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Findings of Institutional Requirements for Interoperable Smartcard Fare Payment Systems 15 Establishing a governing body or project sponsor, Identifying and mitigating operational differences, Establishing a framework for program funding, Creating a rollout schedule, and Developing a contracting strategy. 2.1.1 Establishing a Governing Body or Project Sponsor One of the primary challenges of implementing an interoperable fare payment system in a multi-agency environment is encouraging agencies to work together for the overall good of the region and riding public. In many areas of the United States and Canada, transit agencies work autonomously toward accommodating the needs of their patrons. As a result, agencies become accustomed to controlling all decisions. Operational decisions are made that preclude the shar- ing of resources and limit effective cooperation with peer agencies. One of the first steps in implementing any regional fare payment system is to establish a gov- ernance structure, which will identify the institutional oversight structure and define the following: Items under regional control, Documentation of the governing structure, and Participant representation. The governing body oversees the common elements of the interoperable fare payment system, which may include third-party services. Table 4 lists the different types of governing bodies. Par- ticipation in a governing body may require an agency to cede complete control over the common elements of the interoperable system. Even agencies that have an excellent working relationship may find adapting to a common governing body challenging. The planning and implementation of a smartcard-based interoperable fare payment project is a long and often difficult process. Once the governing body is established, a project sponsor needs to emerge to direct the effort and provide leadership for the participants. It is critical that the full commitment and support of the member agencies are obtained and that a clear management Table 4. Overview of different types of governing bodies. Approach How It Works Where Used Corporation with Private, For-Profit Corporation Hong Kong Privately Held Shareholders include private Shares transit and public operators No majority shareholder Not all participants are shareholders Single Operator Owner Agency Makes Decisions London Owner Contract specifies requirements and obligations Joint Powers Independent Legal Entity Singapore Authority (JPA) Created under powers of existing public entities Composed of public entities Memorandum of No New Organization Los Angeles Understanding Specifies decision making and Seattle (MOU) participation San Francisco Contractually created governance San Diego structure Washington, DC

OCR for page 15
16 Smartcard Interoperability Issues for the Transit Industry structure is in place before starting planning and design. The three most common types of proj- ect sponsorship are lead agency, regional planning organization, and management committee. Lead Agency Delegating project management to one lead agency may be an option in a region where a regional transportation planning organization does not exist or where one agency has the criti- cal mass for establishing a system for meeting its own needs cost-effectively. The system imple- mented by the lead agency is used by the other participants. All participants share the cost of common services, but pay separately for any additional capabilities to meet their specific needs. A lead agency's responsibilities are similar to those of the regional planning organization. In gen- eral, a project often benefits from a shorter design and implementation schedule when a lead agency is responsible; this can result in cost savings. The challenge for the lead agency is estab- lishing the agreements with the participating agencies. Regional Planning Organization The project may also be managed by a regional transportation planning organization. A regional planning organization's responsibilities are similar to those of a lead agency and man- agement committee. For this option, the regional planning organization solicits each member agency for input on agency-specific issues before making design decisions. The project often ben- efits from a shorter design and implementation schedule--this can result in cost savings; how- ever, the specific needs of participating agencies may be overlooked or not fully addressed in the interest of moving the project forward. Management Committee Regions that lack a lead agency or a regional planning organization to champion the inter- operable fare payment project may elect to form a management committee to oversee the project. Each of the participating agencies is represented on the management committee. Each of the member agencies on a management committee can actively participate in project decisions. The management committee must be established early in the project life cycle in order to avoid spending valuable time and resources revisiting early project decisions. Management committee responsibilities may include critical functions such as Preparing a governance plan--A governance plan documents the rules and bylaws by which the interoperable project operates, including areas such as dispute resolution and decision- making regarding new service offerings and addressing member agencies that leave or join the program; Identifying the type of integrator contract--This includes identifying the types of services pro- cured or addressed in house and who will act as the contract administrator; Assigning member roles and responsibilities--This includes how and when design reviews are completed and obligations regarding attendance at project meetings; Drafting interagency agreements--This addresses subjects such as project cost allocations and information-sharing arrangements; and Developing technical direction--This includes adherence to established standards and adop- tion of system features. A management committee structure requires special consideration of the contracting strat- egy. Given that contracting relationships must be formed between two legal entities, the man- agement committee may need to assign a lead agency or a regional planning organization as the contract owner for the project. Based on the surveys conducted for this project, governance issues are being resolved for most of the projects. Most projects proceed without first establishing the governing body. Projects