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35 APPENDIX A Survey Questionnaire FIXED-ROUTE TRANSIT RIDERSHIP FORECASTING AND SERVICE PLANNING METHODS Project purpose: This TCRP synthesis project will document the state of the practice in fixed-route transit ridership fore- casting and service planning. Ridership forecasting takes place in a wide variety of circumstances, and different methods may be used depending on the scale of a proposed change or the time frame involved. The survey contains questions about fore- casting methods, data inputs and requirements, use of the forecasts, organizational responsibility for forecasting, reliability, and potential improvements. The survey questions try to address as many situations as possible, but given the variety of cir- cumstances and transit systems, not all questions may be appropriate for all agencies. If any question does not apply to your system, please answer "N/A." Unless otherwise noted, more than one response is acceptable for multiple-choice questions. The last portion of the survey asks you to describe how your agency would forecast ridership for seven different scenarios. We also ask for recommendations for other agencies to be included in our sample and for your willingness to participate in a telephone interview if your agency is selected for a more detailed case study. The final report, to be published by the Transportation Research Board, will identify forecasting methods in use along with agency assessments of their effectiveness and reliability. This report will be extremely useful to all transit agencies as they consider how best to develop future ridership estimates in a variety of contexts. All survey responses will be confidential. Thank you for taking the time to participate. Instructions on returning the survey are included on the last page. To begin, hit the TAB key or the down arrow. Type your answer (or mark an X in a multiple-choice question), and use TAB, up and down arrows, or mouse controls to move back and forth through the questions. RESPONDENT INFORMATION Date: Name and Title of Respondent: Agency Name: Respondent Telephone Number: Respondent e-Mail Address: GENERAL RIDERSHIP FORECASTING 1. Do you forecast ridership for: Minor adjustments to a route segment Scheduling changes Route changes affecting less than 25% of a route Route changes affecting 25% or more of a route New routes New mode/new type of service The next fiscal year The next five or ten years, or other long-term forecast Other (please describe): 2. Is there a threshold in terms of the scale of service change that triggers a ridership forecast? If so, what is the threshold? 3. Do you have more than one method of forecasting ridership, depending on the scope of the change (check only one)? Yes No
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36 4. How are these forecasts distributed and used? Internally To board members To the MPO To elected officials Other (please specify): 5. Is there a dedicated person or group responsible for ridership forecasts, or do planners or other personnel estimate future ridership among their other duties (check only one)? Dedicated person/group Not dedicated --part of general duties Depends on the scale and extent of the ridership forecast 6. Which department or agency has the lead for preparing ridership forecasts? Transit operations planning department Transit operations department Transit planning department Transit budget/finance department MPO Other (please specify): 7. Do you consider the following as inputs in your methodology? If a factor is involved for some types of changes or fore- casts but not others, please indicate. FACTOR TYPE OF CHANGE OR FORECAST Existing system ridership Existing route or route segment ridership Ridership on similar routes Origin/destination information Demographic factors within the service area Land use within the affected service area Economic trends within the service area Other (please specify): 8. What techniques are included in your methodology? If a technique is involved for some types of changes but not others, please indicate. TECHNIQUE TYPE OF CHANGE Econometric model Four-step travel demand forecasting model Regression analysis Service elasticities Rules of thumb or similar route analysis Professional judgment Other (please specify): 9. What data sources do you use in developing ridership forecasts? Ridership data from APCs Ridership data from recent ridechecks Ridership data from the farebox Origin/destination data from on-board surveys Origin/destination data from models Census demographic data
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37 CTPP demographic data Existing land use Forecast land use Economic trends Economic forecasts Other (please specify): 10. Are you satisfied with the reliability of the input data? If not, why not? 11. How is origin/destination data included in your forecasting methodology (check only one)? Major part Considered, but not a major part Not considered 12. Do you forecast linked or unlinked ridership? Linked ridership Unlinked ridership Both linked and unlinked ridership 13. Has technology affected your forecasting methodology? If so, how? 14. If your system operates more than one mode, do you use different methods to develop forecasts for each mode? 15. Do you use different methods for long-range and short-range forecasts? 16. Is there an optimal amount of data for your forecasting and planning process? Do you have that amount of data available? 17. How long does it take to prepare a ridership forecast? What is involved in terms of resources/staff? 18. Are you satisfied with the current ridership forecasting methods? 18A. If not, what would you like to see improved? Availability and/or accuracy of input data at the appropriate scale Less time-intensive methodology Inclusion of more predictive variables Simplification of the procedures Accuracy of the results Flexibility to address a wider variety of situations Other (please specify): 19. How do you assess the reliability and value of the methodology? Comparison of actual and projected ridership Board understanding and approval Other (please specify): 20. Please describe how your agency would forecast ridership for the following scenarios: A. A half-mile rerouting of an existing route to serve a new shopping center B. Extension of an existing route for one mile to serve a new residential development C. Change in headway from 12 to 10 minutes during peak hours D. Implementation of a new crosstown route to enhance service area coverage and provide more direct connections E. Implementation of a new mode such as BRT F. Prediction of next year's ridership as part of the budget process G. A 10-year ridership forecast as part of a long-range plan 21. If you could change one aspect of your ridership forecasting methodology, what would you change?
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38 22. Please describe any "lessons learned" that would benefit other transit agencies that are considering changes to their rid- ership forecasting methods. 23. Is there another transit system that you suggest we contact for this synthesis project? 24. Would you be willing to participate further as a case study, involving a telephone interview going into further detail on your forecasting methodology, if selected by the TCRP panel for this project (check only one)? Yes No Please return by December 31, 2005 to: Daniel Boyle President, Dan Boyle & Associates, Inc. 4511 Falcon Ridge Court San Diego, CA 92130 858-259-6515 phone 858-259-2305 fax firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail We encourage you to return your completed survey via e-mail. If you have any questions on the survey or the project, feel free to contact Dan Boyle by e-mail or phone.