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Table 2-3 Federal funding obligations websites. Thus, in most cases where states were for Section 5311(f) ($ millions). unresponsive to both the interview survey effort and the telephone interview effort, there was an addi- Federal Section 5311 Section 5311(f) Fiscal Year Obligations Obligations tional basis to identify successful state intercity bus FY 1999 203.6 19.4 programs and their general characteristics. FY 2000 225.6 19.4 FY 2001 212.3 14.9 FY 2002 268.3 22.4 INTERNET SURVEY DEVELOPMENT FY 2003 254.8 20.6 FY 2004 238.8 21.8 The Internet survey tool was designed to address FY 2005 284.3 20.6 the questions for both tasks, across the three areas FY 2006 416.1 40.4 FY 2007 493.7 48.4* defined in the scope: FY 2008 529.3* 48.6* Background on the existing conditions of the Source: *Data provided by FTA as of December 2009, internal intercity services, status reports on Section 5311(f) Certification. All other dollar amounts are from the FTA website (http://www.fta.dot.gov/ State program policies and issues, and funding/data/grants_financing_1090.html). Program outcomes. The survey consisted of multiple choice and include needs assessments or studies. States have to open-ended questions, grouped into the following document the relationship between the results of the categories: consultation process and state decisions regarding 1. Introduction and Contact Information-- certification. Many of the states are finding that such survey contact information. a consultation process does end up identifying unmet 2. Existing Conditions--the current intercity rural intercity needs, and as a result they are no longer bus services in the state. able to certify but instead are funding rural intercity 3. Recent Changes in the Intercity Network/ projects with Section 5311(f). As will be seen, this System--significant changes in the state has led to an increase in state activity, reflected in the since 2005. increase in Section 5311(f) obligations. 4. Certification of No Unmet Rural Intercity Needs and Consultation Process--actions CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY the state has taken with respect to the con- INTRODUCTION sultation process with intercity bus stake- holders, including carriers, to evaluate unmet The core of the research conducted under Tasks 20 needs for rural intercity services. and 25 consisted of two survey efforts of the state 5. Program Description/Guidance--for states transit programs in all 50 states. The first survey, the with Section 5311(f) programs, with requests longer of the two, was administered via a survey- for copies of materials. development tool on the Internet. This survey ad- 6. Types of Projects Funded--in FY 2008 and dressed the scope of Task 20 as well as elements FY 2009. of Task 25. The second survey, addressing the scope 7. Use of FTA "Pilot Project." of Task 25, was administered via telephone inter- 8. State Funding for Intercity Projects. views with state DOT staff. 9. Rural Intercity Bus Program Staff and Man- To supplement the Internet survey and the tele- agement. phone interviews, the research team drew from the 10. Intercity Program Issues. efforts of TCRP Project B-37, which was intended to develop a methodology for predicting rural intercity CONTACT LIST DEVELOPMENT demand. TCRP Project B-37 was complementary to AND MAINTENANCE part of the Task 20/25 project, because in TCRP Project B-37 states were scanned to identify rural An initial list of contacts for each state DOT intercity bus projects. was developed using previous industry research, In addition, state Section 5311(f) program infor- state DOT websites, and Multi-State Technical mation was gathered through a scan of state DOT Assistance Program (MTAP) resources. The distri- 10

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bution list was updated throughout the course of the TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS research to maintain current contact information, Finally, as part of Task 25, the study team devel- since in some cases shifts in personnel had occurred oped a list of interview questions to be sure that every and individuals initially identified were no longer state had a chance to comment on the issues about the employed by the agency or responsible for the Sec- likelihood of continuing rural intercity bus projects if tion 5311(f) program. the Section 5311(f) set-aside were to be eliminated. Contacting states to request an interview (subsequent Section 5311(f) Contacts from to the Internet survey and follow-up calls to non- the TCRP Project B-37 Research respondents) also served as a last chance to collect information about the state programs. This round At the time that this NCHRP Project 20-65, Task of interviews also had a specific focus on the issues 20/25 survey was being developed, the study team identified in the scope for Task 25. Each state was was also collecting data on the operating projects contacted by telephone. In all, 29 states partici- funded under Section 5311(f) as part of TCRP Proj- pated in the telephone interview. ect B-37. In order to identify the subrecipients with operating projects, it was necessary to identify the appropriate state contacts, and many of them were STATE RESPONSES RECEIVED initially contacted by telephone in the process of Table 3-1 indicates which states responded to seeking data for TCRP Project B-37. Through this the survey and which states were interviewed. process, the researchers were able to develop a list Following the telephone interviews, the overall of state program directors and in many cases iden- combined survey/response rate had risen to 45 states, tify state program staff with responsibility for or although there was considerable variation among the knowledge about the state rural intercity bus pro- states in terms of the amount of information provided. gram implementation. It is possible that some state program staff felt that they had already responded because of recent contact INTERNET SURVEY ADMINISTRATION with the study team related to the TCRP B-37 project, though efforts were made to clarify the difference Using the list of state program staff, an e-mail in the initial e-mail contacts. In addition, during the was sent describing the study, requesting assistance, follow-up interviews described below, many of the and providing a link to the survey. It should be noted states indicated that they were overwhelmed with re- that in many cases multiple e-mails were sent to the porting requirements under American Recovery and same office to make sure that the public transit pro- Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and their limited staff gram directors were aware of the survey and that the resources to address such information requests were appropriate person completed the survey. not able to respond to the first web-based survey form The e-mail message contained a description of we administered. the project, goals for the project, and a hyperlink to the survey form, hosted by SurveyMonkey.com. SUPPLEMENTAL DATA SOURCES A response within 2 weeks was requested. After that period a reminder e-mail was sent to those who had To supplement the survey and telephone inter- not responded. Subsequently, phone calls were made views, additional information was gathered through to non-respondents, with an offer to make any neces- Internet research, and any relevant program infor- sary accommodations to facilitate the data-gathering mation provided by the state DOT staff following effort. the survey and/or interview. The survey responses were obtained using the Other supplemental sources that informed the survey-development tool and compiled in a large findings and recommendations presented in this re- master spreadsheet from which data were extracted port included research conducted under TCRP Proj- for analysis. In total, 39 states provided some form ect B-37, Rural National Transit Database data on of survey response, although the degree of survey intercity bus, FTA (with specific sources cited where participation varied from only providing contact relevant), and research team knowledge of state pro- information to providing a response to most of the grams through state-level intercity bus research and questions. planning projects. 11

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Table 3-1 State participation in survey and interview efforts. State Responded to Web-Based Survey Interviewed by Telephone Participated in Either or Both AL x x x AR x x x AZ x x x CA x x x CO x x x CT x x x DE x x FL x x GA x x HI x x IA x x ID x x x IL x x IN x x x KS x x KY x x LA x x MA x x x MD ME MI x x x MN x x x MO x x MS x x x MT x x ND x x NE x x NH x x x NJ x x NM x x x NV x x x NY x x OH x x OK x x OR x x x PA x x RI x x SC x x SD x x x TN x x x TX x x x UT x x VA x x x WA x x x WI x x x WV x x x WY x x x Total: 40 29 45 12