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National Center for Transit Research » Final Report Abstracts

Analysis of Transit Contracting Models and Proper Incentives for Long-Term Success

(Center Identification Number: 77952) As transit systems are being challenged to operate in the most cost-effective manner, and budgets are being tightened and demand for services increases, there has been renewed interest in the area of contracting for fixed route service in the United States (U.S.). Researchers were tasked to inventory and synthesize previous work in the area of types of transit operating contracts in the U.S. and Europe, assess the benefits and drawbacks of each general approach, and develop situational guidance for Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to help determine if a particular model could be appropriately considered. The investigation began with a review of the literature. Using the National Transit Database for 2011, transit service contracting practices in five states were reviewed, focusing on the monetary nature of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Final Report Abstracts, FY 2012 Final Reports, FY 2013 Final Reports, FY 2014 Final Reports, Projects, Publications

Bus Operator Safety – Critical Issues Examination and Model Practices

(Center Identification Number: 77953) In this study, researchers at the National Center for Transit Research performed a multi-topic comprehensive examination of bus operator-related critical safety and personal security issues. The goals of this research effort were to: Identify and discuss the organizational reporting structure related to safety departments and/or function within each of the 30 fixed route public transit agencies in Florida, with input also provided by transit agencies from across the U.S.; Identify and document model policies and practices that address the post event condition of bus operators and their ability to return to duty; Summarize the current practices related to driver’s licenses and criminal history background checks and identify model policies or procedures related to these record checks; Examine the training opportunities being provided by transit agencies and report the successes of these … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Final Report Abstracts, FY 2012 Final Reports, FY 2013 Final Reports, FY 2014 Final Reports, Projects, Publications

Improving the Cost Effectiveness of Financial Incentives in Managing Travel Demand Management (TDM)

(Center Identification Number: 77947) Providing financial incentives to commuters to use alternative modes is a common element of managing transportation demand. Although these incentives have become common during the past two decades as elements of transportation demand management (TDM) programs, limited effort has been made to understand how different ways of providing financial incentives affect commuter mode choice. A better understanding of how these components of incentives affect their impact is critical to enhancing the performance of financial incentives as a TDM strategy. A Web survey was developed and conducted to investigate the feasibility and interest of shifting mode in Florida. A total of 1,031 responses were collected and analyzed. From the survey, researchers found that more than 80 percent of respondents in Florida indicated that they were neither carpooling nor taking … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Final Report Abstracts, FY 2012 Final Reports, FY 2013 Final Reports, Projects, Publications

Improved Traffic Control Measures to Prevent Incorrect Turns at Highway-Rail Grade Crossings

(Center Identification Number: 77950) A number of injuries and fatal collisions have occurred at certain highway-rail grade crossings that are located immediately adjacent to highway intersections, driveways or interstate ramps. Some guide signage, pavement markings, and other traffic control devices present near or at the crossings in the past may have confused drivers and caused them to turn onto the railroad tracks, rather than at the nearby intersections, driveways or ramps. This research found the major contributing causes of incorrect turns onto railroad tracks includes (1) confusing signs and pavement markings near highway-rail crossings, (2) darkness and low visibility near or at highway-rail crossings, (3) following turn instructions from a GPS device onto railroad tracks, (4) skewed highway-rail grade crossings, and (5) driver distraction. Based on the findings from intensive literature … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Final Report Abstracts, FY 2013 Final Reports, Projects, Publications

Project UCARE: Uniform Commuter Assistance Reporting and Evaluation for TDM Programs

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) places emphasis upon results and better management of programs for effective and efficient service delivery. With an increased focus on measuring performance, the transportation demand management (TDM) industry lags other areas of transportation. Without consistent methods of evaluating performance and calculating those benefits, the TDM community is at a distinct disadvantage when transportation investments are being considered at the local, state, and federal levels. This project sought to develop an accurate and sustainable online system to record data and use a consistent and defensible method for calculating the impacts of TDM programs. A literature review and a survey of TDM professionals were used to identify the key outputs and outcomes used today by commuter assistance programs. The data collection tool was pilot tested. The data from the survey … Read entire article »

Filed under: Final Report Abstracts, FY 2011 Final Reports, News and Events, Publications