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· Pedestrian Walkways (33 percent). security, enforcement, and amenities. These program · Information Kiosks (25 percent). categories and their elements are shown in Table 10. · Intelligent Signing/Messaging (17 percent). The evaluative criteria in Table 10 were applied to each surveyed program. A rating, based on the program's compatibility or responsiveness to the 2. C Best Practices functional elements, was then assigned, as follows: A best practice may be defined as a discreet man- 1 = Element featured in program and considered agement action that advances the objective and a best practice. purpose of a program and results in a successful 2 = Moderate or limited evidence of element in program outcome. For this research, a best practice program. was determined by applying criteria typically used 3 = Element not included in program. to evaluate programs that serve the public. Three categories were evaluated: program administration, The ratings for all of the surveyed programs are program development, and program operation. The shown in Table 11. The "1" rating indicates that surveyed programs were rated based on their respon- execution of the element enabled the program to siveness in each category. achieve its objectives and may be considered a best practice. Because the purpose of research is to high- 2. C.1 Evaluation Criteria light best practices that may be replicated by other state DOTs, only elements with "1" ratings were The category of program administration represents considered. how the program is managed and covers elements such as goals and policies, staffing, assets, program needs 2. C.2 Application of Evaluative Criteria and budget sources. Program development represents activities that advance the planning, promotion, and Eight of the 12 surveyed programs received the expansion of the program. Program operation rep- "1" rating in certain areas. The programs are BART, resents operational features such as maintenance, Denver RTD, Florida DOT, Maine DOT, MTA, Table 10 Criteria for rating the surveyed park and ride programs. Function Element Definition Program administrative methods are documented Goals and Policies and easily understood Staffing and manpower levels satisfactorily address Program Staffing program requirements Program Asset Inventory Program assets are well documented Administration Program needs are understood and strategies are Program Needs derived to address them Program costs are quantified, budgeted, and Budget and Revenue Source aligned with viable funding sources Program development goals and policies are Goals and Policies documented and easily understood Funding Program is adequately funded Program Program amenities strengthen the viability of the Amenities Development program Program activities and objectives are coordinated Interagency Coordination with area or regional stakeholders Capital Improvement Program Program CIP is well defined and prioritized Program operation goals and policies are Goals and Policies documented and easily executed If permitted, program fees match demand and Program Fee Collection costs Operation Security and Enforcement Program facilities are safe for public use Maintenance Program assets are regularly maintained Technology Technology is applied to improve efficiency 24
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Table 11 Ratings of the surveyed park and ride programs. New Mexico DOT Transit Authority Northern District Maine Turnpike Phoenix Valley Virginia DOT Virginia DOT Rhode Island Florida DOT Florida DOT Denver RTD DOT/ Public Maine DOT District 6 Caltrans BART Metro ELEMENTS Program Administration Program Goals and Policies 3 3 2 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 2 2 Program Staffing 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 3 2 1 Asset Inventory 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Program Needs 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Budget/Revenue 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 3 2 Program Development Goals and Policies 3 2 2 1 1 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 Funding 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 3 2 2 2 2 Amenities 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 Interagency Coordination 2 2 3 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 Capital Improvement Program 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 2 Program Operation Goals and Policies 3 2 2 1 1 3 2 2 2 3 3 2 Security/Enforcement 2 3 1 2 2 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 Maintenance 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 3 3 2 Technology 2 3 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 1 = Element featured in program and considered a best practice. 2 = Moderate or limited evidence of element in program. 