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CHAPTER 5 Ongoing Management of Shared-Use Operations 5.1 Introduction Although many of the matters related to developing a new or expanded passenger rail service on a shared corridor have to be addressed in the planning, negotiation, and initial implementation stages, the process does not finish with the first revenue trip. In the research for this guidebook, all stakeholders reported that operating a successful service requires ongoing attention to service per- formance and the maintenance of effective cooperative relationships between all parties responsi- ble for delivering the service, including the host railroad, the operator of the passenger trains (Amtrak or another contractor), and any other contractors involved in delivering the service. Indeed, stakeholders reported that ensuring consistent high-quality service over time is one of the leading challenges for a passenger rail agency. The challenges arise from a conflict between the needs of users of passenger rail services, espe- cially commuters and riders on corridor-type intercity services, and practical problems of satisfy- ing those needs on a railroad ROW shared with freight service. The principal user needs relating to operating a shared rail corridor are: Reliable service must be provided--most important, the frequency and magnitude of train delays should be within acceptable limits. Practically, reliable service means defining ser- vice reliability metrics, monitoring performance as measured by the metrics, and exercis- ing enforcement mechanisms so that all responsible parties can deliver on the required performance. Passenger service capacity (seats and other on-board accommodations) is adequate to meet demand. Schedules and journey times are appropriate for the kinds of trips taken by users. Track condition must be maintained to provide adequate ride comfort, as well as meet safety requirements. Many other factors bear on the quality of service provided to the user, such as functioning on-board amenities (e.g., HVAC, lighting and toilet systems, cleanliness, food service quality, seat- ing comfort, etc.). However, these factors are usually fully under the control of Amtrak, the passen- ger rail agency, and the contract operator (if commuter service) and are not affected by the actions of other rail service operators using the corridor. This section discusses and provides recommendations on how best to ensure that customer needs can be met over time. Specifically, this section will discuss: Maintaining service quality, primarily OTP, but also some passenger comfort and amenity issues. 74