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2020 T R A N S I T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M TCRP RESEARCH REPORT 215 Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation Subject Areas Public Transportation Minutes Matter: A Bus Transit Service Reliability Guidebook Alan Danaher James Wensley Amy Dunham Ted Orosz Ryan Avery Kenneth Cobb WSP USA Orlando, FL Kari Watkins Carly Queen Simon Berrebi GeorGiA inStitUte of technoloGy Atlanta, GA Marlene Connor Jim McLaughlin McA ASSociAteS Holyoke, MA
TCRP RESEARCH REPORT 215 Project A-42 ISSN 2572-3782 ISBN 978-0-309-48175-5 Â© 2020 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FTA, GHSA, NHTSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The research report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM The nationâs growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Cur- rent systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating prob- lems, adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Coopera- tive Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report 213âResearch for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation Administrationânow the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- solving research. TCRP, modeled after the successful National Coop- erative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of transit ser- vice providers. The scope of TCRP includes various transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooperating organi- zations: FTA; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit educational and research organization established by APTA. TDC is responsible for forming the independent governing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Commission. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Commission to formulate the research program by identi- fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Commission defines funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel appointed by TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests for propos- als), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired effect if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on disseminat- ing TCRP results to the intended users of the research: transit agen- cies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for workshops, train- ing aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are imple- mented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively address common operational problems. TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Published research reports of the TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to https://www.nationalacademies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR TCRP RESEARCH REPORT 215 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Gwen Chisholm Smith, Manager, Transit Cooperative Research Program Stephan A. Parker, Senior Program Officer Stephanie L. Campbell, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Associate Director of Publications Doug English, Senior Editor TCRP PROJECT A-42 PANEL Field of Operations Nigel H. M. Wilson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cambridge, MA (Chair) Manjiri G. Akalkotkar, VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio, TX A. Jeff Becker, Regional Transportation District â Denver, Denver, CO Elsa Gutierrez, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago, IL John L. Lyons, Amalgamated Transit Union, Silver Spring, MD Al Martinez, Los Angeles County (CA) Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles, CA Robert E. âBuzâ Paaswell, City College of New York, New York, NY Paul J. Ryus, Kittelson & Associates, Inc., Reston, VA Brian L. Sherlock, Amalgamated Transit Union, Silver Spring, MD Thomas E. Stringer, Jr., Hilstel Transportation Consulting, LLC, Jacksonville, FL Eric Papetti, FTA Liaison Jeff Hiott, APTA Liaison Stephen J. Andrle, TRB Liaison
TCRP Research Report 215: Minutes Matter: A Bus Transit Service Reliability Guidebook details eight steps that a transit agency can undertake to develop and maintain a reliability improvement program. It provides a comprehensive assessment of fixed-route bus service reliability, the predominant type of transit service in North America and around the world. It will be of interest to public transit agencies, local governments and planning agencies, poten- tial service operators and sponsors, and other stakeholders. Bus service reliability is a key quality-of-service issue for passengers, an important driver of bus operations costs for transit agencies, and a health and safety issue for bus operators. From the passenger point of view, unreliable service means that customers must allow extra time for their trip to make sure they arrive at their destination by a particular timeâreducing the time that could otherwise have been used more productively. Although a typical rule of thumb is that passengers perceive wait time as being twice as onerous as in-vehicle time, recent research indicates that transit passengers perceive unexpected wait time as being 3 to 5 times as onerous as in-vehicle time. The overall objective of TCRP Project A-42 was to develop a guide to bus transit service reliability. Led by a principal investigator from WSP USA and co-investigators from Georgia Institute of Technology and MCA Associates, and based on direction from the project panel, the research team focused on identifying: â¢ Factors affecting fixed-route bus service reliability, â¢ Measures to estimate degree of unreliability, â¢ Diagnostic tools to assess extent of reliability problems, â¢ Potential treatments, and â¢ How to implement an overall reliability improvement program. The guidebook is informed by extensive data gathering and analysis, which is documented in the projectâs final report as TCRP Web-Only Document 72: Developing a Guide to Bus Transit Service Reliability. The literature review (Appendix A of TCRP WOD 72) covers 168 documents. The transit agency survey report (Appendix B of TCRP WOD 72) carries full or partial responses to 44 questions from 86 agencies. Approaches used in the field are documented in case studies (Appendix C of TCRP WOD 72) of two small transit agencies (fewer than 100 buses in peak service), two medium transit agencies, and six large (more than 300 buses in peak service) transit agencies. This guidebook is also available on the TRB website at http://www.trb.org/Publications/ Blurbs/180325.aspx. On the website are also a PowerPoint presentation that provides an overview of the project and the final report that describes the methodologies used. F O R E W O R D By Stephan A. Parker Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
1 Summary 6 Chapter 1 Introduction 6 1.1 Guidebook Purpose 6 1.2 How to Use This Guidebook 9 Chapter 2 Addressing Bus Transit Reliability 9 2.1 Reliability Points of View 11 2.2 Why Does Reliability Matter? 14 2.3 Developing an Effective Reliability Improvement Program 16 Chapter 3 Developing a Bus Service Reliability Improvement Program 16 3.1 Introduction 16 3.2 Step 1 â Define Goals and Objectives 19 3.3 Step 2 â Select Reliability Measures 21 3.4 Step 3 â Select Reliability Standards 22 3.5 Step 4 â Implement the Program and Monitor Performance 23 3.6 Step 5 â Perform Diagnostic Assessment 23 3.7 Step 6 â Identify Reliability Treatments 25 3.8 Step 7 â Implement and Monitor Reliability Treatments 26 3.9 Step 8 â Review and Update the Program 27 3.10 Example Application 30 Chapter 4 Reliability Measurement Tools 30 4.1 Introduction 30 4.2 Reliability Measures 38 4.3 Comparison of Reliability Measures 40 4.4 Data Sources and Data Collection Techniques 41 4.5 Reliability Management Organizational Structure 43 Chapter 5 Reliability Diagnostic Assessment 43 5.1 Introduction 43 5.2 Causes of Unreliability 44 5.3 Factors Affecting Reliability 48 5.4 How Transit Agencies React to Reliability Problems 50 5.5 An Approach to Identifying Causes of Unreliability 51 5.6 Analysis Framework for Identifying Causes of Unreliability C O N T E N T S
58 Chapter 6 Reliability Improvement Tools 58 6.1 Introduction 58 6.2 Types of Reliability Improvement Treatments 59 6.3 Common Reliability Improvement Treatments 62 6.4 Overview of Reliability Improvement Treatments 62 6.5 Impacts of Reliability Improvement Treatments 62 6.6 Selection of Improvement Treatments 69 Chapter 7 Bus Transit Reliability Menus 69 7.1 Chapter Organization 69 7.2 Instructions 70 7.3 Reliability Selection Menus 70 7.4 Reliability Measure Information Sheets 89 7.5 Reliability Treatment Information Sheets 120 References