3 = Element not included in program. Phoenix Valley Metro RPTA, and Virginia DOT-- month of 21 days. Each month BART reviews the Northern District. Their best practices are discussed number of monthly parking permits purchased. If here (see Table 14 for additional information). the number is less than 10 percent, the fee is $42 per month or $2 per day, a reduction of $1 per day. If 2. C.2.a BART. The BART program received a "1" the number is greater than 10 percent but less than rating in program development/funding. The agency 25 percent, the fee remains $63 per month or $3 per received this rating because of its creative method day. If the number of parking permits is greater than for generating program funds and managing lot uti- 25 percent, the fee is increased to $84 per month or lization. The Customer Access staff, responsible for $4 per day. A $30 monthly fee is assigned to lots that the program, convinced the BART board of directors are underutilized. The $115.15 monthly fee is for those that a fee structure for parking was beneficial to the experiencing high demand. This approach balances program in managing demand. This was a departure demand and encourages greater use of properties with from past policy that established free parking at all least demand. Moreover, the fee program generates BART stations. The fees were imposed to discour- about $12 million per year in revenue. age use of lots with heavy demand and to encourage The BART parking fee program is applicable to parking at locations with available spaces. state park and ride programs in that it manages lot The parking fees, which are market based, range utilization where parking demand exceeds capacity. from $30 to $115.15 per month. In the initial stage of Further, the program generates revenue that may be the program, a parking fee of $63 per month or $3 per used to support lot development, management, and day was charged for all stalls based on a working maintenance. 25
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2. C.2.b Denver RTD. The Denver RTD rated a "1" residing outside of the district must pay for lot usage, in program administration/asset inventory, program whereas district residents only pay after a 24-hour operation/security and enforcement, and program parking duration. operation/technology. Enforcement is performed by attendants driving through the lots with a camera mounted to the vehicle Asset Inventory. Although all of the surveyed pro- and connected to a computer which, through a geo- grams have some form of inventory, the Denver coding process, identifies whether the vehicle is RTD offers the best example in spreadsheet format. registered to a district resident. If residency is outside The data fields include: the district, the computer produces a beep which alerts the attendant and the vehicle is cited. · Name of lot; In addition to parking enforcement, one-half of · Number of spaces; the RTD lots have cameras and the rest have real-time · Percent utilization; enforcement. This approach enabled RTD personnel · Lot address; in 2009 to conduct 3,476 video investigations of · Lot amenities--bike racks/lockers, bus shelters, customer service complaints, ADA issues, liability benches, and ADA provision; claims, and security concerns. In the first 6 months · Lot ownership; of 2010, 2,800 investigations were conducted. · Type of transit service to facility; This approach is applicable to state DOTs with · Estimated patronage by district and non-district; park and ride program policies relating to prioritized and use based on geographic origin, variable parking pric- · Financial information on projected revenue, ing, and facility security or surveillance. estimated cost, and net revenue. The data covers all of the park and ride lots man- Technology. The Denver RTD program also rated a aged by the agency. Percent utilization and patronage "1" for program operation/technology. The agency are collected on a daily basis. Annually the data is applies cutting-edge technology in the following areas: summarized to estimate program revenue to support · Use of cellular phone technology to access the facility maintenance and operations. Internet for retrieval of real-time bus sched- The inventory serves as a model that may be ules and payment of parking. applied to any state park and ride program and may · Use of automated pay stations that accept var- be enhanced with the addition of other data fields such ious forms of payment. as the date and time of lot maintenance. The infor- · Use of Geographic Information Systems mation aids in the preparation of annual or biennial (GIS) to locate the residence status of parked progress reports, the identification of program short- vehicles based on license plates. falls and needs, and the assessment of services and · Use of computer technology to interface with amenities. It is also a helpful tool for determining digital cameras to read and interpret a license future capital improvements and upgrades. For state plate. programs that do not charge for parking, the RTD data · Use of video technology to investigate abnor- fields on projected and net revenue would not apply mal behavior. and may be eliminated. The technologies reduce manpower requirements, Security and Enforcement. The Denver RTD park improve user access to lots resulting in higher utiliza- and ride program is rated "1" in security and enforce- tion, improve the enforcement of parking lot policies, ment because of its methods for monitoring and and assist in the collection of fees. enforcing program policies. A new management policy was initiated in 2009 at 34 of the 75 lots. The 2. C.2.c Florida DOT. The Florida DOT rated a purpose of the new policy is to maintain an accurate "1" in program administration/goals and policies, inventory of park and ride assets, to assess lot uti- program development/goals and policies, and pro- lization, and to establish fees based on the origin gram operation/goals and policies. The department of the users and their duration of stay. The origin of has two instructive documents that explain the the user is particularly important because the lots goals, objectives, procedures, and organization of its are intended for residents living in the RTD. Those park and ride program. These goals, objectives, and 26
