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37 Cost-Benefit Case Study Database Need for Tool The APTA Sustainability Commitment focuses on identifying sustainability metrics and tar- gets and defining actions to meet these targets. However, there is little guidance on what resources (e.g., equipment costs, staff time) are necessary to implement different sustainability strategies or to start up a sustainability program. When staff propose new sustainability projects to leadership, the first question is often âhow much will this cost?â Sustainability staff need better information on the costs and benefits of sustainability programs and strategies in order to identify the right approaches, give a realistic estimate of costs, and help others within their transit agencies under- stand what benefits they can expect in return for this investment. Several interviewees highlighted this need during our conversations with transit agency sustainability staff: â¢ âA tool that pulls together commonly used and effective strategies, and includes info on how they were financed, would be extremely helpful. Something like a collection of case stud- ies that relate to proven, successful sustainability projects by government agencies would be great.â (San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency) â¢ âWeâre struggling with building support among Division Chiefs for a sustainability program. Communication materials with success stories from other agencies would be helpful.â (Chicago Transit Authority) â¢ âBudget decisions tend to be from year to year, unless itâs for a very large project. This means it is difficult to set up strategies and projects to meet proposed targets with uncertain funding.â (Bay Area Rapid Transit) This tool will provide transit agencies with the information they need to communicate the costs and benefits of different sustainability strategies so that they can build support for sustain- ability within their agencies and better integrate sustainability into transit agency work plans. Rather than quantifying costs and benefits, the tool will provide case studies that staff can use to build a compelling case for different sustainability strategies based on the unique needs of their transit agencies. Target Audience for Tool(s) This tool would satisfy the needs of several different target audiences within transit agencies: â¢ Sustainability staff need easy access to information on the costs and benefits of sustainabil- ity strategies so that they can make the case for investing in sustainability to others within their transit agency. These staff often have a strong technical understanding of sustainability A P P E N D I X B Second Iteration Tool Proposals
38 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency strategies, but often have limited time to conduct research or identify best practices from among their peers. In order to help their transit agencies innovate, they need information that will be compelling to decision makers and other staff. â¢ Decision makers need a comprehensive, high-level understanding of the costs and benefits of different strategies so that they can choose those that make the most sense within the overall mission and constraints of their transit agency. They need concise, non-technical descriptions of costs and benefits because they generally have a lot of information to process in limited time. Decision makers can be conservative about pursuing new strategies and want to con- sider how a decision will affect all aspects of a transit agencyâs work, so they need information that is grounded in case studies of peer agencies. â¢ Division staff (e.g., maintenance staff, drivers) need to understand how sustainability strate- gies will improve their jobs on a day-to-day basis in order to implement these strategies. Form and Main Functions of the Tool The tool will be an interactive database of case studies of transit agencies implementing differ- ent sustainability strategies. âSustainability strategiesâ would be defined broadly to include both specific actions that transit agencies undertake to make progress toward sustainability targets (e.g., procuring hybrid buses, using energy-efficient lighting) or organizational strategies (e.g., forming an internal sustainability team, hiring a dedicated sustainability staff person). Each case study would include: â¢ A brief description of the strategy. â¢ Information on the policies, goals, targets, or decisions that motivated the transit agency to pursue the strategy. â¢ A description of how the transit agency implemented the strategy, including alternatives considered and successes and challenges. â¢ A discussion of the costs and benefits of the strategy. This would include information on both quantitative (e.g., cost of purchasing equipment, staff hours required, fuel conserved) and qualitative (e.g., staff education needs, increased buy-in from decision makers, increased driver satisfaction) costs and benefits. Case studies would be catalogued to allow users the ability to search the case studies in a variety of ways: â¢ Users who want to find information on specific strategies that they are considering would be able to search by keyword or by strategy type (e.g., sustainable fuels, water conservation, organizational sustainability). â¢ Users who want to find information that is relevant to their transit agency would be able to search by transit agency characteristics (e.g., transit agency size, location, modes operated). â¢ Users who want to understand which strategies will be most effective at addressing a particular need would be able to search by benefit type (e.g., saving money, improving service, improv- ing staff satisfaction). In addition, related case studies would be cross-referenced so that users can quickly identify a variety of case studies on a given strategy. The tool would also include high-level summaries of different strategy types, with links to related case studies, so that first-time users and users in the initial stage of adopting a sustainability program could better understand the information that the tool offers and how to use it. We are proposing the development of this tool as an interactive PDF so that it can be easily distributed without requiring ongoing maintenance that a web-based tool would require.
