National Academies Press: OpenBook

Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies (2019)

Chapter: Chapter 7 - Suggestions for Further Research

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Page 87
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Suggestions for Further Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25425.
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Page 88
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Suggestions for Further Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25425.
Page 88

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87 C H A P T E R 7 Research is needed in several areas to increase the transit industry’s capacity for planning and managing TNC partnerships and for applying a matured understanding to an array of new mobility partnerships. • Given the diversity of funding sources and uncertainty around the accounting of partnership outcomes, research is needed to develop a cost/benefit analysis framework for transit-TNC partnerships. Because TNC partnerships do not fall under more traditional transit agency budget or NTD categories, more guidance is needed to accurately account for returns on funds expended. Specific guidance on appropriate budget allocations and resulting returns on investment will help the transit industry develop a clearer understanding of why entering into partnerships might make sense, and if not, why not. • Research is needed to define best practices for transit agency management of partnerships with TNCs and other mobility service providers, such as microtransit and scooters, to help transit agencies succeed. With the rapidly evolving landscape of shared mobility as more part- nerships in varying contexts and with multiple customer types come into existence, this need is pressing. An update to the Partnership Playbook—the result of this research project—may suffice or a new effort may be warranted as the number and variance of partnerships increase. • Research is needed to inventory transit agency strategies employed to comply with ADA requirements in the context of TNC partnerships; to understand the effectiveness of each of those strategies at achieving equivalence standards; and to identify feasible approaches for increasing access to on-demand transportation for all customers of ADA paratransit. Build- ing on this report, a survey of the industry would help governing bodies understand Title VI and ADA compliance issues and inform appropriate strategies for addressing the goals of the regulation. In the short term, transit agencies would benefit from more access to online train- ing materials and other training opportunities that provide necessary guidance for planning wheelchair-accessible service. • A multi-industry research effort to identify feasible data-sharing mechanisms is needed. As highlighted in TRB Special Report 319, Between Public and Private Mobility: Examining the Rise of Technology-Enabled Transportation Services, a centralized data clearinghouse could increase industry access to TNCs’ (and other private mobility service providers’) trip data. This data could inform not only transit industry decision-making, but also land use, legal, and regulatory strategies. Though there are a few examples of tools that aggregate publically avail- able data, few exist that account for data-in-aggregate with privacy concerns. Additionally, in cases in which transit agencies and TNCs have a data-sharing agreement in place, research is needed to outline the feasibility of a third-party entity with audit capabilities to ascertain the legitimacy and soundness of data. • Transit agencies considering partnerships with TNCs need further guidance on procurement and contracting standards based on the experience of transit agency pilot projects to date. Suggestions for Further Research

88 Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) Using existing available contracts, which are public documents, develop a sample blank con- tract as guidance for new transit agencies entering these projects. This contract would serve as a template to advise transit agencies on typical parameters of negotiations with TNCs and the range of procurement and contracting approaches available. • A formal assessment on whether TNCs’ shared ride products qualify as public transportation will help address the data issues that to date have been complicated. To provide clarity to transit agencies in partnerships with TNCs who direct customers to their shared ride products (e.g., UberPOOL, Lyft Line), a determination needs to be made whether these modes meet the statutory definition of public transportation. If they do, there should be guidance on how transit agencies could report trips taken in the context of these partnerships to the NTD. • Several ideas for future scenarios or programs arose during the course of this work, including evaluating the viability for the transit industry and industry groups to deliver these concepts: – A shift of transit agencies’ roles from direct providers of service to mobility managers overseeing a mobility-as-a-service program. – A collaborative industry forum that convenes transit practitioners and TNC staff on a regular basis to exchange ideas. – An annual awards program to highlight best practice partnerships between transit agencies and private mobility service providers.

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TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 204: Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) is designed to help transit agencies that have decided to pursue partnerships with one or more TNCs. The report provides information on where, when, and how partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs should be considered and pursued.

As new mobility service providers emerge, many public transit agencies have partnered, or are in the process of partnering, with such providers. Among these providers are TNCs. While partnerships between transit agencies and private mobility providers are not new, partnerships with TNCs create unique opportunities and challenges as both parties work toward mutually beneficial program models.

TCRP Report 204 provides 20 in-depth case studies of partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs. Its Partnership Playbook synthesizes lessons learned from these case studies and provides step-by-step practical guidance for transit practitioners on how they should be considered and pursued.

The report provides an up-to-date guide on partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs in all stages of development and realization. It covers partnerships developed with several target markets in mind, including:

  • First/last-mile connections to transit;
  • Customers of ADA Paratransit and Demand-Response Services;
  • People traveling in lower density environments;
  • People with late night travel needs; and
  • People with occasional trip needs (e.g. guaranteed ride home).
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