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sions. However, when asked later in the survey of additional information and support in setting and whether transit goals had affected agency invest- using statewide transit goals. Most DOTs turn to ments, fewer respondents said they had. Where transit the same sources of information (e.g., guidance and goals (and other performance-based elements, such documentation from FHWA, FTA, NCHRP, and as performance measures) have affected investments, TCRP reports). Several DOTs suggested that more they have helped to target assistance toward lagging information about what other states are doing would systems (e.g., in Wisconsin and Minnesota) or identify be beneficial. DOTs generally look to other states aging vehicles that may need replacement (e.g., in they consider their peers in confronting challenges. Oregon and Maine). In states where the investment im- For example, Mn/DOT said it often looks to Ohio pact of transit goals has been less evident, respondents DOT because the two states share many common indicated goals were used more for public account- characteristics. SCDOT informed the research team ability or for advocating on behalf of transit system they looked to DOTs like Iowa and North Carolina expansion. For example, Missouri DOT said it used for their experiences. the performance measures linked to their transit goals to provide evidence of transit ridership and availability when requesting additional state transit funding. CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS The number of DOTs setting statewide transit Data Availability goals is growing. Many DOTs indicated they were updating their transit goals or developing a transit Several state DOTs noted the difficulty in setting plan to develop more extensive or specific goals. accurate and achievable goals where there were lim- Plans in progress identified by the research team in- its in available data. Transit agencies do not always clude the following: provide data to state DOTs and, without current and verifiable data, DOTs are limited in setting quantifi- Virginia DRPT and Caltrans are preparing able transit goals. Many states have taken steps to transit plans. address this challenge. For example, Mn/DOT has Oregon DOT and Florida DOT are preparing developed a robust data reporting program. Wash- to update their transit plans. ington State DOT requires transit agencies around Nebraska Department of Roads is updating the state to provide updated figures in accordance the LRSTP and will include transit goals. with their TDPs on an annual basis. This is rolled The research team saw many of the same chal- into one state report provided to the legislature. As lenges across states, frequently related to funding and data sharing improves, this challenge will become data issues. Similarly, DOTs encounter common more surmountable. challenges in exerting their authority to set statewide transit goals and engendering support for monitor- Funding and Staffing ing and evaluation of these goals. In meeting these challenges, DOTs noted opportunities to support Funding was a common issue raised by the inter- improved statewide transit goal setting. viewees. This was particularly evident in states with Transit planning is not fully integrated into more limited or uncertain funding sources. SCDOT statewide performance-based planning efforts when said it had to be realistic in what it could expect of compared with other parts of the transportation sys- their transit providers in meeting statewide goals, tem. As transit becomes an increasingly attractive considering limited funding and staffing demands. option for meeting statewide transportation goals, As performance-based planning becomes more in- including those of livability and quality of life, tran- grained at state DOTs, available resources might sit planning needs to become better integrated into be better allocated in the future; however, currently today's statewide performance-based planning efforts. funding and staffing concerns are still a challenge. In particular, transit goals need to be effectively linked to performance measures and to the pro- gramming and project prioritization process. Per- Sources of Information formance measurement in many DOTs is more ad- Throughout the research, the research team vanced than goal setting, although many DOTs are heard over and again that state DOTs were in need still looking for measures that capture meaningful 15