Second Iteration Tool Proposals 39 However, this tool could be further developed as an online tool, including as an update to APTAâs Sustainability Forum, which includes the capability for users to comment and give feedback on different questions and strategies, outside the scope of this project. For an example of a searchable online database of transportation case studies that is similar to what we are proposing, see the Transportation Project Impact Case Studies database (TPICS http://www.tpics.us/). This SHRP2 research project, which ICF supported, contains 100 case studies of transportation projects, with information on project characteristics, objectives, impacts, and contextual information (e.g., location, information on local land use change and policies). User Journey Map The user journey map in Figure B-1 below illustrates how users with different needs could find the information they need using the tool, what key takeaways might be, and what users could do with this information. Key Questions and Uncertainties Are there enough examples of transit agencies that have pursued sustainability strategies that we can come to general conclusions about the costs and benefits of different strategies? For some Figure B-1. User journey map for the Cost-Benefit Case Study Database.
40 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency strategies (e.g., alternative fuels and vehicles, forming a sustainability program) we are likely to find a large number of examples, while for others we may not. The advantage of a case study- based approach rather than a more quantitative approach is that we do not have to definitively quantify costs and benefits; rather we will present the information that is available and give users the necessary contextual details to help them determine whether a particular case study is relevant to their transit agency. How detailed do case studies and information on costs and benefits need to be to inform decision making and be meaningful to users? This would be an excellent question to test with the user focus group. If users request more detail, we may recommend focusing on a smaller group of the most widely-pursued strategies so that we can provide more detailed case studies or create more reli- able estimates of costs and benefits. If users are comfortable with less detailed information, the tool would likely be able to cover a wider breadth of strategies. How frequently will the tool need to be updated in order to remain useful? This would be another good question for the user focus group, since the project budget does not cover the cost of maintaining the tool. If the tool needs to be updated frequently because the state of the practice is evolving so quickly, we may want to focus more time on developing the structure of the tool so that users could add their own case study information rather than developing content. If the information that we are proposing to include in the tool would be useful, but the tool itself would be too labor-intensive to update, we could create a report instead, which would leave more scope to create other tools. Scope of Work and Estimated Level of Effort for Tool(s) Key tasks in tool development include: 1. Conduct research to identify and categorize potential case studies. 2. Develop case study database structure with input from user focus group. 3. Select case studies and conduct follow-up research and interviews to develop case study content. 4. Develop interactive PDF, with input from user focus group. We estimate that the cost to develop 100 case studies and house them in an engaging, interactive PDF website would be in the $130â150K range. It would be possible to reduce the scope of this tool in order to allow us to devote more budget to developing other tools. Some alternatives that would decrease the level of effort needed to develop this tool are: â¢ Reducing the number of case studies. We believe that in order for this tool to be broadly appli- cable, we would need to include a large number of case studies. However, we could still create a useful pilot version tool that is populated with fewer case studies, but can be further updated in the future. We estimate that reducing the number of case studies from 100 to 50 would reduce the cost by roughly $35K. However, these savings may be offset by additional design costs if we need to make it easy for users not versed in programming to add new content to the database in the future. â¢ Creating a static report instead of an interactive PDF. The sustainability staff we interviewed have limited time to read documents, and creating a user-friendly interactive document will help to make sure that this project reaches the widest possible audience. However, the case studies that are at the heart of this tool could also be summarized in a Word report. We estimate that producing a report instead of an online tool would reduce the cost by roughly $40K.
