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33 each vehicle type based on how fast the doors opened. The workings on the units are based on door-opening logic in the programming, a fact that was never considered. The importance of the door-opening logic also affects subsequent use of APCs. If APC units are included as part of the original equipment manufacture, then a unit cannot be switched to a different type of bus without reprogramming. The APC manufacturer can do the reprogramming if it has a prototype, but it is an added cost. When RTC introduced articulated buses, the manufacturer had to create a new pro- totype that addressed the third door. It is important to test how the software on the analyzer works when introduced into service. A test in a controlled nonrevenue-service environment such as a bus garage will not reveal everything an agency needs to know. The valida- RTC (REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION OF tion process was interesting. RTC compared the APC data WASHOE COUNTY), RENO, NEVADA with manual counts during an on-board survey by connect- ing a laptop to the analyzer, so that the surveyor could see what the analyzer was counting at each stop. RTC was formed in 1979 as a result of legislation approved by the Nevada legislature. RTC operates public transporta- RTC used a standard of 90% accuracy for boardings tion service in the cities of Reno and Sparks and in unin- and alightings. The agency found that accuracy varied by corporated areas of Washoe County. The service area has a bus type: Vehicles with narrow doors achieved an accuracy population of 253,000. RTC operates 62 peak buses. Annual level of 97%, and vehicles with wide doors had a 93% accu- ridership is 9.0 million, including all services operated racy level. A wide-door vehicle allows riders to board more (FY 2006). quickly, however passenger bunching affects the accuracy of counts at busy stops. RTC started the process of purchasing ITS equipment with a special earmark in the Intermodal Surface Trans- RTC retrieves APC data from each bus when it pulls into portation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). The agency had the garage at the end of the day by means of a wireless down- always lacked current passenger data by stop. RTC used to load. Interlines can create problems, and bus detours result do a full system count every 3 years, but it was typically in unidentified stops. RTC has adopted a policy of repro- only one day per route. The idea of purchasing APCs had a gramming stops for detours that will be in effect for at least lot of appeal throughout the agency. The central motivation 1 month. Route and stop information are housed within the was to have real-time, always current ridership data at a very computerized scheduling software, which is accessed by the detailed level. ITS/APC database. At the beginning of the procurement process, RTC staff Introduction of APCs results in training needs. There traveled to other agencies to see examples of APC systems first are two basic categories of training requirements: hardware hand. After hearing from one agency's maintenance depart- and software. ment how side-mounted beams were frequently bumped out of alignment by passengers, RTC opted for overhead sen- Hardware training for maintenance personnel is essen- sors. The process was helped because the APCs were no lon- tial. RTC has two master technicians who specialize in elec- ger cutting-edge. Agencies like TriMet (Portland, Oregon) tronics on its maintenance staff. These master technicians offered a model for APC implementation. RTC purchased its are the troubleshooters for ITS-related issues. RTC cautions APC system as part of a broader ITS procurement in 2002. that the involvement of too many mechanics in APC main- tenance creates its own problems. Although all maintenance RTC highly recommends going to other agencies to see personnel are trained in basic APC maintenance, the master how APCs work in the real world. Even honest and well- technicians are responsible for all nonroutine issues. meaning vendors do not always inform clients of all potential problems. For example, after implementation RTC found that Software training for planning and other staff who will the APC units were counting but were not meeting the speci- use APC data is focused on the use of databases. The ITS fications for accuracy. The solution was for the APC manu- system at RTC stores data in a Structured Query Language facturer to prototype each bus, that is, calibrate the units for (SQL) server database. Canned reports are available but