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Data Needed for Measures of Transportation System Performance 11 Table 4-1. Common human services transportation data issues. Types of Data Common Measures Data Collection Issues Reporting Issues Cost of Total dollar costs Many transportation Reports typically Services providers are not accounting focus on the price of for all costs required to services rather than provide transportation. on their costs. Service Total vehicle miles Total vehicle miles of Vehicle mile and Outputs Total vehicle hours service are available more hour data are often than total vehicle hours typically available of service; other measures of from transit but not service outputs seldom are human service recorded or reported. agencies. Services Total number of The basic measure of Trip data are Consumed trips services consumed is one- generally available Total unduplicated way trips; this information is from transit but not number of persons not as commonly available human service receiving services as would be expected. agencies; numbers Another key measure is the of persons served are total unduplicated number of generally available persons receiving services, from demand- which is more commonly responsive but not recorded for human service fixed-route programs than for operations. transportation programs. Vehicle Hours--the hours a vehicle is scheduled to or actually travels from its point of depar- ture to go into service to when it pulls in from service. Passenger Trips (Unlinked)--the number of passengers who board a transportation vehicle or other conveyance used to provide client transportation. "Unlinked" means that passengers are counted each time they board vehicles no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to their destination. Unduplicated Persons Served--the number of individuals who receive transportation services. Note that while reasonable cost sharing procedures might be developed without information on hours of service, service hour information is indeed necessary to ensure the most accurate and most equitable distribution of costs. Standardizing terminology and calculations is critical to providing comparable data for man- agement and accountability. See the Glossary for standardized transportation service and cost terminology. More Detailed Data Answer More Questions The simple list of required data items in Table 4-1 should form the basis for all transportation services recording and reporting. The expanded list of data items in Table 4-2 can be used, par- ticularly at the local level, to develop more powerful performance measures that can directly improve transportation services. Table 4-2 identifies more detailed data elements that can enhance the understanding of the three key types of data: costs, services provided, and services consumed. These additional data can help address these kinds of questions: Which agency partners could best perform which functions in a coordinated transporta- tion program? Split costs into operating, administrative, or capital categories and then con- duct comparative analyses to determine which agencies offer the most cost-effective functions