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CHAPTER 3 Performance Data for Rural DRT Measuring and assessing rural DRT performance require that performance data be identified and defined. This is an important step that will help improve consistency in data definitions and report- ing. Particularly at rural transit systems there may be limited administrative staff for data collection tasks, and these tasks may be burdensome without technology tools such as a computer-assisted scheduling/dispatch (CASD) system. Data on DRT may be intermingled with data for other service modes, such as route deviation, but consistent data reporting practices are needed for assessing rural DRT performance. This chapter identifies key performance data for rural DRT systems and also reviews other data elements that are often collected for performance assessment purposes. 3.1 Performance Data--Which Data Elements Are Particularly Important? This Guidebook's companion guidebook on urban DRT systems, TCRP Report 124, identi- fied a long list of data elements that DRT systems can consider for data collection and assessment purposes. This list was then distilled to six key data elements for performance assessment, in keeping with the research project's objective of selecting a limited number of performance data elements and measures. For rural DRT systems, a similar set of six data elements is used for this Guidebook as the key data for performance assessment purposes: Vehicle-hours, Vehicle-miles, Passenger trips, Total operating expense, Accidents/safety incidents, and On-time trips In addition to these data elements, a number of others are identified and discussed in this chapter. These additional data elements and related performance measures provide rural DRT systems with additional resources for assessing their performance. 3.2 Performance Data for Rural DRT--Now There Is NTD With the Rural NTD established in 2006 for transit systems operating in rural areas, transit managers at the nation's rural systems must now comply with specific federal reporting require- ments. NTD reporting has been a staple for urban transit systems since the 1970s, and adoption of standardized reporting for rural systems in 2006 is a positive progression. 10