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Data Needed for Measures of Transportation System Performance 13 Table 4-3. Typical current transportation data availability. Agency Type Data Transportation Aging Medicaid Employment Aggregate Aggregate Costs Highly detailed Aggregate totals totals totals Sometimes Seldom Seldom Vehicle Miles Available available available available Not often Vehicle Hours Often available Not available Not available available Seldom Sometimes Number of Trips Available Available available available Number of Persons Sometimes Often available Often available Often available Served available Numbers of Persons Sometimes Often highly Seldom Seldom by Type available detailed available available Note that, since many of these programs are state-administered, significant variations may occur in the information generally available from state to state. It also is important to note that, while limitations may exist in the availability of some of the data in Table 4-3 at the state and federal levels, much of this information often is available at the local level. At the present time, it appears that only members of the aging network regularly collect all of the types of data needed, and even they may need more detailed data collection in some areas. A number of human service agencies collect only a small fraction of the information needed to ensure the cost effectiveness of their own programs and to assure stakeholders in coordinated transportation compacts that costs are being shared equitably. There is a best practice argument for adopting the best reporting procedures commonly in use. Even if service providers are not currently required to account for costs in a certain way, they would be more consistent with best practices in the field if they did so. Summary As seen previously, some improvements in data recording and reporting could be made by nearly all recipients of federal funds used to provide human services transportation. U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-funded agencies could record and report more informa- tion on passengers while other agencies could record and report more information on service outputs and services consumed. The good news is that nearly all of the currently available para- transit software programs collect all these data, so community transportation systems that use software for scheduling, dispatching, and billing purposes will have readily available, automated data that could be converted to the more standardized formats recommended by this project. These data then would be ready to generate the information needed for management and report- ing purposes. Additional data collection procedures will be required for fixed-route transit sys- tems where few data on the numbers and types of persons traveling are available. Note that the current paratransit software programs typically contain personal data at a much greater level of detail than is needed for cost accounting purposes. Aggregate summary data are sufficient; detailed personal information is not required. Therefore, concerns about personal privacy could be easily addressed in the proposed reporting procedures.