinated rural public transportation and how coordination may help organizations meet their ADA obligations. It is requirements for not a definitive guide to the ADA and should not be taken as legally public transportation authoritative. The sources listed in the Resources section should be consulted for authoritative guidance. services. The ADA established requirements for accessibility by people with disabilities to all types of public and private services and facilities. The act contained provisions specifically pertaining to public transportation services provided by public entities (Title II) and private entities (Title III). The act directed the Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue regulations for those provisions. These regulations define requirements for Accessible vehicles and facilities in public transportation; Providing paratransit service to complement fixed-route transit service for people who cannot use the fixed-route services due to a disability; and How services are to be provided, such as ensuring operability of wheelchair lifts and calling out stops for visually impaired passengers. Within DOT, the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA's) Office of Civil Rights has lead responsibility for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the transit accessibility provisions of the ADA. The requirements of the ADA generally superseded requirements established under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 defined requirements for accessibility by recipients of Federal assistance. Under the ADA rules, a recipient of DOT funds complies with its Section 504 obligations by complying with its ADA obligations. 110 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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by being responsible for key tasks such as distributing surveys to their constituencies, collecting data for the project from their organization, meeting with peer agencies to solicit their involvement, and providing updates to their constituencies. Several strategies can be employed to involve stakeholders in a transportation coordination process. These strategies function as stand- alone methods for stakeholder participation, or they can be used in combination with one another as part of a more comprehensive stakeholder involvement process. Examples of stakeholder involvement efforts include the following: Establishment of a Coordination Oversight Committee. Effective coordination requires stakeholders' involvement early in the coordination process. The person(s) facilitating the transportation coordination effort can identify a group of stakeholders to work together to guide the process, establish goals, and make decisions about how transportation services should be coordinated. Typically, such a committee would have between 5 and 15 representatives, depending on the size of the community and the complexity of the coordination effort. Conduct of Focus Groups with Stakeholders. Bringing groups of stakeholders together allows coordination facilitators to gain input at critical stages of the coordination process. A focus group of stakeholders can identify major transportation challenges in the community, develop service goals and operating parameters, and discuss marketing needs and resources. A facilitated focus group can be effective because it allows for synergism and brings together a representative group of individuals to address a wide range of topics, providing insight into community priorities. Conduct of Stakeholder Interviews. Stakeholder interviews allow individuals to speak candidly about concerns and coordination priorities. Interviewees can be assured that their responses will be kept confidential and reported anonymously, thus encouraging them to expose personal sensitivities and biases. Such interviews also provide a personalized setting that can encourage comfort with the process and an informal sense of familiarity with the person facilitating the coordination effort. Stakeholder interviews can be valuable in combination with other involvement strategies. Chapter 6 Tools for Addressing Detailed Coordination Issues 131

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Preparation and Administration of a Stakeholder Survey. When numerous stakeholders are identified for controversial projects where a significant number of responses may be needed to substantiate coordination findings, a telephone or mail-out survey may be appropriate. Considerations Who Has the Power to Make Decisions? Although stakeholder consensus may suggest strong support for a particular program or issue, without sufficient political backing, this support can stall. A coordination oversight committee should include policy-level representation so the committee's recommendations can be reviewed internally to determine whether they are politically feasible and implementable. Are All Organizations, Geographic Locations, and Population Groups Represented? Many organizations and individuals may have a direct or indirect connection to transportation issues. The stakeholder process should be dynamic, allowing new stakeholders to be added as they are identified. As new issues and potential controversies are identified--as well as potential resources such as new funding sources or existing coordination efforts--additional stakeholders should be encouraged to join the process. Has the Public Been Kept Informed of the Process? Once a stakeholder has provided input in the transportation coordination process, he or she probably will want to be updated about progress. Depending on the community, standing citizen committees and advisory groups should be kept informed of major milestones in the stakeholder process and given the opportunity to lend support to stakeholder views or comment if stakeholder views seem to be unrepresentative of community consensus. Updates from stakeholder surveys, focus groups, and committee meetings can be shared at open houses, citizen advisory group meetings, via newsletters, and on web sites. Examples The consolidation effort in Butte County, California, (see Chapter 8) provides an example of using two stakeholder strategies to involve a diversity of interests. Representatives from Butte County, its cities and towns, social service providers, and its transit agencies convened as part 132 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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of a coordination advisory committee that oversaw a consultant's technical work. Individual interviews were held with all of