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organizational features are captured in the document · Report annually on occupancy levels. Park & Ride Lot Program, Topic No. 725-030-002-f, · Provide grants to local governments for the issued May 14, 2001. The roles and responsibilities project phases of park and ride facilities of the central office and each district are explained, including those associated with promotion. as follows: · Provide technical assistance to local govern- ments. Central Office Role · Ensure coordination with corridor and special · Maintain communication with district offices. lane planning. · Develop program policies and procedures. The policy document also explains how facility · Monitor compliance. maintenance, inspections, and inventories should · Develop, maintain, and publish the State Park be undertaken and performed. A sample of several and Ride Lot Planning Handbook. directives is provided here: · Maintain the State Park and Ride Facilities Inventory. · Maintenance is coordinated between the · Provide technical assistance to districts. District Public Transportation Office and the District Maintenance Office. If the facility is District Office Role a shared-use operation, or operated by others, · Maintain communication with the central office the department negotiates and executes a main- on program status and implementation. tenance agreement with the party sharing or operating the facility. · Establish and maintain communication with · If the facility is owned and operated by others local transit systems, commuter assistance pro- (e.g. church owns property and agrees to joint grams, Transportation Management Associa- use agreement), a formal, written, executed tions/Organizations, and others interested in Maintenance Agreement is provided to the developing park and ride facilities. department. · Develop and document park and ride facilities · Facilities are physically inspected at least in accordance with established procedures. twice a year. Documentation of the inspections · Develop regional or district-wide park and ride and corrective measures taken are maintained plans or lists. in the district office. · Assist Metropolitan Planning Organizations · The district submits a report to the central office (MPOs) and transit systems in the development by the end of the tenth month of each fiscal of park and ride plans. year indicating dates inspected and average · Ensure implementation and promotion of facil- usage for each facility. ities in coordination with the District Commuter · Facilities failing to meet minimum occupancy Assistance Program. standards for a period of 1 year may be closed. · Plan and implement the state-funded program, · Any facility operating at a level of 95% or including coordinating with those responsible greater is a prime candidate for expansion. for design, construction, right of way acquisi- tion, promotion, and maintenance of facilities. The second Florida DOT document is the State · Assist transit systems and local governments Park & Ride Lot Program Planning Manual, Sep- in the planning and implementation of locally tember 1996, as amended April 2001. Here methods initiated park and ride lots. for inspecting, evaluating, assessing and expanding · Provide funds to contract with local agencies park and ride facilities are outlined as guidance for for the planning, design, and construction of district personnel. The manual explains: park and ride lots. · How to evaluate the performance of park and · Prepare plans, prepare contracts for Florida ride lots. DOT authorization, manage, and monitor park · Planning methods for the implementation of and ride facility development by other public park and ride facilities. agencies under the terms of a Joint Participation · Processes for facility development and site Agreement (JPA). selection. · Monitor and evaluate all park and ride lots in · Methods for estimating demand and facility which state funds are utilized. size. 27
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Table 12 Florida Department of Transportation park and ride facility performance evaluation input. Data Element Evaluation Type Collection Frequency Unit of Measurement Spaces by type* Capacity On file 2 to 4 times annually Number Parked vehicles by space type Usage 2 to 4 times annually Number of vehicles Illegally parked vehicles Capacity 2 to 4 times annually Number of vehicles Extent/severity of cracking, potholes, raveling, Pavement condition Maintenance Semiannually patching, rutting, spelling, etc. Type and condition both Traffic control device inventory Safety Same frequency as counts on- and off-site Capacity, safety, Continuing, summarized Complaints maintenance, illegal Number by type annually parking Accidents related to facility Safety Once per year Accidents by type Adjacent property inventory Expandability Annually Land use type and amount Type(s) of service, stop Accessible transit service Service adequacy Once per year or as required locations *Space types include long-term, short-term and handicapped. Source: State Park & Ride Lot Program Planning Manual, September 1996, as amended April 2001, p. 10-3. · External and internal conceptual design of park The planning manual recommends various and ride facilities. corrective