National Academies Press: OpenBook

Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency (2018)

Chapter: Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs

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Page 27
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." 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:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." 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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Page 29
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." 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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Page 30
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
×
Page 30
Page 31
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
×
Page 31
Page 32
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
×
Page 32
Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
×
Page 33
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25042.
×
Page 34
Page 35
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." 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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Page 36
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A - First Iteration Tool Design Briefs." 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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Page 36

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27 During the course of the project we generated many ideas and plans for tools that we did not ultimately create. This section provides information about those ideas that were not advanced, so that future projects might develop some of the most promising ones. A P P E N D I X A First Iteration Tool Design Briefs Table A-1. Summary assessments of tool ideas. (continued on next page) Tool idea What is it? Opportunities and potential benefits Challenges Level of effort 1. Green bus fleet tool Spreadsheet-based tool to quantify costs and benefits of different vehicle options Every transit agency purchases buses; there is a common set of green technology options (hybrids, alternative fuels) Bus technologies are evolving rapidly High 2a. Criteria for budget prioritization List of criteria and questions to incorporate into budgeting mechanisms There are many existing tools for analyzing return on investment for sustainability strategies that can support budgeting for sustainability Budgeting processes vary widely Medium 2b. “Greening the system” vs. “greening the region” Spreadsheet to compare benefits of operational improvements with regional benefits of transit (reducing VMT) There are separate sets of tools that quantify both operational and regional benefits that could be better aligned Many transit agencies do not have control over land use and other factors that affect regional benefits High 3a. Case studies of governance models Organizational charts and case studies best practices for structuring sustainability programs There are general resources on transit agency governance and sustainability program management Transit agency organizational structures vary so widely it may be hard to create general guidance Low to medium 3b. Sustainability program road map Case studies and guidance that help transit agencies navigate key decisions in establishing a sustainability program Transit agencies at all stages in program development can benefit from guidance Transit agencies may not be similar enough to develop a single road map Low to medium 3c. Employee incentive program Case studies of innovative practices in fostering buy-in among employees Getting buy-in from employees is critical to transit agency-wide sustainability program implementation Not all transit agencies have dedicated budgets for sustainability Low to medium

28 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency The fact sheets on the following pages summarize our research and first iteration tool ideas in each topic area. Table A-1. (Continued). Tool idea What is it? Opportunities and potential benefits Challenges Level of effort 4a. Lifecycle cost/ ROI tool Spreadsheet tool and guidance to help guide decisions when purchasing green buses With ROI driving procurement decisions, incorporating sustainability costs and benefits is key to shifting the decision making Procurement processes vary widely High 4b. Procurement manual assembly tool Catalog of sample policy text and procurement language to support green bus procurement Transit agencies can build on best practices to design a procurement approach that fits best for them Variation between transit agencies may require developing numerous options High 5a. Interactive self-assessment survey Survey tool that identifies gaps in sustainability programs and potential solutions Fills a key gap; there is no guidance on how to establish a transit agency sustainability program Need to identify core standards against which programs can be compared High 5b. Assessment manual Guidance document to help transit agencies identify gaps in sustainability programs and potential solutions Fills a key gap; there is no guidance on how to establish a transit agency sustainability program Need to identify core standards against which programs can be compared Medium 6. Sustainability tracking tool Spreadsheet tool that simplifies data collection, metric calculation, and visualization Could streamline the burdensome process of collecting data and produce more appealing results Would require a very complex tool to account for the wide variation in metrics and protocols High 7a. Communication best practices Review of best practices among transit agencies that are actively communicating sustainability efforts Could help transit agencies navigate the bewildering array of communication platforms currently available Transit agencies may have limited effort available to deviate from existing websites, reports, etc. Medium 7b. Communicating material development tool Interactive tool that helps transit agencies develop interactive graphics or fact sheets to communicate successes Compelling visuals and summary fact sheets offer a concise method for communicating complex program efforts May be difficult to account for different transit agency graphic templates High

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30 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency

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36 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency

Next: Appendix B - Second Iteration Tool Proposals »
Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency Get This Book
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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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