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public transportation division (or equivalent) at each best practices later in this report. The literature re- of these state DOTs for a follow-up interview about view, web survey, and DOT interviews support the their development and use of statewide transit goals. conclusions drawn in this report. The research team focused our interviews on their motivation for setting statewide transit goals and CHAPTER 2 CURRENT STATE their process for developing such goals. The research OF THE PRACTICE team interviewed representatives from the follow- ing states: A recent analysis of LRSTPs by FHWA con- cludes that today's plans focus on highway travel California: California DOT (Caltrans) has a because state DOTs are responsible for construction, robust set of transit goals in its LRSTP and maintenance, and operation of highways, and be- is known for goal setting and use of perfor- cause of the dominance of motor vehicle travel (U.S. mance measurement statewide, as well as for DOT, Analysis of State Long-Range Transportation collaboration with multiple stakeholders. Plans, 2005). State DOTs have limited responsibil- Minnesota: Minnesota DOT (Mn/DOT) has ity when it comes to transit systems. This focus on both strong transit goals and performance highways often comes at the cost of public transit measures that are clearly linked. Its efforts are being similarly considered in statewide plans. The documented in statewide plans and perfor- research confirmed this analysis but also finds that mance reports. Interviewing Mn/DOT allowed this practice is changing. Many states are now set- for a greater understanding of these linkages ting statewide transit goals. and their importance. Oregon: Oregon DOT derives its transit goals Statewide Transit Goals from both its legislature and internal processes. Its goals are concrete and quantitative. The Statewide transit goals are broad statements of a interview helped the research team to under- desired end-state by the DOT for public transporta- stand how these goals were set. tion service in the state. Goals today take many forms, South Carolina: South Carolina DOT from very broad, multimodal goals to specific, often objective-like statements, particular to transit. Exam- (SCDOT) has a transit plan developed with the ples include input of focus groups and surveys within each of its ten regions. SCDOT has a set of 11 goals "Maintain and expand the statewide public (called "visions") for their transit system. transit network."--Greater Minnesota Transit Virginia: The Virginia Performs website docu- Plan (20102030) ments state transit goals and performance mea- "A public transportation system in all parishes sures, allowing users to find and examine plans, by 2020."--Five Year Strategic Plan (2011 goals, performance reports, and budget docu- 2016), Louisiana Department of Transportation ments. The research team focused the interview and Development on the Virginia Department of Rail and Public "The public transportation system should be Transportation (DRPT), which makes funding planned, operated, managed and financed co- allocation decisions for the state's 60 public operatively by public and private organiza- transportation providers and 55 human service tions representing statewide, regional and local transportation operators, with the majority of interests."--1997 Oregon Public Transporta- funding in urbanized areas. tion Plan New Jersey (NJ DOT and NJ Transit): NJ Frequently, transit is one transportation mode Transit operates the nation's largest statewide referenced in a broader multimodal goal that addresses public transit system. The interview helped the issue of mobility. In these cases, transit may only clarify how groups with related responsibilities be specifically referenced in the policies or objec- work together in a state where state representa- tives supporting the goal. The research team saw this tives have a direct role in transit operations. occurring more frequently in LRSTPs. Examples include The research team conducted its interviews by phone in October 2010. The information from these Goal: provide mobility and transportation interviews is included in the discussion of current and choices. Supporting policies include "support 4

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public, specialized, and human services transit" Enhance the image of public transit through and "support development of fixed-guideway a comprehensive and continuing market- transit services."--Wisconsin's Connections ing/education program that illustrates the 2030: Statewide Long-Range Transportation benefits of quality transit services. Plan (2009) Sound Investment Approach Goal: "improve mobility, accessibility, relia- Ensure stewardship of public transit invest- bility." Supporting strategies include, "make ments through a defined oversight program. public transit more competitive" and "estab- Increase dedicated state public transit fund- lish an information clearinghouse for aging ing to $35 million by 2030. and disabled transit and paratransit users."-- Make public transit reasonable and afford- New Jersey's Transportation Choices 2030 able by encouraging more local invest- (2008 update) ment and promoting coordinated land use/ The research team also noted a distinction be- transportation planning at the local level. tween goals set for the state's transit system and Utilize an incremental approach to new goals that guide a state DOT public transportation public transit investments that recognizes division or state transit department's activities. For funding constraints and the need to main- example, both Caltrans' Division of Mass Transit tain existing services. and Virginia's DRPT have agency/division missions Viability of Transit and goals to guide state transit. These goals encompass Provide quality, affordable public transit both system performance and more internal agency services using safe, clean, comfortable, re- actions, such as communication or research. liable, and well-maintained vehicles. Virginia DRPT's agency goals as contained in Increase statewide public transit ridership the agency strategic plan (20102012) are to on average by 5% annually through 2030. Utilize different modes of public transit, Assist in managing the growth in congestion including bus, rail, vanpool/carpool, ferry, on Virginia's highways. and other appropriate technologies, corre- Improve access for the general public and sponding to the level of demand. businesses to alternative transportation (pub- Accessibility to All lic transportation, carpools, vanpools, human Provide an appropriate level of public tran- service transportation, passenger rail, freight sit in all 46 South Carolina counties by rail) and telecommuting. 