measures to improve the performance · Procedures for assessing impacts of park and of low or marginally utilized park and ride facili- ride facilities. ties, summarized here in Table 13. The planning · Economic analysis and park and ride project manual offers formulas and calculations for mea- justification methods. suring the reduction in vehicle miles traveled · Park and ride program performance measures. (VMT) attributable to a park and ride facility, ex- · Park and ride program promotion methods plained here. and techniques. For example, the planning manual identifies the VMT REDUCTION. The VMT reduction value is used initial steps for inventorying park and ride assets, to compute a number of other performance measures summarized here in Table 12. including those related to user cost savings, fuel Table 13 Florida Department of Transportation conditions for corrective actions at marginally operating park and ride facilities. Action Potential Usage Increase Conditions ½ to 1% increase per 1% improvement Market area supportive of transit. Added Transit in frequency. Area planned for express service. Congested access to major Service Potentially 100% increase with new destination area. service. Existing headways greater than 15 minutes. Congested access roads to park and ride facility. Access 50% increase per 5 minute Heavily traveled corridor with major destination area. Improvement improvement in access times. Site is visible and otherwise appears attractive. Market area not serviced by other park and ride facilities. Transit Amenities Indeterminable, probably slight. Other improvements planned for facility. Security problem exists. Slight unless full-time security is Improved Security Peripheral facility adjacent to area with undersupply provided. of parking. In conjunction with special transit promotion programs. Characteristics of origin market influence area supportive Promotion Less than 10%. of park and ride facility. Congested commuting corridor. Source: State Park & Ride Lot Program Planning Manual, September 1996, as amended April 2001, p. 10-11. 28
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consumption, vehicle emissions, value of accidents, organizational framework, and methods for achiev- and fatalities. The approach begins with totaling the ing expected program outcomes. This level of detail, number of parked vehicles by lot type. These totals guidance, and instruction was not apparent in the other are then multiplied by the average trip lengths from surveyed park and ride lot programs. lot to destination for each lot type. This product is then converted to an annual amount using the annu- 2. C.2.d Maine DOT/MTA. The Maine DOT pro- alization factor for each lot type. The formula for gram rated a "1" in program development/funding. this computation is as follows: As explained by the manager, biennially the depart- ment receives a $1.2 million federal CMAQ grant VMTi = 2 Parkedi Li Afaci for the purpose of planning and improving its park and ride program. While the manager was unable to System VMT reduction = I = 1, lot types VMTi explain the history and circumstances of this arrange- ment, it is deemed a best practice because it provides where: a reliable funding source for the program. The fed- VMTi = VMT reduction for lots of type i eral funding establishes a baseline and enables the Parkedi = Number of parked vehicles in lots of department to consider requests from local or regional type i interests on where and when facilities should be built Li = Average lot-to-destination distance for or expanded. Moreover, the funding establishes lot type i parameters on how much can be accomplished within Afaci = Annualization factor for lot type i the 2-year time frame and what will be required for local match. Maine DOT meets the 20 percent local The planning manual also offers methods for match through a variety of sources such as state high- measuring user cost savings, summarized here. way funds, state bonds, and cash or in-kind contribu- tions from local municipalities. Each circumstance USER COST SAVINGS. The computation of user cost differs. savings consists of calculating the savings in vehi- Maine DOT and the MTA together rated a "1" cle operating costs. The approach does not consider in program development/interagency coordination. costs saved through avoidance of parking fees or They received this rating because of their support of costs incurred such as transit fares and parking fees. commuter bus and commuter education services. The approach is simply to multiply the annual VMT The Go Maine Commuter Connections Program is reduction for each lot type as computed by the above administered by the Greater Portland Council of method by the average operating cost. The formula Governments and funded by Maine DOT and MTA, for this computation is as follows: which contributes $115,000 annually to the program. Go Maine is an Internet site that encourages and Costi = VMTi Opcosti educates people about alternative commuter choices. The total number of registered commuters in the Systemwide User Cost Savings = i = 1, program is 7,612, which is a record high. The agen- lot types Costi cies also subsidize the ZOOM Turnpike Express commuter bus. Weekday ZOOM buses connect where: to two park and ride lots and run express along the turnpike. The service is cited as one reason for the Costi = Annual cost savings for users of lot construction of overflow parking at the Saco Park type i and Ride Lot, to accommodate the increasing number VMTi = Annual VMT reduction for lots of of ZOOM commuters. type i From the perspective of a state DOT, establish- Opcosti = Average vehicle operating cost for ing a partnership with the U.S. Department of vehicles parked at lots of type i Transportation--which results in federal funding From the perspective of a state DOT wishing to within a fixed time interval for the specific purpose establish or strengthen its program goals, objectives, of improving the state park and ride system--is con- policies, and procedures, the Florida DOT example sidered a best practice. Moreover, the Maine DOT and is instructive and noteworthy. The agency policies MTA partnership has produced a successful com- provide structure and context, purpose and intent, an muter bus operation and commuter education and 29