these and other stakeholders to provide them an opportunity to speak about their priorities outside of the committee setting. In addition, regular focus meetings were held with the Social Services Transportation Advisory Committee and the Citizens' Transportation Advisory Committee. On a statewide level, Ohio's Statewide Transportation Coordination Task Force (see Chapter 7) provides a good example of multiple statewide agencies coming together. The standing task force established in 1996 includes representatives of the DOT, Human Services, Aging, Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Development, Mental Health, and Education, as well as the Bureau of Employment Services, Drug Addiction Services, Rehabilitation Services Commission, Head Start, and the Governor's Council on People with Disabilities. Resources Planning Case Studies, Access to Jobs. Washington, DC: Federal Transit Administration Office of Planning, September 2001. http://www.fta.dot.gov/wtw/casestudies/. Public Involvement in Transportation: Best Practices, New Approaches, TR News. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board. May- June 2002, No. 220. http://gulliver.trb.org/publications/trnews/ trnews220.pdf. Transit Consolidation Study Summary Report. Chico, CA: Butte County Association of Governments. Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, January 2001. http://www.bcag.org/cctssumweb.pdf. Chapter 6 Tools for Addressing Detailed Coordination Issues 133

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Marketing-- MARKETING AND PUBLIC INFORMATION providing information to stakeholders and Description members of the public Marketing is about providing information to stakeholders and members about the services that of the public about the services that are planned or may be available to are planned or may be them. Transportation marketing is primarily about providing good available to them. information to assure users that they have made the right decision to ride. Another important emphasis of transportation marketing is to attract new riders. Relevance to Coordination In relation to transportation coordination, marketing and public information play various roles, from building public support for a coordination effort to attracting riders to the coordinated service. Depending on the level of coordination and the extent of the services being provided, coordination can provide several marketing-related benefits. Examples of marketing-related coordination benefits include, but are not limited to, the following: A unifying theme and image for public information (e.g., shared vehicle design and bus stops); A one-stop shop for informational resources about transit services (e.g., a single informational brochure, web site, or customer service number); A shared advertising campaign (e.g., joint marketing efforts, newspaper advertisements, and radio spots); and The identification of resources that may have the greatest benefit for the coordinated transportation programs. Methods Marketing for coordinated transportation services is a large and complex topic. Although it involves basic marketing strategies, it requires that they be applied to a number of different providers who may or may not have the resources to oversee the greater marketing effort. Following are recommended steps for developing a marketing strategy or a plan. 134 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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Identify the Audience: It is essential to identify the audience for coordinated transportation marketing and public information. Different audiences may be appropriate during the transportation coordination planning process and once the process is completed (and a coordinated service is provided). Some examples of different audiences and the marketing/public information issues that arise follow: Political Leaders/Decision-Makers. What information needs to be presented to policymakers to gain support for a coordinated transportation effort? How can their support be marketed to their constituents? Elements to emphasize may include "better service for the community, maintaining local decision-making on important issues, and no increase in costs: transportation cost savings so funds can be used for other purposes." Schools, Employers, Medical Facilities, and Social Service Agencies. What types of resources are available for these entities? Can they become partners in the coordination process/coordinated service? How do we inform their clients and employees? Elements to emphasize may include "easier to coordinate transportation services for your clients" and "transportation services have better focus on regional needs." Transportation/Transit Users. Which subgroups are the focus (e.g., seniors, youth, those with disabilities, rural residents)? How should the coordinated system be marketed? Is the focus to build ridership on the coordinated service or to improve the rider experience? Elements to emphasize may include "easier to ride the bus and make connections, better access to information, and one-stop shop for transportation needs and customer support (`the buck stops here')." General Public. Will marketing efforts be needed in order to solicit public comment about the coordination effort? Will a public referendum be required? How will information about the coordination process be shared? Elements to emphasize may include "better alternative for the community, cost savings or no tax increase, and easier for people who use transit to travel in the community." Conduct a Marketing Resource Assessment: Before marketing a coordinated transportation service, it is important to evaluate the pre- coordination marketing organization and public information efforts. Such an assessment is a useful tool to identify work already underway Chapter 6 Tools for Addressing Detailed Coordination Issues 135

