National Academies Press: OpenBook

Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility (2017)

Chapter: Chapter 6 - Developing a Rural Regional Route Checklist

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Page 130
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Developing a Rural Regional Route Checklist." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24944.
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Page 130
Page 131
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Developing a Rural Regional Route Checklist." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24944.
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Page 131
Page 132
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Developing a Rural Regional Route Checklist." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24944.
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Page 132
Page 133
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Developing a Rural Regional Route Checklist." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24944.
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Page 133
Page 134
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 - Developing a Rural Regional Route Checklist." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24944.
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Page 134

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130 The checklist is organized in the following major steps: • Step 1: Identify Needs • Step 2: Establish Planning Leadership • Step 3: Goals and Vision—Public and Stakeholder Input • Step 4: Identify Resources • Step 5: Develop Alternatives • Step 6: Assess Feasibility • Step 7: Prioritize—Recommended Plan • Step 8: Detailed Service Plan • Step 9: Detailed Organizational Plan • Step 10: Implementation Plan and Action Items • Step 11: Initiate Service • Step 12: Evaluate and Fine Tune—Iterative Process Step 1: Identify Needs ▫ Identify sources of information ▫ Statewide studies ▫ Local coordination plans ▫ Local transit development plans ▫ Regional planning organizations ▫ External events (plant closing, loss of intercity bus service, parking issues) ▫ Define needs ▫ Demographic analysis ▫ Specific populations needing service—numbers of persons/trips ▫ Trip characteristics—schedule requirements, seasonality, weekday/weekend ▫ Special needs—accessibility, key destinations, maximum ride time Step 2: Establish Planning Leadership ▫ Identify potential sources of support ▫ Local coordination committees ▫ Metropolitan and rural regional planning organizations ▫ Local transit providers ▫ Local planning staff ▫ Business community ▫ Elected officials C H A P T E R 6 Developing a Rural Regional Route—Checklist

Developing a Rural Regional Route—Checklist 131 ▫ Identify lead agency—define roles ▫ Identify lead individual/team ▫ Create regional steering committee ▫ Define role ▫ Set expectations Step 3: Goals and Vision—Public and Stakeholder Input ▫ Community input ▫ Online surveys ▫ Public meetings and workshops ▫ Presentations at other community meetings ▫ Pop-up surveys at transportation hubs or community events. ▫ Interview stakeholders ▫ Human service agencies ▫ Health-medical community ▫ College and university staff ▫ Employers/business community ▫ Local governments—planning, economic development, public works staff ▫ Elected officials ▫ Surveys ▫ General public ▫ Existing transit users ▫ Carpool and vanpool riders ▫ Park and ride lot users ▫ Employees of specific destinations ▫ Seniors ▫ Students—community college, college, and university Step 4: Identify Resources ▫ Inventory existing services ▫ Transit ▫ Ridesharing—carpool and vanpool ▫ Intercity bus ▫ Passenger rail ▫ Identify potential funding and partners ▫ Federal transit funding programs 4 Section 5311 rural 4 Section 5311(f) intercity ▫ Potential for use of Section 5311(f) in-kind (based on schedules, potential connectivity)— intercity bus companies ▫ State transit funding programs 4 Special incentives for regional organizations/services ▫ Potential for innovative funding sources

132 Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility ▫ Local match sources 4 Local governments 4 Sponsorships—businesses, community institutions, foundations Step 5: Develop Alternatives ▫ Estimate ridership—develop range for each target submarket ▫ Work trips ▫ Human service trips ▫ Intercity connections ▫ Personal business and shopping ▫ Social and recreational ▫ School, community college, college, and university trips ▫ Develop potential routes and schedules—alternatives ▫ Weekday morning and evening for work trips ▫ Dialysis ▫ Other Medical trip needs (including Medicaid non-emergency transportation) ▫ Connections to intercity schedules ▫ Evening work/school trip requirements ▫ Weekend needs 4 Work trips 4 Dialysis trips ▫ Identify key stops ▫ Estimate required hours and miles of service ▫ Estimate number and size of vehicles required ▫ Determine infrastructure needs ▫ Park and ride lots ▫ Maintenance facilities ▫ Secure storage ▫ Fares and information technology ▫ Propose likely fare levels Step 6: Assess Feasibility ▫ Estimate revenue based on fare structure ▫ Estimate operating costs for each service alternative option ▫ Determine net operating deficit for each service alternative option ▫ Identify capital costs for each serviced alternative option ▫ Vehicles ▫ Infrastructure

Developing a Rural Regional Route—Checklist 133 ▫ Identify potential organizational requirements ▫ Policy body ▫ Need for multi-jurisdictional or multi-agency role ▫ Grant application requirements (private non-profit or public agency?) ▫ Operator—existing transit, contractor, new entity ▫ Compare costs to potential funding sources ▫ Identify most likely ▫ Estimate how feasible Step 7: Prioritize—Recommended Plan ▫ Present alternatives and feasibility assessment to leadership ▫ Refine options, present to stakeholders ▫ Refine based on input, present to policy-makers ▫ Present to public—refine Step 8: Detailed Service Plan ▫ Develop final routes, stop locations, timetable ▫ Develop fare structure and level ▫ Develop procedures to maximize connectivity ▫ Transfers ▫ Shared stops ▫ Information ▫ Regulatory and insurance requirements ▫ Fleet needs ▫ Infrastructure ▫ Operating facility ▫ Secure vehicle storage ▫ Stop locations, signs, shelters ▫ Staffing needs ▫ Budget and funding plan Step 9: Detailed Organizational Plan ▫ Lead agency (existing/new) ▫ Legal authority/policy body—develop intergovernmental agreements

134 Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility ▫ Staffing ▫ Roles ▫ Employer ▫ Contracting—management, operations, maintenance, cleaning? ▫ Human resources functions ▫ Technology ▫ Fare collections ▫ Passenger information ▫ Data collection ▫ Federal and state compliance responsibility ▫ Marketing/public relations Step 10: Implementation Plan and Action Items ▫ Identify tasks ▫ Institutional arrangements (MOUs, contracts) ▫ Vehicle procurement ▫ Office space ▫ Operations facility ▫ Infrastructure arrangements ▫ Contracting or hiring staff, administrative and operating ▫ Branding and marketing ▫ Assign responsibilities ▫ Identify timeframes and interdependencies—phasing if appropriate Step 11: Initiate Service ▫ Branding ▫ Marketing campaign ▫ Initiate operations Step 12: Evaluate and Fine Tune—Iterative Process

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Research Report 861: Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility addresses the role of state transit program policies and regional planning agencies in the development of services that fall in the middle ground between intercity bus service and rural public transportation. This middle ground is defined as rural regional services. The report provides lessons learned on how to address needs for rural regional mobility, and includes a checklist for developing a rural regional route.

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