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CHAPTER 1 How to Use This Toolkit Many different federal, state, and local programs fund community transportation services. These programs have specific missions, legislative origins, administrative departments, and tar- get populations. They also tend to have unique regulations and reporting requirements. While these differences are understandable, their sheer number can create significant complexities when communities wish to coordinate the transportation services of the various programs. TCRP Report 144, Volume 1, "The Transportation Services Cost Sharing Toolkit," provides a methodology for recording, reporting, and sharing transportation costs and services. This methodology is useful in understanding how transportation costs are incurred, and that under- standing can lead to better management decisions about the operations of transportation ser- vices. A better understanding of transportation costs and services also creates a framework for community-wide discussions of how to achieve the most cost-effective services for the broadest possible range of residents and visitors. To meet the goal of cost effectiveness, the costs of transportation services need to be equitably allocated--shared--among stakeholders that typically include riders, transportation providers and purchasers, local governments, and programs sponsored by state and federal programs. TCRP Report 144 is not intended as a replacement for the regulations and requirements of any agency, but rather as a foundation to begin the process of establishing common measures and reports for the purpose of enhancing the benefits of coordinating and sharing the resources of various transportation programs. There are four components of TCRP Report 144: Sharing the Costs of Human Services Transportation: Volume 1, "The Transportation Services Cost Sharing Toolkit," which provides a methodology for recording, reporting, and sharing transportation costs and services. Volume 2, "Research Report," which provides basic information about transportation ser- vices and their costs, as well as accounting fundamentals that may be useful for transportation professionals. CRP-CD-86, "Cost Sharing Model for TCRP Report 144," which is a series of Excel spread- sheets that can help transportation providers and purchasers record their costs and determine how to share those costs. "Instructions for the Human Services Transportation Cost Sharing Model," also included in CRP-CD-86, which provide step-by-step instructions for using the spreadsheets. Volume 1 of TCRP Report 144, the Toolkit, is structured to provide both basic and detailed information on collecting and reporting data on transportation services and their costs, whether such services are provided by transit agencies or human services transportation providers and whether the transportation providers are large or small operations. This report then describes how to allocate and share the costs among the stakeholders. 1

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2 Sharing the Costs of Human Services Transportation The Cost Sharing Model described in this Toolkit contains the following sequence of inputs and calculations: 1. The user of the model enters previous data on Total service outputs, miles, hours, and trips (based on actual figures for the previous year or projected figures for the coming year); and Line item expenses (for the previous year or the coming year as projected). 2. The model assigns each expense to variable and fixed cost categories. 3. The user enters the anticipated number of miles, hours, and trips for the service alternative being considered. 4. The model calculates the costs of those services. 5. The user chooses the basis for a cost recovery contract (a price per mile, per hour, or per trip). 6. The model calculates a price per mile, per hour, or per trip, whichever is specified by the user. 7. The user then can repeat these calculations for each agency purchasing transportation ser- vices to establish a unit rate for each purchasing agency. The chapters of this Toolkit provide the basic understanding that might be beneficial to all persons involved in human services transportation. The Glossary contained in Volume 1 of TCRP Report 144 provides standardized definitions of key transportation and accounting con- cepts, as well as terminology from federal legislation and programs, while the appendices pro- vide detailed information on specific subjects that may or may not be relevant to all programs in all communities. All readers are encouraged to pay close attention to the materials in the chap- ters and then select information from the appendices that may be relevant to their specific needs. The Toolkit chapters provide information on the following subjects: The four different kinds of human services transportation. Basic data needed for managing and assessing coordinated transportation operations. Methods for collecting data on transportation services and costs. Distinctions between the costs and prices of transportation services. The implications of adopting these recommendations. Step-by-step instructions for establishing cost-sharing agreements for transportation costs using spreadsheets. In addition, the appendices provide the following information: Regulations affecting federally funded transportation services (Appendix A). The vehicle sharing policy statement of the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (Appendix B). Examples of localities, states, and federal agencies that have already adopted many of the data recording and reporting recommendations of this report (Appendix C). Examples of contracts for transportation services containing data collection and reporting requirements (Appendix D). Explanation of depreciation in capital expenses (Appendix E). Transportation providers--all organizations that provide community transportation services to consumers--should be collecting data on total costs, services delivered, and services con- sumed, and these data should be reported to funders and administrators of all transportation programs. With these data, it is possible to create performance measures that are most useful to local program managers, including resource efficiency measures, service effectiveness measures, and cost-effectiveness measures. These are the most relevant management measures for assess- ing current program status and highlighting possible needs for change in community trans- portation services. With these data, the true costs of transportation services actually received by various stakeholders can be precisely calculated and then shared by all beneficiaries of the transportation services.