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8 CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF LITERATURE AND OTHER SOURCES BACKGROUND intercity service and often have examples of successful prac- tices from which innovation can be gleaned. Furthermore, Study efforts for this synthesis included the review of a vari- the reader is directed to the bibliography, which contains ety of sources to identify possible innovations. This included other related TCRP reports that may spark ideas for a new a review of pertinent literature both directly related to inno- innovative or successful practice. vation as well as other publications where innovative ideas might be found. A Transportation Research Information TCRP Report 70: Guidebook for Change and Innovation at Service search and other Internet searches were conducted, Rural and Small Urban Transit Systems (1) and various industry publications were reviewed. Profes- sionals in the industry were canvassed and national associa- This guidebook is the initial detailed TCRP research on tions were contacted. change and innovation in the rural transit industry. It is divided into three major sections. The first section includes research on how organizations change and innovate, how LITERATURE REVIEW they develop a culture of innovation, and how they align themselves for change. The general management theories on The focus of the literature review was actual rural transit innovation are compared with actual results and experiences and rural intercity service innovations; however, other docu- of innovative transit agencies and their managers, obtained ments that may not be innovation-specific were reviewed in through the project's primary research. The comparison an attempt to find additional innovative approaches. The fol- found many commonalities. The second part of the guide- lowing sources were canvassed to identify relevant reports book is a compendium of 42 different innovations, grouped and other published materials: into categories of productivity, efficiency, quality, funding, training, and marketing. · TCRP · FTA The guidebook's third part describes the case studies of · CTAA seven truly innovative rural and small urban transit agen- · American Bus Association cies, which are located in diverse parts of the country. This · Easter Seals--Project ACTION publication provides a solid starting point on innovative · University research centers rural transit services. · Other peer-reviewed transit research · The consultant's prior work on public transit innovation. TCRP Report 99: Embracing Change in a Changing World--Case Studies Applying New Paradigms for Rural In the area of organizational change and innovation, there and Small Urban Transit Service Delivery (5) is a wealth of general management theory and practice in the literature. In addition to the published reports, a variety The case studies in TCRP Report 99 were a follow-up to of unpublished documents were reviewed. Although beyond the TCRP Report 70. The report examined four rural tran- the scope of this effort, it may be worthwhile for a reader sit systems recognized for their innovative characteristics. to review the general management bibliography in TCRP The purpose of this effort was to examine how and why Report 70 (1). these systems adapted to change and new paradigms. The new paradigms require a different way of thinking and TCRP Publications approaching an issue or problem. Of particular interest in the research for this report was the changing rural land- A primary source of literature on the subject of transit inno- scape due to urban fringe "creep" close to the rural areas. vation is found in TCRP reports and syntheses, the first two The report examines how four transit systems responded to of which highlight innovation. The other TCRP reports and the changes of demographics, technology, funding, service syntheses cited focus on various aspects of rural transit and design, and other factors.
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9 TCRP Synthesis 53: Operational Experiences with Flexible others are just smart practice. The report includes a step- Transit Services (6) by-step approach to meeting intercity needs, followed by a number of examples of strategies for facilities development This synthesis documents and summarizes transit agency and operation of service by both the public and private sector. experiences with "flexible transit services," including all Each of these project descriptions includes a background and types of hybrid services that are not pure demand-responsive descriptions of the projects, marketing, challenges, and costs. (including dial-a-ride and ADA paratransit) or fixed-route services, but that fall somewhere in between those traditional TCRP Report 122: Understanding How to Motivate service models. The report documents six types of flexible Communities to Support and Ride Public Transportation transit service: request stops, flexible route segments, route (10) deviation, point deviation, zone routes, and demand-respon- sive connector service. A number of rural case studies are This publication focuses on outreach efforts and strate- highlighted as well as a number of innovative services. gies designed to motivate people to ride transit. The report includes perceptions and attitudes of the public, practices in TCRP Report 54: Management Toolkit for Rural and Small other industries, and communications strategies and promo- Urban Transportation Systems (7) tional campaigns. The researchers conducted surveys of the public in three different areas based on population densities. The toolkit offers managers of rural and small urban transit Although the focus of this research was transit in general, systems a wide range of management practices and strate- many of the strategies in the report can be applied in rural gies to provide effective, customer-focused service. Under areas. The study identifies a number of successful and inno- chapters with titles such as "Managing for Reliable Ser- vative marketing/attitude activities in the private sector and vice," the toolkit describes specific approaches to ensuring explains how these approaches can be applied for transit, high-quality customer service. Some of the practices and including rural transit. approaches describe successful practices, whereas others are innovative, such as the Ludington, Michigan, transit TCRP Report 140: A Guide for Planning and Operating system's practice of contracting out its excess maintenance Flexible Public Transportation Services (11) capacity, which provided new revenue that served as valu- able local matching funds. This report focuses on a variety of flexible services in urban and rural areas. By nature, flexible service is innovative and TCRP Synthesis 65: Transit Agency Participation in typically tailored for a particular area. The study includes Medicaid Transportation Programs (8) three rural transit systems that operate flex route services (also called route deviation). Types of services are discussed, This synthesis reviews programs and approaches to coordi- as well as most appropriate settings for the different services nating Medicaid transportation and rural public transit, some and results of these implementations are reviewed. Three of of which could be considered innovative, for example, Ore- the 10 case studies are rural in nature; however, innovative gon's model for brokering Medicaid transportation through approaches applicable for rural areas can be gleaned from public transit systems. In these brokerages, the selected transit both urban and rural examples. systems took on the role of providing Medicaid transportation either directly or through a contract. These transit brokers are Other Reports and Articles able to reduce costs due to economies of scale and the absence of the typical independent broker that acts as a "middleman." In addition to the TCRP reports, various organizations In many of the Oregon cases, the broker is able to coordinate and publications were reviewed for information on rural service with the general public and ADA riders. Furthermore, transit innovation, including the CTAA magazine, Project safety and quality are the same for all riders. ACTION, and university research centers, as these were the primary sources for rural transit research. Beyond TCRP, TCRP Report 79: Effective Approaches to Meeting Rural there is little literature on this subject. One of the few Intercity Bus Transportation Needs (9) published articles that specifically addressed rural transit innovation noted a CTAA article on the topic, which was This TCRP report focused on a wide variety of approaches primarily a review of TCRP Report 70 (1). The article men- to planning, operating, and funding intercity services. Some tions a variety of innovations; those not already included in of the identified strategies can be called innovative, whereas TCRP Report 70 are listed in chapter three.