Second Iteration Tool Proposals 41 Sustainability Change Management Roadmap Need for Tool Transit agencies often find that there are barriers to fully mobilizing a sustainability program, because sustainability programs impact each department in an organization differently. Barriers can include short-term budget planning, narrowly-focused assignments, and team silos. Without a more comprehensive outlook, sustainability teams find themselves negotiating for time and staffing to navigate these challenges. Ensuring that sustainability practice is integrated into all aspects of transit agency work requires planning, leadership, and organizational skills, but transit agencies that undertake this work often see benefits from increasing transparency, refreshing staff work plans, clarifying budget priorities, and modernizing evaluation methods for employee performance. As transit agencies seek to implement more far-reaching organizational changes in order to increase sustainability, they increasingly need a tailored approach to change management. The Victoria Transport Policy Institute defines change management as âspecial effort . . . to over- come the normal inertia of people and organizations to new approaches and practices, even if they are significantly better overall in the long run.â (http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm114.htm) There is extensive information on organizational and change management, but little guidance on how this information might apply to transit agenciesâ needs and structures. This tool will provide transit agencies with a process and best practices for applying change management to integrate and implement sustainability throughout a transit agency. The tool will be organized in a simple roadmap that describes the key steps that transit agencies face when implementing an agency-wide sustainability program, as well as the barriers that transit agencies face along the way and potential solutions. This would benefit transit agencies by: â¢ Helping leaders better connect sustainability goals and actions to organizational goals and priorities in decision making. â¢ Clarifying how different roles within sustainability programs, such as executive commit- tees, steering committees, executive-level program leads, and dedicated sustainability staff contribute to success. â¢ Improving employee engagement to help develop âchampionsâ among staff. Target Audience Several transit agencies with mature sustainability programs, including King County Metro, SFMTA, TriMet, UTA, and AAATA, mentioned during our initial interviews that they need guidance on integrating sustainability throughout their operations and cultures. We assume that transit agencies that are just starting out with their sustainability efforts would also find this tool useful once they get past the initial stages of setting up their programs. Key potential audiences for this tool include: â¢ Decision makers at transit agencies seeking to improve and mainstream sustainability approaches. â¢ Transit agencies seeking ideas for employee engagement or overcoming barriers to change internally such as balancing capital and operations decisions. â¢ Transit agencies seeking to improve performance and overall integration of more holistic and triple bottom line thinking by staff at all levels. â¢ Sustainability staff looking for ways to communicate potential roles and to understand pro- grams to increase engagement, as well as looking for assistance in overall re-orientation of transit agency goals.
42 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency Form and Main Functions of the Tool The tool will consist of an interactive PDF that is organized around a roadmap that outlines key steps in the process of building a sustainability program. Based on the work that team members have done with various transit agency sustainability programs, these steps might include: â¢ Create sustainability champions â¢ Communicate agency values â¢ Clarify expectations â¢ Create tools for governance â¢ Set targets and monitor results At each step, the tool will include the following content: â¢ Common barriers that transit agencies encounter at this point in the process. Barriers can allow transit agencies to self-assess, compare their experience to others, and clarify expectations. â¢ Considerations that might affect how transit agencies make progress on each step. For exam- ple, a transit agency may take a different approach to creating sustainability champions in a service planning department, where members are more likely to sit in a central office, than with drivers, who typically work out in the field. Setting expectations for administrative staff may look different for contract employees than for planning staff. â¢ Solutions to help transit agencies resolve barriers, based on best practices from both general guidance on change management and detailed discussions with transit agencies. Solutions could come in a variety of formats; potential solutions include: â Organizational frameworks or charts illustrating different ways of structuring a sustain- ability program and engaging staff and describing key roles. â Sample employee evaluations that consider sustainability when assessing performance. â Employee engagement tools to promote sustainability, including outreach campaigns, crowd sourcing of sustainability strategies, and contests or challenges. â Guidance on establishing incentive programs, such as revolving funds for sustainability, or financial incentives for improved sustainability performance. â Guidance or case studies on applying life-cycle analysis or otherwise accounting for long- term benefits when making budget decisions. â Tools and methods for engaging board members. â Case studies on transit agency use of and benefits from third-party sustainability certifica- tions such as Envision, Invest, or LEED. â Templates for graphic communication with employees, such as reporting dashboards or fact sheets. User Journey Map The user will be able to access the information contained in the tool by: â¢ Working through the roadmap of key actions for change management, taking a holistic approach to integrating sustainability. â¢ Searching for barriers common to transit agencies of different sizes, management structures, etc. to target specific challenges. Barriers will be encapsulated in a FAQ for easy navigation by users. â¢ Selecting specific solutions that are most relevant to his/her work. The user journey map below illustrates how users with different needs could find the informa- tion they need using the tool, what key take-aways might be, and what users could do with this information.
