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Suggested Citation:"Section 5 - Suggestions for Additional Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Social and Economic Sustainability Performance Measures for Public Transportation: Final Guidance Document. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25461.
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Page 45
Page 46
Suggested Citation:"Section 5 - Suggestions for Additional Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Social and Economic Sustainability Performance Measures for Public Transportation: Final Guidance Document. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25461.
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Page 46

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45 S E C T I O N 5 5.1 Topics Suggested for Future Research Over the course of this project, the research team identified several topics that were outside the scope of this TCRP project but could be considered in future research efforts. • Correlating Transit Agency Service Measures to Social and Economic Outcomes. Transit agencies may be required to report certain service measures to OSHA, NTD, and others. For some smaller agencies, use of these service measures (which may indirectly assess social and economic outcomes) could offer a useful approach to performance management with a rela- tively low cost of entry. This research might include a thorough accounting of current NTD measures and efforts to correlate those measures with social and economic outcomes. • Case Studies on Data Partnerships and Shared Outcomes. Based on the research team’s interviews with transit agencies, developing partnerships with outside organizations appears to be a relatively uncommon practice in performance measurement. Identifying best prac- tices with regard to data partnerships and shared outcomes within the transit community also could address a concern, expressed in several of the interviews, that social and economic measures tend to include items that do not fall wholly within the agency’s area of control. The research team recommends additional research in this area both to reflect the shared nature of many social and economic outcomes in a given jurisdiction and to promote data sharing across organizations. • Organizational Characteristics of Agencies Implementing a Successful Performance Management Approach. Some of the transit agencies interviewed indicated that social and economic performance measurement was driven either by public demand or by the leader- ship of individuals within the transit agency. Additional research on enabling characteristics of agencies and organizations that are successfully implementing performance management may provide a useful guide to transit agencies at differing levels of maturity with regard to performance-based planning and programming. • Transit’s Contributions to Economic Development. The research team identified a strong need for additional research to better identify performance measures that associate transit development with resulting economic and land development benefits. For example, parking costs, vehicle ownership costs, and agglomeration benefits are economic costs and benefits that have not been well captured in current economic analysis. Expanding TCRP Report 186: Economic Impact Case Study Tool for Transit (Economic Development Research Group and Compass Transportation and Technology, Inc. 2016) could support a better understanding of these impacts. • Standardized Survey Tool for Social and Economic Outcomes. Many of the highest- priority performance measures identified in this project could be assessed using an employee and passenger survey tool. These types of surveys generally are developed by individual agencies. A standardized survey tool would provide uniformity to transit agencies seeking Suggestions for Additional Research

46 Social and Economic Sustainability Performance Measures for Public Transportation: Final Guidance Document to compare their progress on social and economic measures. A uniform survey tool also could reduce the barriers to entry for transit agencies that do not have the resources to develop their own survey. • Expanded Guidebook to Help Transit Agencies Implement Social and Economic Sustainability Programs. The limited scope of this project did not allow for the develop- ment of a comprehensive guidebook on how transit agencies can implement social and economic sustainability programs. An expanded guidebook could build off the guidance provided in Section 4 of this report to provide more detail and recommendations on how to overcome barriers. Transit agencies are encouraged to continue sharing examples of effective practices in advancing social and economic sustainability through organizations such as APTA and TCRP to facilitate continuous improvement within the industry. 5.2 Additional Resources A few key resources related to performance-based planning are listed in Box 12. Additional resources are summarized in Appendix A. Box 12. Key Resources for Transit Agencies • Performance-Based Planning and Programming Guidebook (FHWA 2013a) • NCHRP Report 708: A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies (Zietsman et al. 2011) • Well Measured: Developing Indicators for Sustainable and Livable Transport Planning (Litman 2016) • TCRP Report 165: Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual, 3d Ed. (Kittelson & Associates, Inc., et al. 2013)

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A sustainable transit agency provides environmental, social, and economic benefits to the communities it serves. Transit agency efforts to quantify these benefits have focused primarily on environmental sustainability. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has developed guidance for transit agencies on how to use performance measures to quantify transit’s impact on environmental sustainability. APTA has yet to develop similar guidance to measure social and economic sustainability, which is the focus of this research project.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Research Report 205: Social and Economic Sustainability Performance Measures for Public Transportation: Final Guidance Document explores a practical tool to help transit agencies of all sizes develop and use social and economic sustainability performance measures to plan, evaluate, and report on social and economic sustainability.

The report is intended to complement the APTA Recommended Practice for Social and Economic Sustainability for Transit Agencies (2018). APTA’s Recommended Practice provides a framework for approaching economic and social sustainability, along with an overview of recommended practices; however, the document does not include performance measures, which are a key component to reporting progress and gauging success.

The report is presented with a companion Excel workbook that can be used by transit agencies to develop their own initial list of performance measures. The workbook includes 606 social and economic sustainability performance measures, as well as 93 transit service performance measures.

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