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TRANSIT TCRP REPORT 136 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration Guidebook for Rural Demand- Response Transportation: Measuring, Assessing, and Improving Performance

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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2009 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* SELECTION COMMITTEE* CHAIR OFFICERS Ann August Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority CHAIR: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley VICE CHAIR: Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of MEMBERS Governments, Arlington John Bartosiewicz McDonald Transit Associates EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board Michael Blaylock Jacksonville Transportation Authority MEMBERS Linda J. Bohlinger HNTB Corp. J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY Raul Bravo Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg Raul V. Bravo & Associates Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson John B. Catoe, Jr. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Gregory Cook Norfolk, VA Veolia Transportation William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles Terry Garcia Crews David S. Ekern, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond StarTran Kim R. Green Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of GFI GENFARE Virginia, Charlottesville Angela Iannuzziello Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN ENTRA Consultants John Inglish Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC Utah Transit Authority Randell H. Iwasaki, Director, California DOT, Sacramento Jeanne W. Krieg Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka Jonathan H. McDonald Stantec Consulting Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore Gary W. McNeil Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City GO Transit Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Michael P. Melaniphy Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Regional General Manager, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Mandeville, LA Motor Coach Industries Frank Otero Rosa Clausell Rountree, CEOGeneral Manager, Transroute International Canada Services, Inc., PACO Technologies Pitt Meadows, BC Keith Parker Steven T. Scalzo, Chief Operating Officer, Marine Resources Group, Seattle, WA VIA Metropolitan Transit Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO Peter Rogoff FTA C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin Jeffrey Rosenberg Linda S. Watson, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando Amalgamated Transit Union Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR Richard Sarles New Jersey Transit Corporation Michael Scanlon EX OFFICIO MEMBERS San Mateo County Transit District Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC Beverly Scott Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Peter H. Appel, Administrator, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S.DOT James Stem J. Randolph Babbitt, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT United Transportation Union Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Frank Tobey George Bugliarello, President Emeritus and University Professor, Polytechnic Institute of New York First Transit Matthew O. Tucker University, Brooklyn; Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC North County Transit District James E. Caponiti, Acting Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT Pam Ward Cynthia Douglass, Acting Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Ottumwa Transit Authority Administration, U.S.DOT Alice Wiggins-Tolbert Parsons Brinckerhoff LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC William W. Millar APTA John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Robert E. Skinner, Jr. Officials, Washington, DC TRB Rose A. McMurry, Acting Deputy Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT John C. Horsley Ronald Medford, Acting Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, AASHTO Victor Mendez U.S.DOT FHWA Victor M. Mendez, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Louis Sanders Peter M. Rogoff, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT APTA Joseph C. Szabo, Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration, U.S.DOT Polly Trottenberg, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S.DOT SECRETARY Christopher W. Jenks Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, TRB U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of June 2009. *Membership as of October 2009.

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 136 Guidebook for Rural Demand-Response Transportation: Measuring, Assessing, and Improving Performance Elizabeth Ellis KFH GROUP, INC. Bethesda, MD IN ASSOCIATION WITH Brian McCollom MCCOLLOM MANAGEMENT CONSULTING, INC. Darnestown, MD Subject Areas Public Transit Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2009 www.TRB.org

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 136 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, Project B-31A and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current ISSN 1073-4872 systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand ISBN 978-0-309-11807-1 service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve Library of Congress Control Number 2009939007 these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating problems, to 2009 Transportation Research Board adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to intro- duce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions COPYRIGHT PERMISSION to meet demands placed on it. Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report published or copyrighted material used herein. 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the Administration--now the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and success- any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission ful National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes from CRP. research and other technical activities in response to the needs of tran- sit service providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, NOTICE facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Cooperative Research administrative practices. Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was autho- Board's judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with respect to both the rized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act purposes and resources of the National Research Council. of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement out- The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor this project and to review lining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooper- this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions ating organizations: FTA, the National Academies, acting through the expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical panel, they are not Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research orga- necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, nization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the the Transit Development Corporation, or the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical panel according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by identi- Council, the Transit Development Corporation, and the Federal Transit Administration fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS (sponsor of the Transit Cooperative Research Program) do not endorse products or Committee defines funding levels and expected products. manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project state- ments (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide techni- cal guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research pro- grams since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on dissemi- Published reports of the nating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: tran- sit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other support- are available from: ing material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for Transportation Research Board workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure Business Office that results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively and can be ordered through the Internet at address common operational problems. The TCRP results support and http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Printed in the United States of America