2020 that supports intermodal connectivity. Seek the highest possible return on investment Develop and implement a coordinated in- to maximize limited funding. teragency human services transportation Increase communications to the general pub- delivery network. lic, businesses, and community decisionmak- ers on alternative transportation choices and Web Survey Results telecommuting. Based on the survey, most DOTs are involved in Few states had a clearly articulated set of state- statewide transit goal setting. Seventy percent (of 43 wide transit goals. Those that did usually had them DOTs) reported having documented statewide tran- documented via their statewide transit plan. South sit goals. Most of these DOTs have more than one Carolina DOT provides a good example of this. As transit goal and 20% report having seven or more documented in SCDOT's 2008 Transit Plan, goals goals. Goals were frequently developed as part of include the following: the LRSTP planning process. Several DOTs also Economic Growth developed state transit plans (also called strategic Recognize and promote public transit as plans or management plans) that include transit a key component of economic development goals. The planning process used to develop transit initiatives, such as linking workers to jobs, goals had only a weak correlation with the reported supporting tourism, and accommodating the use and impact of the goals, but DOTs with state growth of South Carolina as a retirement des- transit plans reported more frequently that their tination through public/private partnerships. transit goals or performance measures had affected 5

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agency investments than those whose goals were in (e.g., providing transportation choices, sustainability, LRSTPs. Of the 13 DOTs that reported not having or land-use related). Cost and efficiency concerns are transit goals, most (69%) have considered or are de- identified as goals to a lesser extent, as are mainte- veloping transit goals. Half of these DOTs report nance and safety/security concerns. Statewide transit having broader multimodal goals that cover transit, goals were least likely to address travel time and ser- at least implicitly. vice delivery. The research team's survey identified some com- monalities across statewide goals. Not surprisingly, qualitative goals were more common than quanti- Performance-Based Planning Approach tative ones. For example, qualitative goals such as The research team's survey indicated that the use North Dakota DOT's goal to "increase the mobility of statewide transit goals is indicative of a greater shift of transportation disadvantaged persons in all areas to an objectives-driven, performance-based approach and localities" (State Transit Management Plan, 2010) to transportation planning. Most state DOTs reported were reported more commonly than quantitative having set statewide transit goals under a broader goals, such as Connecticut DOT's goal to "double initiative of performance-based planning. Over 80% transit ridership by 2020" (Connecticut Climate of survey respondents are tracking their transit goals Change Action Plan, 2005). Several DOTs reported regularly. Over 75% of respondents are linking transit having both qualitative and quantitative transit goals. goals to performance measures. Half of state DOTs Few state DOTs reported having transit goals that with transit goals reported use of these goals to guide were time- or mode-specific (27 and 23%, respec- or evaluate state investments in transit and to support tively), such as Connecticut DOT's goal for doubling allocation of transit funding. However, only a quarter transit ridership by 2020 or Wisconsin DOT's goal to of DOTs with transit goals said their goals had in fact "support development of fixed-guideway transit ser- affected investments. vices" (Connections 2030 Long-Range Multimodal The setting of statewide goals and use of Transportation Plan, 2009). performance measures are key components of a As shown in Exhibit 1, the more common state- performance-based planning approach. Nearly all wide transit goals are focused on ridership, transit survey respondents considered their statewide tran- availability (e.g., frequency and accessibility of ser- sit goal setting to be a part of this approach and all vice, coverage area), and broader multimodal topics DOTs the research team interviewed said they were Exhibit 1 Topics addressed by transit goals, by percentage of responding DOTs with goals addressing each topic* 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Availability 58% Service Delivery 19% Travel Time 13% Safety and Security 26% Maintenance 29% Cost and Efficiency Concerns 42% Ridership 61% Broader Multi-modal Goals 58% Other 36% *Totals do not sum to 100 because respondents could select multiple responses 6

