National Academies Press: OpenBook

Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency (2018)

Chapter: Chapter 1 - Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 1 - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

3 TCRP Project H-53, “Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency,” created two original tools for sustainability managers at transit agencies: • The Sustainability Routemap. An interactive PDF, similar in feel to a website, that guides the user to improve a transit agency’s sustainability program through application of change management principles, best practice examples, and references to online tools. A checklist of possible actions is included with the Routemap that will help users prioritize strategies and track progress. • The S+ROI Calculator. An Excel workbook that quantitatively evaluates potential sustain- ability projects in terms of financial, social, and environmental return. The workbook is accompanied by two completed examples. Both tools are available for download from TCRP’s website at www.trb.org/Publications/ Blurbs/177296.aspx. Guidance for use of the tools is embedded in the tools themselves. This report is not necessary for the access and use of the tools; rather, it tells the story of the project, from the initial problem statement through the design of the final tools. It serves as a case study in user-centered design as part of a Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) project. It explains the design process and key decisions, and it provides fodder for the design of future tools for sustainable transit agencies. The purpose of this report is three-fold: • Demonstrate the use of user-centered research and design in a TRB project, so that others might copy it. • Share what was learned along the way, so that others might use the findings in their own research and create additional tools. • Discuss challenges and innovations in creating the two tools so that they can live on and be continuously improved. TCRP H-53, “Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency,” was conceived out of a desire to create better ways to achieve sustainable outcomes across the transit industry. It is recognized that there is much knowledge both within and outside of the transit industry about sustain- ability practices, and there are already some tools in use. This project aims to build on existing knowledge and tools as much as possible. In short, the principal challenge of this project is not to develop dramatically new knowledge or methods, but to simplify, translate, and implement existing knowledge in new ways. Unique among CRP projects, this project did not start with a particular solution or tool in mind. Rather, the project started with the need for transit agencies to have better tools generally. In the course of the project itself, team members talked to sustainability managers and practi- tioners at a wide range of transit agencies to understand what tools would be most helpful. The C H A P T E R 1 Introduction

4 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency tools ultimately produced in this project are a response to the particular needs and challenges researched in this project. The remainder of this report is structured as follows: • Chapter 2: User-Centered Design Process. Go here to learn how the project was conducted. • Chapter 3: Final Tools. Go here to know why the tools are the way they are and what futures they could have. • Chapter 4: Conclusion. • Appendices. Additional documentation of the research process and findings.

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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 197: Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency explores the development of practical tools for improving sustainability at transit agencies:

  • The Sustainability Routemap: An interactive PDF, similar to a website, that guides the user to improve a transit agency’s sustainability program through application of change management principles, best practice examples, and references to online tools.
  • The Sustainability Checklist
  • The S+ROI Calculator: An Excel workbook that quantitatively evaluates potential sustainability projects in terms of financial, social, and environmental returns.
  • The S+ROI Calculator BRT Example
  • The S+ROI Calculator Solar Panel Example

The tools are available to download as a .zip file.

Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively "TRB") be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

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