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Table 14 Best practices of the surveyed park and ride programs. Program Best Practices Bay Area Rapid Transit Parking fee program balancing demand and generating program revenue Efficient inventory Denver Regional Transportation Enhanced security and enforcement District Advanced technology in fee collection, security, and user amenities Florida Department of Transportation Comprehensive program planning and policy methods and procedures Dedicated fund source for planning and development (Maine DOT) Maine Department of Transportation Funding and support for ZOOM commuter bus and GoMaine Maine Turnpike Authority commuter education (Maine DOT and MTA) Phoenix Valley Metro Regional Public Creative user amenities Transit Authority Well devised capital improvement program Virginia Department of Efficient, involved, and informed staffing Transportation Northern District Results-oriented regional interagency process and planning this chapter, such as pricing and alternative financing 3. B Management Model Suggestions strategies, will require further consideration. (See Table 17 for a summary of the best practices identified It is suggested that a systematic, rational, and in Chapter 2 and these additional suggestions.) uniform approach to managing, staffing, and bud- geting state park and ride/intermodal commuter pro- grams be undertaken by state DOTs. Each aspect of 3. A Surveyed Program Needs this recommendation is discussed here. The need most frequently cited by the surveyed 3. B.1 Program Goal and Purpose managers is funding for maintenance, staffing, and new facilities to accommodate demand. The follow- The first step in management is to articulate the ing are other specific needs: goal and purpose of a program. The stated goal of the Florida DOT park and ride program, for example, is Most of the managers do not have operating to provide "a program designed to encourage the use of budgets. Basic functions such as lot mainte- transit, carpools, vanpools and other high occupancy nance, snow removal, sign repair, and shelter vehicle modes, by providing safe and convenient installations are performed by others, on an parking facilities for commuters" (Park and Ride as-needed and unscheduled basis. There is no Lot Program, Topic No. 725-030-002-f, 2011, p. 2). tracking or documentation of these costs. The purpose of the Florida program is to "provide Most of the surveyed managers have other job for the purchase and/or leasing of private land for responsibilities and dedicate less than 20 per- the construction of park and ride lots, the promotion cent of their time to their programs. They have of these lots and the monitoring of their usage" (Park limited or no support staff. and Ride Lot Program, Topic No. 725-030-002-f, Most of the programs have no written policies 2011, p. 1). or standard operating procedures for the day- In the Florida example, detailed policies, guidance, to-day management of their facilities. and procedures are developed to satisfy the intended Several of the surveyed managers do not goal and purpose. For the Virginia DOT-Northern actively participate in funding decisions that District (NOVA), the purpose is to construct park affect their programs. They report that their and ride/intermodal commuter facilities that support programs are low in the department's funding the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) freeway system. priorities. All subsequent actions and activities of the program 32

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are designed to meet this objective. For example, responsible for developing and administering the the Stringfellow Road Park and Ride Lot in Fairfax program's operating and capital budgets. The number County, Virginia, is located adjacent to an I-66 HOV- of hours assigned to this position should be commen- only access ramp. This preferential treatment for park surate with its duties and responsibilities. and ride lot users is an incentive to use the lot. It is suggested that written goal and purpose 3. B.2.b Staff Training. Little information was statements--and techniques for how they may be offered from the surveys on how managers and staff achieved--be developed for state park and ride/in- are trained. Assuming there is little or no training, it termodal commuter programs. This will assist in is essential that program management plans define their orderly growth and development. the type, quality, level, and frequency of staff training with modules on program history, program purpose, 3. B.2 Program Management Plans program functions, program operations, and program budgets, at a minimum. Ideally, training should also Management plans enable a systematic and include asset and facility maintenance, security and rational approach to executing program activities and fee collections, as warranted. It is optimal if training tasks. They assess effectiveness and determine if the can be scheduled in annual cycles. program purpose is achieved. An example of a well developed management plan is the Florida DOT 3. B.2.c Asset Inventory. Nearly all of the surveyed planning manual, which contains instructive guidance programs