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26 TCRP Project H-53, âTools for a Sustainable Transit Agency,â took a unique approach for a Cooperative Research Program project. More than just conducting a research project and shar- ing the results, the project team set out to address a specific needâthat of transit agencies for better tools and guidanceâwithout initially knowing how to address that need. The team used a user-centered design process to explore many aspects of that need and to settle on two tools to build: the Sustainability Routemap and the S+ROI Calculator. Along the way, the team heard about many more needs than could be addressed in this project. They chose two to focus on: â¢ Transit agencies need guidance on integrating sustainability programs in how their agencies do business, and â¢ Transit agencies need a simple, universal way to evaluate the costs and benefits of potential projects and investments. But even these were larger in scope than the two tools produced. These tools should provide enduring utility to sustainability staff at transit agencies, but it was necessary to continually refine and narrow their scope throughout the process in order to complete them. The Sustain- ability Routemap could have many more times the content that it does. And the Calculator could include many more algorithms to make providing inputs even simpler for users. What was accomplished with these two tools provides a solid starting point for addressing those two needs identified. The intention is that users will find the tools compelling enough to invest in learning how to use them, to promote their use among peers, and to advocate for continual improvements. This project aims to be a successful application of a relatively new approach to researchâ user-centered design. The team could never have designed the tools without the genuine interest and support of the panel members and many other sustainability staff at transit agencies who stepped in to describe their experiences and their needs, to test the tools and give feedback, and to imagine the possibilities. C H A P T E R 4 Conclusion