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Exhibit 2 Performance-Based Planning A performance-based approach to transportation planning includes the following steps: 1. Develop goals and objectives for the transportation system, generally through extensive outreach to stakeholders and the public. Goals are broad statements that describe a desired end state while objectives are the specific and measurable means for achieving the goals; together they define the agency's priorities and provide the foundation for the rest of the process. 2. Select performance measures that can be used to track progress toward the goals. Performance mea- sures should be identified with stakeholder support, particularly those who will be providing data or will be monitored. Performance measures may need to be adjusted to reflect what information is available or can rea- sonably be collected and available analytical tools. 3. Set performance targets for each performance measure. Quantifiable targets allow an agency to track progress toward goals more specifically. 4. Select strategies and allocate resources to achieve performance targets. How agencies approach attain- ment of performance targets, goals, and objectives will depend on the type of planning process involved. 5. Implement strategies. In the case of state DOTs, this may be done by the agency itself or by another agency with funding and/or support from the DOT. 6. Monitor, report, and evaluate performance. There should be feedback loops in place that allow the eval- uation of projects or agencies based on their performance and achievement of objectives. aware of recent FHWA and FTA encouragement for Funding an objectives-driven, performance-based approach Transit funding comes from various federal, to transportation planning. Exhibit 2 provides addi- state, and local government (e.g., sales tax and fare- tional information describing elements making up box) sources. For urban areas, most transit funds are this approach. sent directly from FTA to the transit operator. For rural areas, state DOTs administer transit funds. State DOT Connection to Transit This responsibility by the state can contribute to DOT interest in setting statewide transit goals, par- State involvement in transit service varies greatly. ticularly where the DOT exercises discretion over In a few states, the DOT or other state agency directly funding distribution. Exhibit 3 describes the primary operates service. In most states, administered fund- FTA funding programs. ing is the strongest connection between the state and Over the past two decades, FTA has been trans- local transit agencies. However, state DOTs often ferring administrative responsibility for many of take an active interest in rural transit and inter- its programs to the states. In each of the recent regional transit. These are areas over which they are major transportation bills--ISTEA, TEA-21, and more likely to have jurisdiction or some level of SAFETEA-LU--higher levels of funding have gone control (often through funding). to transit, with states administering these funds. For instance, under SAFETEA-LU, states continue to Operators administer the current formula programs under Sec- At least seven states directly own or operate some tions 5311 (Non-urbanized), 5307 (Small Urban), part of their state's transit system. New Jersey, for ex- and 5310 (Elderly and Disabled). In addition, ample, is the major public operator in the state. New programs under Sections 5316 (JARC) and 5317 Mexico operates a portion of the state transit system (New Freedom Program) are now state administered. (i.e., interregional bus and rail service). In most states, Among the states the research team interviewed, transit service is the responsibility of a regional or several mentioned the Formula Grants for Other local government (such as a city or county) or a spe- than Urbanized Areas (Section 5311), which provides cial district or authority. funding to states to support rural transit systems. 7

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Exhibit 3 FTA Transit Funding Programs Federal funding is often the primary source of transit funding for many states and operators. The major federal programs are as follows: Section 5303, 5304, 5305 Metropolitan & Statewide Planning. These programs provide funds to state DOTs (who may pass them along to MPOs) for cooperative, continuous, and comprehensive planning. Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Program. This is available to urbanized areas and governors (or their agencies) for transportation planning, capital expenses, and operating assistance (for areas with popu- lations less than 200,000). Section 5309 Transit Capital Investment Program. This provides funds to public bodies and transit agen- cies for capital projects. Its three components are New Fixed Guideway (New Starts and Small Starts): start or expand fixed guideway systems. Fixed Guideway Modernization: capital projects related to existing fixed guideway systems. Bus and Bus Facilities: used to purchase new and replacement buses and for investments in facilities. Section 5310 Transportation for Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities. This provides funds to states in order to help non-profits assisting the elderly and those with disabilities in areas where existing ser- vices are not sufficient. Section 5311 Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas. This provides funding to state DOTs to assist rural areas with populations less than 50,000 in providing public transportation services. Section 5316 Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (JARC). This provides funds to states and public bodies (who may pass funds along to non-profit organizations and transit operators) for assisting low- income individuals in their commutes. Section 5317 New Freedom. This provides funds to states and other public bodies for new public trans- portation services and alternatives to assist individuals with disabilities in meeting their transportation needs beyond requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Source: Several DOTs had recently or were in the process directly to regional transportation planning agencies of altering their distribution methods for these funds, (metropolitan and rural). often to a more performance-based approach. States generally control much less funding for urban State DOT Public Transportation Divisions areas, because transit systems in larger urbanized Most state DOTs have an office or division of areas usually have the authority to receive FTA public transportation or public transit that focuses funding directly (FTA, 2010). As a condition of on providing transportation options for the traveling receipt of federal funds, transit providers must re- public. These public transportation divisions are often port data to the National Transit Database. For responsible for supporting transit around the