Second Iteration Tool Proposals 43 Key Questions and Uncertainties Are departmental and organizational structures similar enough between transit agencies that we could make recommendations about integrating sustainability that are broadly applicable across all transit agencies? The answer to this question will shape the format of the roadmap that is at the center of this tool. If we find a lot of consistency among transit agencies, we will be able to create more prescriptive guidance, but if not we will create a more flexible framework that will guide users to key information based on how their transit agency is structured. Less consistency may also mean that it requires more effort to create this tool, because we will need to account for wider variety. Are there common barriers to different departments (e.g., maintenance, finance) leading the charge on sustainability, or are barriers more a function of cultures within individual organizations? If there are common departmental barriers, we will be able to draw more from case studies of and interviews with transit agencies to develop the solutions included in the tool. If barriers are more a function of organizational culture, we may draw more upon general guidance on change management. Scope of Work and Estimated Level of Effort for Tool(s) Key tasks in tool development include: 1. Research common barriers to integrating sustainability 2. Develop change management roadmap Figure B-2. User journey map for the Sustainability Change Management Roadmap.
44 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency 3. Develop solutions, potentially addressing the following areas: a. Employee engagement b. Key roles and governance structures c. Communicating about sustainability 4. Develop final product Below we discuss in detail the work plan for each of these tasks. We estimate that the cost to develop an interactive PDF with engaging graphics and links for easy navigation will be between $110K and $135K, assuming that the tool includes eight solutions. The solutions will be the most labor-intensive part of the tool to develop, so we can scale the project up or down by including more/fewer solutions. 1. Research common barriers to integrating sustainability The team will compile common barriers to implementing change and integrating sustain- ability practices at transit agencies through conversations with focus groups. We expect barriers to be operational, i.e. lack of resources, budgetary silos, chain of command; or managerial, such as passive resistance and inertia refusing to engage in problem solving, fear of losing power or position, absence of skills an employee might need after the change. Other barriers might be political, such as lack of external support for a sustainability program, or failure to communicate values. The tool will explore and organize the most common barriers. 2. Develop change management roadmap Our next step will be to organize barriers into a roadmap for managing change and identify potential solutions. We will draw upon the interviews conducted under Task 1, as well as key resources on change management, both those that are specific to transportation and general guidance. Potential resources include: â Aguirre and Alpern. â10 Principles of Leading Change Management,â Strategy + Business 75, Summer 2014. â Cambridge Systematics. TCRP Report 97: Emerging New Paradigms, A Guide to Fundamental Change in Local Public Transportation Organizations, Transportation Research Board, Wash- ington, D.C., 2009. http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/153149.aspx â GIZ. Changing Course in Urban TransportâAn Illustrated Guide, Sustainable Urban Trans- port Project, Asia and GIZ, 2011. www.sutp.org/index.php?option=com_content&task= view&id=2825. â Poister, T.H. and D.M. Van Slyke. NCHRP Web Document 39: Managing Change in State Departments of Transportation: Scan 1 of 8: Innovations in Strategic Leadership and Mea- surement for State DOTs. Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 2001. http:// onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_w39-1.pdf We will review the roadmap with the user groups and the panel to ensure that it is broadly applicable to and useful for transit agencies. 3. Develop solutions Once we have finalized the framework, we will develop solutions to address key barriers at each step of the process outlined in the roadmap. The content of solutions will vary widely; below we describe some potential approaches to what we anticipate will be key focus areas for the tool. 3a. Employee engagement The goals and objectives of sustainability are often devised by one group of staff and undertaken by othersânot only by different departments but also at different levels within an organization. This element of the tool focuses on motivators and employee incentive programs, campaigns, and/or process redesign workshops to generate buy-in among employees. The team may research general best practices in employee engage-