have inventories. Some are current; others on how to administer the program and measure its are not. Some cover the full range of assets; others productivity. The basic elements of any management are narrow in scope. Given that state park and ride/ plan should include, at a minimum, guidance on: intermodal commuter facilities are defined (and valued) by their physical assets, it is suggested that Staffing Levels. state management plans contain techniques for achiev- Staff Training. ing a systematic and rational approach to asset man- Asset Inventory. agement and documentation. It is important that a Maintenance. basic inventory include the following elements, at a Customer Amenities. minimum: Lot Utilization. Pricing Strategies. Each of these elements is discussed here. GENERAL Lot name. 3. B.2.a Staffing Levels. Most of the surveyed pro- Lot number. grams have limited staff with managers dedicating Lot location/address. less than 20 percent of their time, on average. With the Lot ownership: growing demand for and anticipated increase in park State, and and ride/intermodal commuter facilities over time, Other/status of memorandum of agree- more staffing will eventually be needed to manage ment. them. It is suggested that states evaluate staffing Year constructed. levels for these programs. Position descriptions Number of spaces--total. should be tied to role, responsibilities, tasks, and time Number of spaces by type: e.g., car pool, requirements. It would be optimal to develop criteria van pool, handicapped, permit, fee. to determine the number of staff needed to perform Percent utilization--total spaces/time of day. administrative, management, and maintenance func- Percent utilization--by type of space/time tions as these programs grow. of day. The most critical position description to develop is MAINTENANCE the program manager's. Ideally, the program manager should be responsible for developing and imple- Scheduled maintenance (date performed, menting the standards, procedures, and policies of frequency, by whom): the program; reporting program activities and status; Pavement surface, marketing; and coordinating funding with other agen- Pavement sweep, cies and stakeholders. The manager should also be Pavement striping, 33

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Ideally, the inventory should be stored in a secure Signage, electronic database and shared annually within the Light fixtures, unit and within the department. The information may Electronic and mechanical equipment be used to support management decisions, strategic and devices, planning, program budgeting, and grant applications. Trash receptacles/bins, Shelters, Buildings, 3. B.2.d Maintenance. Several of the surveyed man- Restrooms, agers reported that facility maintenance is conducted Sidewalks, infrequently and often by others (in-agency or con- Snow removal, tracted out). According to the U.S. Department of Leaf/brush removal, Transportation (U.S. DOT): Grass/hedge maintenance, "Maintenance of the physical elements of the park Grounds maintenance, and and ride facility must be planned, deliberate activity Other. that includes an appropriate budget, designated Capital improvement (for each project: date responsibility for maintenance requirements, and an start, date completion, location, description, established program of maintenance that provides by whom). for normal and special needs. Negligence in main- Observed damage/needed maintenance: taining a park and ride facility has an adverse description, location. impact on perceived and real personal security as well as the physical condition of the facility." AMENITIES/SERVICES (U.S. DOT, Park and Ride Facilities Guidelines Customer amenities: newsstands, telephones, for Planning, Designing and Operations, 1986, bike racks, lockers, rest rooms, bus shelters, pp. 618.) benches, kiosks, signs, ADA provisions, user It is suggested that management plans for these devices, and mechanisms. programs include guidance for achieving a system- Transit bus and shuttle services: number/ atic and rational approach to life cycle scheduling and type/frequency/provider. maintenance of program assets. A strategic approach Retail and commercial services: location, will maximize the life of the assets and minimize their name of service, owner of service, status of replacement costs. It will also ensure that park and memorandum of agreement. ride/intermodal commuter facilities receive the same level of care and attention as other elements of the CONDITION RATING state transportation infrastructure. (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, Because of their importance, particular attention Very Poor) should be given to pavement surfaces. Allowing Customer amenities (rating for each neglect of pavement maintenance to go beyond a amenity). certain point will result in sub-grade failure and Buildings, pavement, sidewalks, signs, require significant replacement costs. The science of grounds, lighting, electronic devices, and highway pavement management involves physical mechanical devices (rating for each). observation noting signs of deterioration; consid- Comments/issues. eration of usage; and estimation of expected life. A similar method could be used to protect commuter SECURITY lot pavement surfaces. Type. Frequency. 3. B.2.e Customer Amenities. Customer amenities By whom. are services that add to user comfort, convenience, Comments/issues. and enjoyment. If placed strategically, they increase facility use. This is demonstrated by Phoenix Valley OTHER Metro's installation of canopies at underutilized lots Date and time of inventory. to increase patronage and the MTA's provision of Performed by whom. free ZOOM bus service for lot patrons. In both cases, Comments/issues. the amenity increased usage. 34