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or successful, including minor efforts that could be folded into a coordinated effort. Elements to review include the following: Current Marketing. Review the current marketing staff at the various agencies, organizational structure, resources, and products. Evaluate the public information tools that are working successfully, as well as those that are unsuccessful, and determine which might serve as a model for the coordinated information tools. Transportation Markets. Identify all of the markets currently using transportation services and those likely to continue under a coordinated framework. Verify the specific public information tools that are required to meet all of the current needs. Responsibilities. Who is currently responsible for marketing? Who could provide assistance? Look at current job responsibilities and agency responsibilities to determine who might be the "right" marketing resources under a coordinated service and where responsibilities may need to be shifted. Marketing Coordination. Review opportunities for joint marketing with regional transit agencies, social service organizations, and business groups. A marketing plan is a Develop a Coordinated Transportation Service Marketing Plan: A marketing plan is a tool to identify marketing needs, prioritize those tool to identify needs, and develop strategies to implement priorities. A general marketing needs, marketing plan framework, described below, can be applied to a coordinated transportation service. prioritize those needs, and develop strategies Challenges for Transit Marketing. Identify marketing to implement priorities. problems and opportunities. Marketing Expectations. Identify each agency's expectation for marketing and any current objectives and performance measures in place. Different agencies may have different marketing objectives (e.g., "attract new riders" versus "reduce customer service interaction with current users") that may be in conflict when considered as part of a coordinated marketing plan. Agency Responsibilities and Oversight. Determine the process for each agency to get marketing plans approved. 136 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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For example, staff may be able to simply approve a plan at one agency while another agency may require board- or other policy-level approval. These differences could result in delays to the implementation schedule and might affect the plan itself if different boards have different opinions. Similarly, if one agency does not approve of the plan, the overall coordination schedule may be affected. It is also important to identify who has the power to make decisions once the marketing plan is implemented. For example, will it be necessary for a multiagency committee to approve every graphic, all text changes, each phone number, and so forth? Agency Identity. Determine how the individual agencies' images will or will not be affected and how the agencies can keep their own identities overall while still coordinating. Costs for Marketing. Determine how the costs for marketing will be divided among the various participating agencies. While some agencies previously may have had robust marketing efforts, other agencies may have had minimal efforts and may not be willing to step up contributions to marketing. Developing a marketing budget is only one element of implementing the coordinated marketing plan. Current Users. Current users can be taken by surprise when the system with which they are familiar is transformed into a coordinated service. Contact current users about how the coordination effort will benefit them (assuming it will) or why it is necessary to make the coordination changes. Marketing Goals. Develop goals and objectives for marketing and public information for coordinated transit services. These may reflect any adopted coordination goals. All participating agencies must agree on these goals and objectives. Target Markets. Based on stakeholder interviews and the assessment of opportunities, identify the target markets. They should be selected and prioritized to meet the goals and objectives (e.g., senior citizens, tourists, children/youth, and social service transportation users). Considering each agency, prior to coordination, may serve very different markets, it may Chapter 6 Tools for Addressing Detailed Coordination Issues 137

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be necessary to prioritize both short-term and long-term markets to address all needs. Marketing Actions. Detail the marketing activities required to meet the coordinated transportation service objectives. These might include community open houses, a unified web site, the development of a coordinated marketing brochure, etc. Organization and Responsibility. Identify which individuals and which agencies will be responsible for implementing the marketing actions for a coordinated service. Considerations When Is Public Support Needed? There are three key stages when marketing is essential and public support is advantageous. First, transit and transportation providers beginning the process of coordinating their services will need public support as they undertake the coordination effort. Many current users and stakeholders will have strong opinions, and it will be useful to gather information from them and to provide useful information about the process and milestones to them. Second, once implementation of the coordinated service is underway, there may be some growing pains while the coordinating agencies and providers adjust their services to meet the new objectives of the coordination effort. Providing comprehensive information and good customer service will help reduce user disenchantment and keep political leaders satisfied with the coordination effort. Finally, once the services are fully coordinated, maintaining good contact with users, agencies, and the public is important to ensure community visibility and to establish a positive identity for the coordinated services. The advantage How Much Should Be Budgeted for Marketing? Some agencies have no funds dedicated to marketing and public information. Others may set of marketing aside 5 percent or more of their budget for marketing and outreach. A coordination is the rule of thumb often mentioned by transit providers is that marketing and public information resources should represent at least 2 percent of total potential to provide expenses. As an initial marketing "push" as part of the coordination more information with process, marketing costs in the first year can be much higher than in fewer resources. subsequent years. All agencies working together to coordinate their services must determine how much they can afford to dedicate to marketing. 