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membership program, which results in a higher aware- representing $4.5 million for each planned facility. ness and usage of state park and ride facilities. This Any cost above the budgeted amount is borne by the is also a noteworthy best practice. locality in which the facility is located. The CIP was recently re-evaluated with a Re-Prioritization Study 2. C.2.e Phoenix Valley Metro RPTA. The Phoenix conducted in 2008. The study updates the CIP and Valley Metro RPTA is rated a "1" in program devel- generates a list of new policies for improved imple- opment/user amenities and program development/ mentation of the plan. capital improvement program (CIP). The RPTA CIP process is a good example for state DOTs on the importance of preparing a long- User Amenities. The Phoenix Valley Metro RPTA term capital plan with costs, identifying a funding amenities attract park and ride users. When a lot is mechanism to accomplish the plan, and revisiting and underutilized, the agency responds by increasing updating the plan to ensure its viability over time. the number of shade canopies at the lot. It provides shade canopies in summer months to increase lot 2. C.2.f Virginia DOT--Northern District (NOVA). utilization. Another useful amenity is the provision of The Virginia DOT--Northern District (NOVA) retail services within or near the park and ride facility. comprises the most densely populated and heavily In a study conducted by the city of Phoenix, it was traveled counties in the commonwealth. They are determined that 35 percent of park and ride users shop Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William at the retail service closest to their lot. When negotiat- counties. The NOVA park and ride program rated a ing shared use agreements with retail managers, the "1" in program administration/program staffing and RPTA presents these findings. This secures additional program development/interagency coordination. stalls, attracts new users, generates customers for retailers, and activates idle parking stalls. Of course, Program Staffing. Staffing for the NOVA park and this only works in retail centers with a parking supply ride program is represented by one Senior Trans- above the code required amount. According to the portation Engineer dedicating 50 to 60 percent of his RPTA, most of the retail centers have parking supply time to the program. The position is central to the above code. implementation, administration, and advancement From the perspective of other state DOTs, the use of the program. When asked to explain his duties of the shade canopies is instructive. RPTA designed and responsibilities, the manager described a series an amenity unique to its environment and market of functional tasks which, taken as a whole, provide sector. This suggests that a successful program should for the smooth execution and advancement of the consider uniquely designed amenities as factors to program. The manager: attract users. This may vary by geographic location. For example, whereas RPTA offers shade canopies, · Coordinates and applies the district's technical an Anchorage, Alaska, program may offer electrical and manpower resources as needed to address outlets for engine block heaters. program needs such as traffic engineering, RPTA has also identified a market niche. With planning, surveying, permitting, mapping, and over one-third of the Phoenix area park and ride lot maintenance. users prone to shop in retail centers nearest to them, · Is routinely involved in negotiations for pro- the placement of stalls within retail centers simulta- gram planning and funding that occur within neously generates new patrons for the retailers and a regional decision making forum with repre- new users of the park and ride program. sentatives from local municipalities, county governments, and regional transit agencies. Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The RPTA · Directly oversees and coordinates leasing rated a "1" in program development/CIP program. agreements such as the Parking Lot License The agency has a 20-year capital program that was Agreement and Standard Project Administra- developed in 2002 to construct 13 new park and ride tion Agreement used to lease private land for lots. The program of improvements was approved by park and ride facilities. Thirty-five percent of area voters as a 1/2 cent regional sales tax. RPTA has district lots are governed by these agreements. prepared maps of each facility, tables summarizing · Assesses site conditions and locations for the year of construction, and funding schedules proposed new or expanded facilities. 30