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11 2.3 Transit Agency Case Studies what toward transit agencies that are integrated with 511 systems. This is because, partly through the case studies, the Interviews were conducted with 29 transit agencies. The research team found that they were gathering very little useful case studies focused on the following two sets of issues: information from transit agencies that do not participate in 511 at all. In nearly all of these cases, the transit agencies did 1. Overall customer information strategies and specific call not participate because the 511 system was not set up to allow center approaches (staffing, technologies, metrics tracked, transit agencies to participate and/or the 511 sponsor never etc.); and invited transit to participate. The research team concluded that 2. Transit agencies' 511 experiences and perspectives. there was very little to be learned from speaking with transit agencies in such circumstances. When this trend became clear, In selecting transit agencies for analysis, the objective was to it was decided that the resources associated with additional obtain representation across several key parameters, including case studies could be better spent on speaking with more agen- cies that were participating in 511 systems and had actual 511 Participation versus non-participation in 511 systems-- experiences and perspectives to share. including integration and non-integration, where integra- Table 3 presents the list of transit agency case studies, or- tion was defined by the research team for the purposes ganized according to operational 511 system (of which there of this study as including an automatic call transfer from were 42, as of March 18, 2009). The list of agencies includes 511 to a transit agency. two that are not transit operators--the Metropolitan Trans- Transit agency size--based on the number of vehicles portation Commission (MTC) in the San Francisco area operated by the transit agency, and subjectively placed into and District 6 of the Florida Department of Transportation categories of small, medium, and large. (FDOT). Interviews with those agencies were conducted to Transit agency service area characteristics--such as large support the transit agency interviews done in the San Francisco urban, small urban, suburban, and rural. region and in Southeast Florida, respectively. Geographic location--representing various regions The transit agency interview discussion guide contained 29 throughout the United States. questions, with the first 20 questions pertaining to overall Type of 511 System--such as statewide or regional. customer information strategies (e.g., information provided, methods used, accommodation of special needs customers, Table 2 summarizes the 29 transit agency case studies across etc.) and specific call center methods (e.g., centralized/ these parameters (excluding geographic location). Although decentralized, staffing, use of various technologies, rationale seven case studies were completed with transit agencies that for technology investments, use of a wide range of perfor- are not integrated with 511 systems (that is, there is no call mance metrics, etc.). The following eight questions focused transfer from 511 to transit), the sample is skewed some- specifically on 511: The agency's level of 511 participation; Table 2. Summary of transit agency case study sample. Which 511 statistics are tracked; Participation in other traveler information systems; Number of Transit 511/Transit Agency Characteristic Agencies Studied A wide range of potential impacts from 511 participation in- 511 Participation/Non-Participation cluding call volume changes, costs, customer responses, etc.; Participating and integrated (call transfer to transit) 22 A wide range of potential pros and cons considered when Participating but not integrated (no call transfer) 3 deciding on 511 participation; Non-participating 4 Planned 511 changes; Transit Agency Size Perspective on 511 as an alternative to their own interac- Small (< 50 vehicles) 8 Medium (51-300 vehicles) 10 tive voice response system; and Large (300+ vehicles) 11 Advice to other transit agencies contemplating 511 and Transit Agency Service Characteristics general reflections. Large urban 16 Small urban/suburban 13 Rural 4 A copy of the full interview guide is included in Appendix A. 511 System Coverage The transit case studies included various combinations of Statewide 17 telephone interviews, written questionnaires, and site visit in- Regional 12 terviews. Initially, 1- to 2-h telephone interviews were con- Note: The numbers reported for transit agency services characteristics do not sum to ducted with nearly all of the transit agencies, always preceded the total of 29 transit agency case studies performed because some agencies have been characterized as having multiple primary service area types (e.g., both urban by an e-mail to the agencies with a copy of the interview ques- and suburban). tions. In a few cases, the interviewees chose to respond in

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12 Table 3. Transit agency case studies. 511 System Information Transit Agency Case Studies Coverage Service Area Character 511 System and Level of No. of Small Transit Integration Buses Urban or Property Large and/or State Region Transit Agencies Interviewed Vans Size Urban Suburban Rural Transit Integration (call transfer from 511 to at least one transit agency) 1 Alaska X 1 Anchorage "People Mover" 55 Med X 2 Lake Havasu City Transit 19 Sm X X 2 Arizona X 3 Pima County Rural Transit 8 Sm X 4 Valley Metro (Phoenix) 492 Lrg X California 3 X 5 El Dorado Transit 58 Med Northern/Sacramento X Cincinnati/Northern Transit Authority of Northern 4 X 6 101 Med Kentucky Kentucky "TANK" X Florida Central 5 X 7 LYNX (Orlando) 237 Med (Orlando) X X 8 Broward County Transit 275 Med X Florida Southeast 9 Miami-Dade County Transit 783 Lrg X 6 (Miami, Dade, and X South Florida Regional Transportation Broward Counties) 10 26 Sm Authority (Tri-Rail) X 11 Florida Department of Transportation NA Florida Northeast 7 X see Florida regional systems (Jacksonville) 8 Florida (Statewide) X see Florida regional systems 9 Boston/Eastern Mass. X 10 Florida Southwest X 11 Georgia X 12 Maine X 12 Island Explorer (Bar Harbor) 17 Sm X X 13 Minnesota X 13 Duluth Transit Authority 72 Med X New York (Beta 14 X Version) 15 North Carolina X 14 Charlotte Area Transit (CATS) 312 Lrg X 15 Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) 288 Med X 16 San Diego X 16 North County Transit District 165 Med X 17 AC Transit 614 Lrg X 18 Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) 669 Lrg X Santa Clara Valley Transportation 19 520 Lrg X Authority 17 San Francisco Bay Area X San Francisco Municipal Railway 20 815 Lrg X (Muni) Metropolitan Transportation 21 NA Commission (MTC)/Muni 18 Utah X 22 Sun Tran (St. George) 7 Sm X Washington Metropolitan Area Transit 23 1,441 Lrg X 19 Virginia (Statewide) X Authority "WMATA" 24 Blacksburg Transit (BT) 35 Sm X