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CHAPTER 4 Data Needed for Measures of Transportation System Performance It is critical that data on the transportation services provided and the costs of those services is collected in order to be able to Assess performance. Measure progress toward the achievement of goals and objectives. Consider actions that may change the course of future events. Modify policies, procedures, and processes. Evaluate program outcomes. Make decisions regarding the potential expansion, reduction, or cessation of services. Share the costs of services among the beneficiaries of those services. Data on transportation services often are available in common and somewhat similar (although perhaps not identical) formats; comprehensive cost data are not as readily available and often are not available in consistent formats. Performance Assessments Need Specific Data It is important that data (i.e., statistics) are presented as meaningful performance measures to facilitate key functions like measuring progress toward achieving goals and objectives; modify- ing policies, procedures, and processes; and making changes to current operations. To construct useful performance measures, the following kinds of program data and statistics should be col- lected and reported: Resource inputs: Resources expended in providing service, including labor, capital, materials, services, and other measurable items. Service outputs: Nonfinancial operating results of resource expenditures. They may be expressed as service quantity outputs such as numbers of trips provided or hours of service provided, or as qualitative service statistics, such as user satisfaction or numbers of complaints. Services consumed: The actual results of services purchased. Such information can be expressed in either financial or nonfinancial terms. For example, the number of passenger trips consumed is nonfinancial data; passenger revenue (through donations or fares) is financial. Basic Measures Can Express What's Needed With such data in hand, it is possible to express three basic kinds of performance measures: Resource efficiency measures, in which resource inputs are expressed in relation to service outputs (e.g., labor cost per service hour). 9