138 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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The advantage of marketing coordination is the potential to provide more information with fewer resources because the various agencies are working to reduce duplicative efforts. In addition, smaller agencies that were previously unable to develop informational materials or provide certain marketing resources benefit from the experience of and collaborative process with larger coordinating agencies. Examples Merced County, California, (see Chapter 8) provides an example of a consolidated system under which several different transit providers now contribute to the operation of a single system. What were once several transit system names, logos, and identities is now a single system with one county map and brochure and a uniform logo. Southern Illinois's RIDES system, in its efforts to build partnerships, marketed to social service agencies, creating a brochure to encourage them to join the coordinated service rather than manage their own. RIDES also advertised through brochures, television, radio, and newspaper advertisements to overcome misconceptions that the service was for seniors only. In Kern County, California, a single brochure developed in 1997 by the regional transit system was marketed to users of the county system, but included local contacts and service area information for the various independent operators. Resources A Handbook: Integrating Market Research into Transit Management, TCRP Report 37. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board (Northwest Research Group, Inc.), 1998. American Marketing Association Web site http://www.marketingpower.com. The Bus: Merced County Transit Web site http://www.mercedrides.com/Transit_Info/thebus.htm. Transit Marketing and Fare Structure. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board, 1985. Transit Marketing. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board Commission on Sociotechnical Systems, 1976. Chapter 6 Tools for Addressing Detailed Coordination Issues 139

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MONITORING AND EVALUATION Description Transit operators routinely monitor performance measures in order to determine how well riders are being served, how efficiently service is being provided, and whether improvements are needed. Key types of data that operators collect to monitor the service include See Accounting and Financial Operating costs--all expenses incurred to operate the system, Management heading in this toolkit for cost components. such as drivers' wages, fuel, maintenance, administration, and marketing; Vehicle service hours--the hours the vehicle is available to carry fare-paying passengers; Vehicle service miles--the number of miles the vehicle travels during a vehicle service hour; Ridership--the number of passengers on each route or route segment during a vehicle service hour; Adherence to schedule--the percentage of time the vehicle is on time to pick up passengers; and Farebox ratio--the percentage contributed by the fares to the total operating cost. Such data are used to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the service. This is accomplished by comparing the results of the data collection with the goals or standards set by the agency. For example, the agency will want to know how cost-effective the service is by comparing the ratio of the farebox revenues to the cost of providing the service. Another example is using data on ridership to decide whether additional buses are needed to relieve overcrowding or whether the service should be rerouted to capture more riders. Relevance to Coordination When several agencies join together to provide a new service or to coordinate existing services, the expectations may vary according to each agency's purpose. The data that a transit agency normally collects to monitor and evaluate performance may need to be supplemented or negotiated to meet the goals of the coordinated project. For example, 140 Techniques for Improving Current Coordination Efforts SECTION III

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the most important data to a social service agency may be trip length to All stakeholders in a ensure that its clients using dial-a-ride are not on the bus too long. On project need to agree the other hand, the transit operator will want to know the cost- effectiveness of the trip by monitoring the number of people riding the on the measures bus at the same time. Although these two measures are not mutually used and how these exclusive, the two agencies may need to negotiate a common understanding of how the two measures will be interpreted to conclude measures support whether or not the coordinated service is successful. All stakeholders in the overall goals of a project need to agree on the measures used and how these measures the project. support the overall goals of the project. Service monitoring is also key for determining whether the participating agencies are achieving the benefits that were expected from coordination. Once the performance measures have been agreed on, a system must be set up to track the performance and compare it to the goals or standards set by the project's stakeholders. This means that the transit operator will need to collect information and share it with the stakeholders to compare the performance measures to the goals and to determine if corrective actions are needed where performance falls short. Stakeholders should all have a clear understanding of the definition of Stakeholders should each measurement used to evaluate the project's goals. In the case of the performance measures used by the transit industry, operators may need to have a clear clarify how vehicle hours and passenger trips are measured. Stakeholders understanding of the from other industries will need to understand how driver breaks, project's goals. deadheading, and pickup and dropoff times are considered. Without such explanations, stakeholders may misinterpret the data, creating suspicion about their transit partners instead of trust. Similarly, transit operators may need education in the culture and acronyms of partner agencies in order to understand the evaluation mechanisms they use. Methods Quantification: Table 8 (Burkhardt et al., 2003) outlines potential coordinated transportation benefits that stakeholders may consider as project goals when setting up their monitoring and evaluation program. For example, stakeholders may set a goal to lower the total number of transportation providers and increase the number of agencies purchasing transportation. Most of the goals (see "Desired or Expected Change" in Table 8) can be measured quantitatively--that is by counting whether the number of transportation providers is lower, whether the hours of service have been expanded, whether the number of funding sources is higher, or what the number is of passenger trips per vehicle mile. Chapter 6 Tools for Addressing Detailed Coordination Issues 141