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for discussion of global initiatives and lessons learned Performance measures are used by U.S. public in public transportation, and to facilitate idea-sharing transportation agencies to direct resources, improve and the possible import of strategies for application to operations, determine the efficiency and effective- transportation communities in the United States. ness of service, and ensure strategic goals are met. For additional information about the Inter- Increasingly, funding agencies are also evaluating national Transit Studies Program, please contact public transport agencies' performance when deter- Gwen Chisholm-Smith at TCRP (202-334-3246; mining where to allocate public funds for system email@example.com) or Kathryn Harrington-Hughes at expansion and improvement. Harrington-Hughes & Associates (410-770-9192; This study mission brought a team of transit pro- firstname.lastname@example.org). fessionals from large and small systems in commu- nities throughout the United States to Southeast Asia (Appendix A). There, they met with transit operators ABOUT THIS DIGEST and regulators in four cities in four countries to learn The following digest is an overview of a mission how performance measurement systems are used to that explored how performance measurements are improve public transport services (Figure 1). used to achieve organizational goals and enhance The host agencies in the four cities (Hong Kong, quality of service at public transport planning, fund- Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Taipei) were each sent ing, and operating agencies in Hong Kong, Special a list of questions as a starting point for discussion and Administrative Region of the People's Republic to help them tailor their presentations to the study of China; in the city-state of Singapore; in Kuala mission theme. The questions included the following: Lumpur, Malaysia; and in Taipei, Taiwan. It is based · How are performance indicators determined? on individual reports provided by the mission team · What data are collected? How do you know members, and it reflects the observations of the team you are measuring the right things? How does members, who are responsible for the facts and accu- the data relate to agency goals and objectives? racy of the data presented. The digest does not nec- · What benchmarks are used? essarily reflect the view of TCRP, TRB, the National · What means are used to collect the data? How Academies, American Public Transportation Asso- do you optimize the use of automated data ciation (APTA), FTA, or Harrington-Hughes & collection? Associates. · How do you summarize, store, and report the A list of the study team members is included in data? Appendix A. A list of the public transport agencies · How is the data evaluated and analyzed? By and organizations with whom the team met is included whom? in Appendix B. · How do you use technology or outside ven- dors to ensure the quality of the data? INTRODUCTION · What outputs are used to indicate outcome? · How are data integrated to enable better deci- All organizations need to develop a strategy for sion making? how they want to grow and where they want to be in · How are the outcomes linked to customer and the future. Although many definitions exist for orga- community issues? nizational strategy development, one way to explain · How do you translate the information into it is as strategic and thoughtful planning with stake- action? holders to improve an agency and guide its develop- · How does transit management make use of the ment into the future. Because transportation agencies data? affect the public in such direct ways, organizational · How are performance measures used to strategy development is a vital component of provid- improve customer service? To evaluate cost ing efficient and effective services that meet the needs effectiveness? of the public. Measuring performance is one impor- · How do you make measurement everybody's tant way to ensure that an organization is moving in job? the right direction. · Do you use performance measures for rewards? 2
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Taipei Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. (Taipei Metro) National Chiao Tung University Taipei City Government Hong Kong Kowloon Motor Bus Co. (KMB) MTR Corp. Transport Department Kuala Lumpur RapidKL Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) Public Transport Council (PTC) Singapore Corp. (SMRT) National University of Singapore Figure 1 The study team met with transit operators and regulators in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Taipei. · Do you use pay for performance in service team members a broad understanding of the history, contracts? political structure, operation, management frame- · How are performance measures implemented? work, and performance measurement systems in How do you get employees to support the per- place at each agency. The systems have much in com- formance measurement system? How do you mon with each other and with U.S. transit agencies. educate them about performance measurement? Quality of service, safety, and cost control, for exam- · How do you tie measurements to strategy? Do ple, present the same challenges worldwide. On the you measure results that focus management other hand, many of the conditions underlying the attention on key strategic objectives? success of transit systems in Asia do not exist in U.S. · How are performance measures used in plan- cities. The political systems, approaches to planning, ning and delivering service, ensuring passen- population densities, and levels of investment in tran- ger safety and security, maintaining vehicles, sit in those systems are dramatically different from contracting for services and vehicles, and what one often sees in the United States. evaluating the effectiveness of service? To structure the study mission and ensure a com- The meetings, presentations, tours, and experi- prehensive review of the agencies visited, the team ences in conjunction with the study mission gave the members decided to organize their review around a 3