Second Iteration Tool Proposals 45 ment or conduct an employee engagement survey among participating transit agencies. Potential solutions in this area might include: â Evaluation language that incorporates sustainability into annual performance reviews. â Best practices for introducing innovation and sustainability into multi layered orga- nizations of similar scale and complexity. 3b. Key roles and governance structures Our research shows few examples of sample organization-charts that are specific to transit agency sustainability programs. We would conduct interviews with transit agencies with successful sustainability programs and review resources on transit agency governance, such as: â Grant, Y., C. Pollan, and T. Blake. Regional Organizational Models for Public Trans- portation, American Public Transportation Association, 2011. http://www.apta.com/ resources/reportsandpublications/Documents/Organizational_Models_TCRP_J11_ Task10.pdf â TCRP Report 85: Public Transit Board Governance Guidebook, Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C., 2002. http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_ rpt_85.pdf. Potential solutions in this area might include: â Case studies of governance models by transit agency size and/or type. â Sample organizational charts that illustrate how transit sustainability teams operate and define key roles for staff, decision-makers, and committees. 3c. Communicating about sustainability Many transit agencies communicate progress on sustainability outcomes to the public, and some have launched internal campaigns to communicate initiatives to employees. However, there has been little review of how well these campaigns have worked or guidance on best practices. We would review examples of transit agency communication campaigns and conduct evaluation interviews with staff. Potential solutions in this area might include: â Templates or best-practice examples of common visual communication tools, such as metrics dashboards and fact sheets. â Case studies or best practices of sustainability communication campaigns. 4. Develop final product The final product would be a visually engaging, interactive PDF with links to help users navigate between related content and find the information of greatest interest to them. We will work with the user focus group to develop the overall structure and look of the PDF to ensure that it is an engaging, useful resource. Sustainable Bus Fleets: Planning and Procurement Tool Need for Tool Emerging technologies and the sustainability imperative leave transit agencies with this peren- nial question: What bus propulsion technologies should we plan for in the long term, and how do we best procure them in the short term? Complicating this question are: â¢ Legacy technologies, which are entrenched in operating and maintenance infrastructure and practices. â¢ Local and state emissions regulations, which incentivize different technologies in different regions.
46 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency â¢ Grant programs that fund the purchase of emerging technology buses, but cannot be counted on in future years. â¢ Low bid procurement processes, which tend to penalize procurements with higher, up front capital costs that result in either lower life cycle operating costs or reduced future capital investments. â¢ Additional legal, policy, and financial factors that constrain the procurement processes of individual transit agencies. Buses are the largest cyclical capital procurement for most transit agencies. They are also the largest consumers of energy and emitters of GHGs and criteria pollutants for most transit agencies. Issues related to bus technology evaluation and procurement were cited by 7 of our original interviewees: â¢ Jessica Brandt, of Intercity Transit in Olympia, WA, suggested a vehicle purchase scenario tool to evaluate the life cycle costs of vehicle technologies to determine if hybrid buses really deliver as promised as well as a tool to support sustainable procurement. â¢ Steve Jenks, of NJ Transit, noted that the procurement process does not always support sustainability project effectively. â¢ Connie Krisak, of MARTA in Atlanta, was interested in a way to structure any major bid to reflect return on investment. â¢ Jane Sullivan, of Champaign Urbana MTD, expressed interest in measuring the incremental benefits of specifying hybrid rather than diesel buses, such as emissions and fuel consumption. â¢ Autumn Salamack and Gary Prince, of King County Metro in Seattle, hoped to obtain a con- sensus on the pros and cons and the life cycle costs of various fuels and emerging technologies. â¢ Michael Moreno and Amy Cummings, of RTC in Las Vegas, have struggled with the effect of demand charges on the return in investment for the electric buses. â¢ Eric Hesse, Bob Hastings, and Stephanie Colleran of TriMet in Portland looked for good life cycle models that could guide vehicle selection choices as well as guidance to support integrat- ing sustainability in vehicle specifications. Target Audience for Tool The vast majority of transit agencies operate buses. This tool will accommodate the needs of all bus transit agencies, large and small, by incorporating a range of bus types including: â¢ Cutaways â¢ Body-on-frame â¢ Larger buses In addition, the tool will address the varying procurement needs of transit agencies orga- nized as a department of a city, county, or regional government, a partially independent public authority, or a privatized operation with some type of government oversight and contract. The latter is increasingly common among smaller transit agencies. Within a given transit agency, users and beneficiaries of the tool may include: â¢ Sustainability planners, who will have a more rigorous and straightforward way to evaluate long-term technology investments. â¢ Procurement staff charged with preparing bid documents. â¢ Bus operating departments who serve on the stakeholder committees developing the specifications. â¢ The Board, which will have increased confidence that the procurement reflects proven practices in sustainability, functionality, and consistency with laws, regulations and policies.