state Section 5311 recipients, the state DOT often han- through the administration of federal and state transit dles the reporting, using data provided by the tran- funds, technical assistance, and integration of tran- sit providers. sit into statewide multimodal plans and projects. The State funds can be an important source of match- research team saw at least one case (South Carolina) ing funds for transit providers, particularly if they do where there was a public transit section within the not have other dedicated local funding sources. DOT's planning division, in addition to the DOT's Depending on how the funding is sourced and dis- Office of Public Transit. In that case, the planning tributed, the state DOT may control some of these division's transit section takes the lead on develop- funds, though often with certain legislative restric- ing the goals for the transit plan. Where there is a tions. For example, Caltrans is restricted in its use of public transit department separate from the DOT, state transportation funding to roads and interregional the creation of a multimodal transportation plan is transportation and distributes urban and rural funds often a point of collaboration between the transit 8

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department and other departments in the state. For sit providers. The transit goals in these plans gener- example, Virginia DRPT is responsible for state plan- ally support the broader multimodal system goals in ning for rail, public transit, and commuter services the LRSTP. By developing a separate transit plan, (e.g., carpools, telework, and other alternative modes). these states can describe in greater depth the needs Virginia DRPT collaborates with Virginia DOT to of their state transit systems and often propose goals set the state's transit goals in the LRSTP. The that are more detailed. statewide plan addresses higher level policy issues Transit plans are varied. In Minnesota, the state for all transportation modes. transit plan applies only to the non-metropolitan plan- ning organization portions of the state. This corre- Human Service Transportation Coordination sponds to those areas for which Mn/DOT administers SAFETEA-LU created a requirement that proj- transit funding. Utah DOT takes a different approach ects funded under the Elderly Individuals and Indi- with its Unified Transportation Plan, combining the re- viduals with Disabilities (Section 5310), JARC gional transportation plans for the state's four metro- (Section 5316), and New Freedom (Section 5317) politan areas with a state plan for the non-metropolitan programs be coordinated through a public transit- areas (Utah Department of Transportation, 2007). Of human services transportation plan. This plan must be the DOTs the research team interviewed, only one developed at the local level with input from trans- (New Jersey) did not have a separate transit plan com- portation and human services providers, non-profits, pleted or in progress, but, in that case, the LRSTP in- and other private and public organizations, as well as cludes extensive reference to transit in its goals and the the public. These plans are meant to assess the needs major transit provider in the state, NJ Transit, was an of the transportation-disadvantaged and avoid dupli- equal partner in the plan's development. cation of services (FTA, 2005). To help fulfill this re- Unlike in metropolitan areas, states have no fed- quirement, several states have created statewide coor- eral requirement to update their LRSTPs on a particu- dinating bodies to provide services at a wider scale. lar schedule (though state transportation improvement These groups provide a forum for state DOTs to coor- plans must be updated every 4 or 5 years). Federal dinate with transit providers, better informing plan- planning regulations require states to continually eval- ning efforts. For example, Mn/DOT cited its State Co- uate, revise, and periodically update the LRSTP; how- ordinating Council for Transportation Access as an ever, regulations do not prescribe a schedule or time impetus behind the state's extensive outreach to tran- frame for these updates (U.S. Government Account- sit providers during the development of their statewide ability Office, 2010). In some states, an update sched- transit plan. Twenty-five states have created state co- ule is mandated by statute or executive order, but in ordinating councils (Farber, 2010). the literature review, the research team found various dates for the LRSTPs the research team consulted. Planning Processes Several of the states the research team spoke with were Transit goals are frequently developed and doc- updating their LRSTP or transit plan; some were also umented as part of the LRSTP process. The LRSTP developing transit plans for the first time (e.g., Cali- establishes a state's strategic vision and direction for fornia's Statewide Transit Strategic Plan) or doing ad- its transportation investments for at least a 20-year ditional transit planning (e.g., Minnesota with its new period. These plans may vary in content from state to Transit Investment Plan). state--from broad policy-oriented documents to a Transit plans appeared to be updated sporadi- specific list of projects combined to create an overall cally, relying more on whether a connection exists transportation plan for the state (U.S. Government to the LRSTP. For example, Oregon DOT has sev- Accountability Office, 2010). Where transit goals are eral plans focusing on different modes that it up- not developed as part of the LRSTP, they are fre- dates periodically. Its transit plan is one of the old- quently part of a shorter term strategic plan or an est now, done back in 1997. Oregon DOT reported agency performance plan. that its transit plan was well received when devel- The research team found that several DOTs have oped. It is scheduled for an update in the also developed state transit plans as part of their 20112013 biennium. Mn/DOT created its first planning processes. These plans go into more detail transit plan in 2001 and updated it in 2009 as part and generally involve closer collaboration with tran- of the LRSTP update. 9