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7 SECTION 1.0 Introduction 1.1 Project Description 1.3 Approach TCRP Project H-34, "Local and Regional Funding Mecha- The project was carried out in two phases. In the first nisms for Public Transportation," is intended to provide a phase, the research team conducted a literature review of comprehensive list of local and regional funding sources local and regional transit funding sources. From the literature for public transportation through a review of current liter- review, a framework was developed to guide collection of ature and data and through interviews with representatives information on local and regional funding sources and uses. of a broad-based sample of transit agencies throughout the In the second phase, the research team conducted over 60 United States. interviews with local and regional transit agency managers and others with knowledge of local and regional transit fund- ing sources and successful initiatives. Appendix A lists the 1.2 Project Purpose transit agencies and others that were interviewed or contacted The purpose of TCRP Project H-34 is to compile a compre- to ensure as comprehensive a list of funding sources as possi- hensive list of funding sources that are in use or have the ble. Appendix B contains the interview guide that was used in prospect of being used at the local and regional level to sup- the system interviews. port public transportation. The project has attempted to move beyond a simple listing of sources by providing information 1.4 Organization of the Report about following: This report provides a summary of project findings in two forms. The report is intended to serve not only as a com- Key characteristics of sources; pendium of local and regional transit funding sources and The ways that sources are being used; characteristics but also as a guide to the evaluation and enact- The frequency of sources' use in differing locales and ment of local and regional transit funding sources. Accom- regions, in various types of agencies, and in support of dif- panying the report is a searchable database, the Local and fering service characteristics; Regional Funding Database, which provides users with addi- Issues and circumstances in source selection and use; tional detail on local and regional funding at individual tran- Advantages and disadvantages associated with each type of sit systems. source; and The organization of this report is the following: Strategies and steps to be considered in pursuing imple- mentation of new local and regional transit funding Section 2.0 provides a summary of overall, nationwide sources. transit funding and a discussion of definitional issues in distinguishing local, regional, and state funding sources. The results of the project are intended to serve as an Section 3.0 describes local and regional transit funding updateable, interactive resource on local and regional transit mechanisms in use or currently available in the United funding sources as well as a guide to the evaluation and enact- States, Canada, and Europe. This section presents a ment of new or expanded funding at the local or regional typology that differentiates various funding sources-- level. taxes/fees versus project revenues versus other revenue

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8 streams--in order to provide a useful and consistent in-depth description of how to use the database, please way of understanding transit funding alternatives and refer to the Local and Regional Funding Database User their usefulness at the local and regional level. Manual, available at http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp? Section 4.0 provides additional guidance for evaluating id=9599). local and regional transit funding mechanisms, includ- Appendix A lists the transit systems and agencies inter- ing guidance on the advantages and disadvantages of viewed as part of the project. various sources, provision of criteria that should be con- Appendix B includes the interview guide used with the sys- sidered in selecting local or regional funding sources, tems contacted. and consideration of key contextual issues that are Appendix C provides observations about the scope and important in establishing a practical base of understand- content of the National Transit Database (NTD) and its ing to support local and regional funding alternatives. usefulness and limitations as a resource in a transit sys- Section 5.0 highlights the steps that should be taken by tem's pursuit of local and regional sources of funding. transit systems trying to enact new local and regional Appendix D briefly describes international experiences transit funding mechanisms. These steps are based on with local and regional transit funding. the experiences of transit systems around the country Appendix E provides selected bibliographic material on that have successfully sought and enacted new or local and regional transit funding. increased sources of funding. Appendix F provides a list of local funding measures sup- Section 6.0 provides a very brief description of the Local and porting transit in whole or in part that were passed in the Regional Funding Database and how to use it (for a more period 2000 to 2006.