Second Iteration Tool Proposals 47 Manufacturers and suppliers may indirectly benefit from both the RFPs which are outcomes from this tool and from greater transparency in the procurement process. Manufacturers will be better positioned to bid on the anticipated specifications, and their suppliers will be better positioned to provide components and services. Form and Main Functions of the Tool Figure B-3 summarizes the key functions of the Sustainable Bus Fleets tool. We divide the tool into two parts: â¢ Part I: Technology Analysis â¢ Part II: Procurement Language Library Part I wholly contains the analytical portion of the tool, including the quantitative compari- son of costs and emissions. Part I would take the form of an Excel spreadsheet. We envision the analysis in Part I consisting of 2 main steps. Step 1a: Evaluate lifecycle costs + benefits will compare at a high-level different types of bus propulsion systems in terms of: â¢ Simple payback period â¢ Total cost of ownership (TCO) â¢ Lifecycle petroleum consumption, GHG emissions, and criteria air pollutant emissions Figure B-3. Functions of the Sustainable Bus Fleets tool.
48 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency The Argonne National Laboratoryâs AFLEET tool provides a starting point for transit agencies to evaluate alternative technologies for propulsion systems. AFLEET provides inputs including: â¢ Vehicle propulsion type â¢ Number of vehicles â¢ Annual mileage/vehicle â¢ Vehicle price â¢ Fuel price â¢ Years of planned vehicle ownership â¢ Loan, loan terms, and discount rate Figure B-4 shows the AFLEET inputs table. AFLEET provides a starting point from which this tool will build. While AFLEET is copy- righted by Argonne National Laboratory, its background data are publicly available and can be used to create a similar tool. Specifically, our proposed tool would improve on AFLEET by tailoring the tool to the needs of transit agenciesâremoving non-transit vehicle types and perhaps adding additional sub- categories of buses (e.g., cutaway, 40 ft, 60 ft). Step 1b: Evaluate qualitative operational factors provides a context specific layer of analysis to compare the transit agencyâs current bus technology with a single alternative technology in terms of factors that are challenging to quantifyâlike disruptions to maintenance procedures and service planning. This step could also include an analysis of impacts on financial operations by illuminating the impact of alternative technologies on different sources of funding: capital, operating, and grant funding. Part II of the tool will provide links and references to successful bus procurements at other transit agencies that reflect the specifications justified in Part I. Part II will be a structured catalog of links to procurement RFPs from transit agencies that have conducted sustainable bus procurements. These document links will be cross referenced with key bus sustainability attributes and characteristics. This library of links will provide Primary Vehicle Location State ILLINOIS Heavy-Duty Vehicle Information Transit Bus Heavy-Duty Fuel Type Number of Heavy-Duty Vehicles Annual Vehicle Mileage Fuel Economy (MPGGE) Purchase Price ($/Vehicle) Gasoline 0 0 2.9 $0 Diesel 0 35,000 3.5 $300,000 All-Electric Vehicle (EV) 0 0 9.9 $0 Diesel Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) 0 35,000 4.9 $510,000 Diesel Hydraulic Hybrid (HHV) 0 0 4.5 $0 Biodiesel (B20) 0 35,000 3.5 $300,000 Biodiesel (B100) 0 35,000 3.5 $300,000 Ethanol (E85) 0 0 2.9 $0 Propane (LPG) 0 0 3.2 $0 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) 0 35,000 3.0 $360,000 Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) 0 35,000 3.0 $350,000 LNG / Diesel Pilot Ignition 0 0 3.5 $0 Figure B-4. Key inputs table in AFLEET.
