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2 Guidebook for Rural Demand-Response Transportation: Measuring, Assessing, and Improving Performance 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 influence DRT perfor- mance 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 Disabil- ities 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 on that topic. 1.2 Guidebook Organization The Guidebook has seven chapters. Following this introduction in Chapter 1, Chapters 2 through 4 establish a framework for the Guidebook, with discussion on the diversity of DRT services and definitions of performance data and performance measures. The Rural National Transit Database (NTD) reporting requirements, introduced in 2006, are also discussed in relation to data definitions used for the Guidebook. Chapters 5 through 7 present the typology of rural DRT systems as well as performance data from more than 20 representative rural systems that provided data and information for the proj- ect. Strategies and actions for improving DRT performance are also provided. Readers of the Guidebook who are familiar with performance evaluation may find these latter chapters of the Guidebook more useful. After this first introductory chapter, the Guidebook includes the following: Chapter 2: Rural DRT and Why Performance Matters provides a brief background for the Guidebook, with discussion on the differences between rural and urban DRT as well as the broader environment--geographic, demographic, and policy--within which rural DRT operates. Chapter 3: Performance Data for Rural DRT identifies the key performance data for rural DRT. Chapter 4: Performance Measures for Rural DRT identifies a limited set of performance measures for rural DRT, building on the data elements discussed in Chapter 3. Chapter 5: Assessing Performance--A Typology of Rural DRT presents the typology of rural DRT systems, using criteria that influence DRT performance. This chapter also iden- tifies the various factors that influence performance--controllable, uncontrollable, and partially controllable factors. Chapter 6: Performance Data from Representative Systems provides performance data from more than 20 representative rural DRT systems that participated in the research proj- ect, serving as benchmark data for peer comparisons. Chapter 7: Improving Performance presents policies, procedures, strategies, and practices that can improve DRT performance. The focus of the chapter is those actions taken by the rural systems participating in the research project, along with their quantitative and qual- itative experience with those actions.