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32 CHAPTER 6 Lessons and Conclusions In the past 20 years, the types of land-use environments in complement both the market and the regions. The four D's-- which transit can be applied and be successful have increased. design, density, diversity, and deterrents to driving--can be There are now many more land-use environments that support readily adapted to local environments and conditions. transit in its many forms. There are also many more tools avail- able to agencies to use as part of their planning process to estab- Measurement and Evaluation lish transit in their expanding environments. These tools Processes include the use of GIS, which can assist in defining and refining the geographic, population, and market areas to be served. Measurement and evaluation processes need to reflect local While no substantial patterns have emerged to define with priorities and conditions. What is deemed successful is a local certainty which types of transit will work in specific types of issue, but transit professionals can educate local policy boards geographic area, the research furthered the knowledge base that and communities to ensure that expectations for performance transit professionals can use in understanding both the range of are understood. Denver RTD presents a clearly defined evalu- transit applications and the expectations for performance. ation and performance measuring process for its services. A Transit agencies can use the analysis of the four D's--density, process such as this can provide both transit staff and policy diversity, design, and deterrents to driving--in the further boards with an informed knowledge base and help establish development of suburban services. Analysis of the four D's is standards to be shared with the community. This process is understandable for both transit professionals and general deci- particularly important because the development and sustain- sion makers. ability of suburban services are now more than ever dependent Although suburban transit appears to depend heavily on on local investment, whether public or private. local conditions and expectations, this research can be of This study clearly points to more comprehensive service assistance to the transit community as the art and science of monitoring and evaluation programs as a means to move the suburban transit moves past its infancy. The following trends practice forward. Currently, because of budget and time con- were found for suburban transportation. straints, evaluation is often an afterthought. To properly assess and control the provision of service, from both a cus- tomer and a cost investment perspective, it is essential for the Operating Environments transit community to understand and clarify its service per- Suburban environments are diverse. This diversity includes formance expectations and to educate its policy boards and differences in markets to be served, as well as differences in the communities as to these expectations. The expectations must physical environment. Successful suburban service has cre- be understood and communicated if investments are to con- atively adapted transit practice to complement local land- tinue to the level that will be required. scapes. Clearly, these findings support the continued integration of land-use planning and transit service planning Innovations as a means to continually strengthen transit's ability to serve the ever-expanding suburban environments. Understanding the There have been many innovations in the area of suburban operating environment is increasingly important for transit transit, ranging from financial partnerships to the use of tech- professionals. GIS tools can be used substantially in this regard nology in the implementation of service. These innovations to display both physical and market attributes of the suburban will and should continue as they expand the opportunities environments, such that the types of services implemented can available to the transit community.