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10 C H A P T E R 2 This research includes a thorough investigation of active and inactive partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs. Findings from this research will enhance the transit industryâs under- standing of what has been tried to date and inform a âPartnership Playbookâ to guide industry decision-makers. This report is not intended to provide insights or guidance around transit agency partnerships with other emerging mobility service providers, such as microtransit or autonomous shuttle vendors. Due to the fact that the mobility landscape is changing at an unprecedented rate, this work intends to capture findings from transit agencyâTNC partnerships to date. Study Scope As evidenced by the FTAâs Online Dialogue regarding shared mobility,10 there is a per- sistent and growing set of concerns within the public transportation industry regarding best practices for establishing formal and informal partnerships with TNCs. This study researches these partnerships to reveal where there is lack of clarity and to provide possible solutions. For the purposes of this research, TNC refers to companies that connect people seeking trips with drivers who are often, but not always, using their personal, noncommercial vehicle; these connections are made through web- or smartphone-based apps. Although there are a number of TNC vendors in the U.S. marketplace, most partnerships involve Uber and Lyft. Lastly, it is important to note that TNCs have also established partnerships with other public and private agencies such as municipal departments of transportation, senior centers, non- profits, developers, campuses, employers, and healthcare providers. While we acknowledge these partnerships, this research focuses on TNCsâ partnerships with transit agencies. The Approach Transit Agency Survey In January 2018, the research team issued a survey to transit agencies that had either part- nered or explored partnerships. The objective was to solicit feedback and collect quantitative and qualitative information regarding a range of topics including basic partnership informa- tion, operational characteristics, regulatory considerations, contracting and data sharing, third-party providers, and program evaluation. The transit agency survey was developed online via SurveyMonkey and also available in PDF format. Appendix A contains the survey instrument. Methodology
Methodology 11 Prior to distribution, the research team compiled a comprehensive list of all known partner- ships and appropriate transit agency contacts. Policy staff from Uber and Lyft helped ensure that the list was comprehensive. Forty-four transit agencies in 20 states received the survey and were given the option to complete the survey online or over the phone. Follow-up emails and calls were provided to transit agencies that did not respond promptly. The survey yielded a response rate of 84%; 38 responses were received from 37 transit agencies as one transit agency submitted separate surveys for two different partnerships. Survey results are summarized later in this report. Transit Agency Interviews Following the transit agency survey, the research team scheduled follow-up interviews with select transit agencies that would serve as potential case studies. Interviewees were selected based on the partnership design, complexity, and applicability to other transit agencies inter- ested in similar partnerships. The objective was to develop an understanding of the motivations, preparation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of TNC partnerships to guide other interested transit agencies in decision-making. Questions were tailored to survey responses and included discussions of: â¢ Partnership relationship initiation goals and anticipated outcome â¢ Establishment of informal (no exchange of funds) or formal (exchange of funds) partnership) â¢ Regulatory consideration (Title VI and ADA) â¢ Operational characteristics â¢ Program evaluation â¢ Lessons learned Of the 36 transit agencies completing surveys, 20 responded to requests for follow-up interviews, which are included as in-depth case studies in Chapter 4: â¢ Big Blue Bus (BBB) (Santa Monica, CA) â¢ Capital Metro (CapMetro) (Austin, TX) â¢ Cascades East Transit (CET) (Bend, OR) â¢ Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (CPTA) dba RabbitTransit (York, PA) â¢ Denton County Transit Authority (DCTA) (Denton, TX) â¢ Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) (Richmond, VA) â¢ Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) (Livermore, CA) â¢ Los Angeles Metro (LA Metro) (Los Angeles, CA) â¢ Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) (Atlanta, GA) â¢ Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) (Boston, MA) â¢ New York City Transit (NYCT) (New York City, NY) â¢ Omnitrans (San Bernardino, CA) â¢ Pierce Transit (Pierce County, WA) â¢ Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) (St. Petersburg, FL) â¢ Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) (Sacramento, CA) â¢ San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) (San Mateo County, CA) â¢ Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) (Philadelphia, PA) â¢ Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) (Cincinnati, OH) â¢ Solano Transportation Authority (STA) (Solano, CA) â¢ Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) (Washington, DC) The transit agency interviews captured more nuanced information than provided in the survey, represented unique use cases, and informed case study write-ups. Appendix C contains the interview protocol.
12 Partnerships Between Transit Agencies and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) TNC Interviews Following the transit agency interviews, the research team conducted interviews with TNC policy staff to gain insights on partnership structure and lessons learned. Question content was aimed at the following themes: â¢ Partnership initiation â¢ Goals and anticipated outcome â¢ Pros and cons of different partnership types â¢ Preferred co-marketing arrangement â¢ Data-sharing policies Interview findings are discussed throughout this report. Expert Interviews and Background Material In addition to the survey and interviews with transit agencies and TNCs, the research team reviewed previous studies and initiatives addressing similar topics and consulted experts in the field. The purpose was to understand the regulatory landscape for TNC partnerships especially in regards to FTA requirements and the landscape of âsunshine laws,â which allow for public records requests. Interviews consisted of phone and email correspondence with the FTA, the Eno Center for Transportation, the author of TCRP Legal Research Digest 53: Legal Consider- ations in Evaluating Relationships Between Transit Agencies and Ridesourcing Service Providers, and experts in data privacy. Expert interview and background material findings are discussed throughout this report.