Second Iteration Tool Proposals 49 specifications and contract language that transit agencies can re-use as templates with custom- ization for local laws and agency policies. Additional links will be provided to transit agency contacts and best-practice transit agency documents that establish policies that guide bus procurement, to support transit agencies who need to ask their board or chief executives to change policy, creating a new long term procurement structure, prior to implementing a sustainable procurement. Key Questions and Uncertainties What is the appropriate level of detail for the quantification portion of the tool? There is a range of categories and sub-categories of buses the tool could address from the highest level (e.g., diesel hybrid) to the most specific (e.g., Orion VII Diesel Hybrid-Electric Bus Model Year 2016). In most cases, working with more specific categories requires either greater effort in the design of the tool, greater effort by the user of the tool, or both. On the other hand, there may be key decision criteria (such as particular bus modelsâ performance on specific routes or terrain) that would be missed by an analysis restricted to the highest level. Determining the right amount of specificity in Part I will require additional user research. We plan to use AFLEET as a starting point for this research. It is entirely possible that AFLEET would turn out to be an acceptable tool already, in which case our tool could merely recommend starting the analysis with AFLEET. How much of a challenge is the procurement process itself? Is it enough to merit investment in a tool? Initial interviews found 4 different transit agencies expressing a need for support with the procurement process. From this input we generated initial ideas including decision guides for procurement processes. We conducted follow-up conversations with two members of the User Focus Group about the current proposal and received mixed feedback on Part II. One participant stated that their procurement staff are quite capable of putting together a procurement once the desired specs are provided. For her, the procurement process itself did not seem to be a sticking point. On the other hand, she did think that a library of procurements from other transit agencies would make the job of procurement staff easier. In order to scope the right design and level of effort for this tool, we should gather more feedback about the core needs of the procurement process. How would different stakeholders use the tool either directly or indirectly? How important is it for the tool to support communication across functions versus support the role of separate functions? As currently described, the two parts of the tool will probably speak best to different job func- tions: Part I to sustainability staff and others engaged in fleet planning, and Part II to procure- ment staff. However, there is also a possibility that the tool will have broader applicability. For example, the use of Part I may help to clarify the conversation around alternative propulsion technologies at multiple levels of the transit agency, including the Board. There could also be a need for the tool to improve communications between procurement and non-procurement functions in the transit agency. Gathering additional feedback from the User Focus Group and the Panel will help us answer these questions. Scope of Work and Estimated Level of Effort for Tool Key tasks in tool development include: â¢ Part I: Technology Analysis â Gather feedback on AFLEET from users. What currently works well, and what could be improved? â Scope inputs and outputs for an improved AFLEET-like analysis (Step 1a), as well as quali- tative analysis of operational factors (Step 1b). â Gather background data needed to populate the tool. â Design an interface in Microsoft Excel and build it out.
50 Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency â¢ Part II: Procurement Language Library â Identify and research bus models and specifications that address various goals in sustainabil- ity, such as fuel type, energy consumption, emissions, recyclability and material composition. â Identify transit properties that have acquired buses with these specifications, and which models and attributes are reflected in their fleets. â Establish a cross referenced index for navigating the archive of documents and links. â Create a user interface for the index. The approximate budget needed for the tasks above, assuming that we create a new tool for Step 1a based on AFLEET, is $70,000. We could save some budget by: â¢ Recommending AFLEET as the analytical tool for Step 1a. Not creating our own quantitative analysis would save $10â$15k. â¢ Reducing the depth or breadth of the Procurement Language Library. The current budget estimate assumes inclusion of 12 bus models reflecting a range of specifications, documents provided by 15 transit agencies, and 3 documents included per agency.