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The surveyed programs have common amenities A cost-benefit analysis of these and other possible but it is noted that they were not consistently provided strategies would be required. It is suggested that at all of the lots of a program. Bicycle services, for test studies be conducted by interested state DOTs, example, were available at only 25 to 40 percent of especially at their high demand lots. This topic is the lots. It is suggested that management plans instruct also suggested for additional research to determine on how to achieve a systematic, rational, and uniform how pricing affects revenue generation and parking approach to the provision of customer amenities, utilization. ensuring an equal level of service at all facilities of similar type or classification. For example, rural lots 3. B.3 Program Budgets may not require the same amenities as urban lots. It is suggested that attention be given to the A standard level of service should be developed for operating and capital budgets of state park and ride/ each facility type or classification. intermodal commuter programs. Both are discussed 3. B.2.f Lot Utilization. Nearly all of the surveyed here. programs have criteria for determining the under- utilization of the parking facility, which typically 3. B.3.a Operating Budget. The operating budgets represented roughly 40 percent or less occupancy. A of the surveyed programs were difficult to evaluate. few programs have strategies to address this. The While BART, the Denver RTD, and Phoenix Valley Florida DOT offers more bus service to the under- Metro provided some information, most of the utilized lot, upgrades access features, increases surveyed managers were unable to answer Survey security, and/or bolsters promotion and marketing. Question #10, which requested information on the The department quantifies the expected increase in use costs for operating their programs. Assuming their for each strategy. BART, Phoenix Valley Metro, and operating budgets simply do not exist or are controlled by others, it is suggested that operating budgets be NOVA also address lot underutilization in some way. provided for state park and ride/intermodal commuter Given that park and ride/intermodal commuter programs and, further, they be constructed and man- facilities are designed, cited, and intended for optimal aged by the staff responsible for the programs. use, it is suggested that management plans provide guidance on uniform techniques for achieving optimal OPERATING EXPENSES. The purpose of an operating utilization across all facilities. budget is to document the expenses incurred in the delivery of a service and to identify the revenue 3. B.2.g Pricing Strategies. Three of the surveyed sources to pay for them. This usually begins with a programs charge for parking. The New Mexico DOT schedule showing program operating and mainte- program is free but there is a fee for the shuttle, rail, nance (O&M) expenses. These are typically catego- and bus services to the facilities. The Denver RTD rized by function, such as administration, and then has a preferential fee structure, charging less for categorized further by type, such as office supplies. district residents. And as a best practice, BART has Typical O&M expenses are administration, planning, a variable fee structure tied to lot utilization and operations, maintenance, and contract services. An demand. It is suggested that guidance be developed example is shown in Table 15. for state DOTs considering (1) the introduction of parking fees at facilities that are currently free and Maintenance is the cost to keep the facility (2) alternative pricing structures at facilities that clean and functional. It ranges from trash to snow removal and also involves maintenance currently have parking fees. Pricing variations are of lighting, shelters, benches, kiosks, and unlimited and may include: restrooms. Pricing based on lot use, capacity, and demand Administration represents the cost for running as demonstrated by the BART program. the program including space, equipment, and Pricing based on preferential rates by mode, the hire and placement of staff and adminis- such as lower or no fees for HOV parking. trative personnel. Pricing tied to modal use, such as fees for Planning represents evaluative activities such bicycle parking. as siting future facilities, estimating demand Pricing based on proximity, with higher fees and facility size, documenting program perfor- for parking closest to amenities and services. mance, and preparing conceptual site designs. 35