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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR TCRP REPORT 136 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Dianne Schwager, Senior Program Officer Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Hilary Freer, Senior Editor Andra Briere, Editor TCRP PROJECT B-31A PANEL Field of Service Configuration Richard DeRock, Link Transit, Wenatchee, WA (Chair) Linda Cherrington, Texas A&M University Thomas J. Cook, North Carolina State University Beverly Edwards, First Transit, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA Santo Grande, Delmarva Community Services, Cambridge, MD Albert T. Stoddard, III, LSC Transportation Consultants, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO Jeffery D. Webster, Fresno County Rural Transit Agency, Fresno, CA Gary DeLorme, FTA Liaison Pamela Boswell, APTA Liaison Kristi Ross, Easter Seals Project ACTION Liaison Christopher Zeilinger, CTAA Liaison Peter Shaw, TRB Liaison AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research conducted for this Guidebook was performed under TCRP Project B-31 by the KFH Group, Inc., with assistance from McCollom Management Consulting, Inc. Elizabeth (Buffy) Ellis, AICP, of the KFH Group was the Principal Investigator for the project and pri- mary author of the Guidebook. Ken Hosen and Beth Hamby of the KFH Group assisted with the research and data collection from the demand-response transportation (DRT) systems participating in the proj- ect. Brian McCollom of McCollom Management Consulting contributed to preparation of the chapter on performance data and definitions. Sue Knapp and Ken Hosen of the KFH Group provided review and advice throughout the project. The research team gratefully appreciates the assistance and support of Dianne Schwager, TCRP Senior Program Officer for the project, and of the Project Panel, whose members provided valuable guidance and continuity for this second phase of the research project. We also want to sincerely thank the rural DRT systems that participated in the research project. The system managers took time from their demanding schedules to provide us data, information, and insights on their efforts to improve their DRT services; for that, the research team is very appreciative.

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FOREWORD By Dianne Schwager Staff Officer Transportation Research Board TCRP Report 136: Guidebook for Rural Demand-Response Transportation: Measuring, Assessing, and Improving Performance will be of interest to rural public transportation sys- tems that provide demand-response transit (DRT) services and to the communities they serve. The Guidebook is a resource to assist DRT systems to measure, assess, and improve their performance, focusing on DRT systems in rural areas. This Guidebook has been prepared under TCRP Project B-31, "Guidebook for Measur- ing, Assessing, and Improving Performance of Demand-Response Transportation." The research project produced two guidebooks. The first focused on DRT systems in urban areas and was published in 2008 as TCRP Report 124: Guidebook for Measuring, Assessing, and Improving Performance of Demand-Response Transportation. This is TCRP Project B-31's second guidebook and, given the important distinctions between DRT in rural and urban areas, it addresses rural DRT. The research team followed a similar methodology in developing the Guidebook for rural DRT as was followed for the project's first guidebook, which included Developing a typology of rural DRT systems based on criteria affecting performance, Defining key performance data and a limited set of performance measures for DRT, Identifying the various factors that influence DRT performance, Collecting performance data from DRT systems representative of the defined categories, Identifying actions that rural DRT systems have implemented to improve their performance, and Documenting quantitative and qualitative effects on performance from those actions. While this Guidebook focuses on rural DRT, it shares some similarities with TCRP Report 124, the urban Guidebook, particularly with the identification of factors that influ- ence DRT performance and the background discussion on the development of the DRT typology. It is also noted that the rural Guidebook provides only limited information related to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit service because most rural DRT systems do not provide this type of DRT. Those rural systems interested in ADA paratransit and its performance may want to refer to the urban Guidebook for more information. Improving DRT performance requires an understanding of the characteristics of DRT and the environment within which it operates. Improving performance also requires that

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DRT systems measure where they are now and the progress of their performance over time. To do so, DRT systems need consistent data and clearly defined performance measures, which will facilitate their own internal assessment as well as comparisons of performance across the industry. Once DRT systems have assessed their performance and documented where they stand relative to their own service and compared with others, opportunities for improvement can then be considered.

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CONTENTS 1 Chapter 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Development of Guidebook and Relationship to TCRP Report 124 2 1.2 Guidebook Organization 3 Chapter 2 Rural DRT and Why Performance Matters 3 2.1 Rural DRT--It's Different 4 2.2 The Rural Transit Environment 7 2.3 What Does All This Mean for Rural DRT Performance Assessment? 10 Chapter 3 Performance Data for Rural DRT 10 3.1 Performance Data--Which Data Elements Are Particularly Important? 10 3.2 Performance Data for Rural DRT: Now There Is NTD 11 3.3 Key Performance Data for Rural DRT Performance Assessment 18 3.4 Other Performance Data for Rural DRT Performance Assessment 22 3.5 Rural DRT--Performance Data to Measure Transit Impact 23 Chapter 4 Performance Measures for Rural DRT 23 4.1 Key Performance Measures for Assessing Rural DRT 29 4.2 Additional Performance Measures 31 4.3 Transit-Impact Performance Measures 33 Chapter 5 Assessing Performance--A Typology of Rural DRT 33 5.1 Factors Influencing Rural DRT Performance 36 5.2 Different Methodologies for Assessing DRT Performance 38 5.3 Categorization of Rural DRT Systems 46 Chapter 6 Performance Data from Representative Systems 46 6.1 Rural Systems Participating as Representative Systems 49 6.2 Comparing Your Performance Against Other Systems--Performance Data of Representative Rural DRT Systems 55 6.3 Summary Rural DRT Performance Data 59 Chapter 7 Improving Performance 59 7.1 Actions for Improving Rural DRT Performance 61 7.2 Performance Improvement Actions--More Details and Selected Experience 86 References 88 Appendix A Rural NTD Data, Demand-Response-Only Systems, 2007 Report Year 89 Appendix B Summary Performance Data and System Characteristics by Individual System for Representative Rural DRT Systems, FY07 Data