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PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION BOARD EFFECTIVENESS: A SELF-ASSESSMENT HANDBOOK SUMMARY The purpose of a transit board self-evaluation is to give the board an opportunity to regu- larly examine its goals and objectives, as well as its overall performance. The organization's ability to function effectively hinges on the board's concurrence with, and demonstration of, common values and goals. The self-evaluation is an organized process by which the board regularly reexamines its goals, objectives, structure, processes, and collective performance. The board then reaffirms its commitment by adopting new goals and improved methods of operation. TCRP Report 104: Public Transportation Board Effectiveness--A Self-Assessment Handbook (Handbook) is written for two primary users: (1) administrators who have been asked to help a transit board assess its own effectiveness and (2) individual board members responding to a self-assessment survey. The administrator could be a member of the tran- sit agency or a third party. The administrator will play the role of facilitator by explaining, distributing, collecting, and summarizing a survey (the assessment tool) and then present- ing the results to the board. As envisioned in this Handbook, a transit board can evaluate its effectiveness through the following self-assessment process: 1. The transit board agrees to participate in the self-assessment and selects the adminis- trator. 2. The administrator presents a summary of the Handbook and explains that the board should select one of three survey levels. The board then selects the level that is to be administered. 3. The board makes changes to the survey tool because this tool is not designed to be "one size fits all." Changes are encouraged to accommodate the uniqueness of each board. 4. The administrator distributes the assessment tool to each board member to individu- ally perform the assessment. 5. The administrator then collects results from each board member. 6. The administrator compiles the results into a single document and distributes it to board members. 7. The board decides what actions to take on the basis of the results. The Handbook equips the administrator with useful details on the following topics: (1) the purpose of, and need for, self-assessments; (2) decisions necessary to implement
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2 a self-assessment; (3) disclosure and confidentiality issues and alternatives; (4) adminis- tration of a self-assessment; and (5) instructions for self-assessment administrators. The self-assessment tool contains three progressive levels of assessment. Level II con- tains all of the steps in Level I, with additional steps and additional criteria in the assess- ment tool. Similarly, Level III contains all of the Level II features, together with additional assessment criteria and processes. The three levels differ primarily in the degree of detail with which the board assesses its processes and its fulfillment of fiduciary and legal respon- sibilities. A Level I assessment contains 13 criteria for measuring board effectiveness. A Level II assessment contains 22 criteria, including all 13 from Level I. A Level III assess- ment contains 31 criteria, including all 22 items from Level II.