Center Identification Number: 77934
Project Title: Analysis of the Implementation Status of Impact of Transit Research
Center for Urban Transportation Research
External Project Contact:
Start and End Dates
Start Date: February 2011 Expected End Date: May 2012
I. Project Objective/Problem Statement
The National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) domiciled at the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida, conducts applied and advanced research, working closely with MPOs, transit organizations, policy makers, departments of transportation, and other key stakeholders within the public transportation industry. The Florida Department of Transportation recognizes NCTR’s excellence in these areas and funds NCTR projects that benefit residents of Florida and also public transportation stakeholders across the country and around the globe.
Both the Florida Department of Transportation’s Research Center and NCTR recognize the criticality of ensuring the results derived from this research are reaching the intended customer and are having meaningful impacts on the transit industry, particularly in Florida. Additionally, both parties strive to apply the principles of continuous quality improvement with particular emphasis on satisfying customer need, maximizing customer value, and constantly adjusting and improving---through the customer’s eyes---business methods.
In this study, NCTR will assess the implementation status and identify the outcomes and impacts of the results of the 40 FDOT-sponsored NCTR research projects that concluded in fiscal years 2007--2010.
The three primary research questions that will be answered in this study are:
1. How well did the research results reach the customer? 2. How did the customer utilize the research results? 3. How did the research results impact the customer?
The study will assess the implementation status of each research project and quantify the impacts of each research project. Collection of the following data will support the research objectives:
• Participants Engaged (transit agencies, MPOs, user communities, materials downloaded, questions fielded) • Quantified improvements (reduction in accidents, behavioral changes, model accuracy, cost savings) • Policy changes resulting from project (Federal, state, local) • Product, tool, or software application developed/deployed • Best practice, standard, or strategy developed/deployed • Publications Generated from Project Work • Project Specific Quantifiable Outcome (increase in program use, decrease in congestion, etc)
The information collected will be analyzed for consistency, summarized, and organized to give a reviewer an accurate perspective on the current and expected future state of this research. At a minimum the information will include a very short summary of the work and findings, an implementation status or timeline, relationship to other FDOT Research Center projects, and a quantification and discussion of the impacts of each project.
This research initiative will provide an informational feedback loop for FDOT which will help FDOT and NCTR better understand what types of research projects tend to produce the most widespread impacts and what process improvements might be implemented to ensure future research projects produce the desired impacts.
Simply stated, some projects will be more difficult than others to document in terms of their ultimate utilization and impact. The type of research done through NCTR is intended to benefit the entire public transportation community, not an individual client. Hence, tracking down those who have used the research presents multiple challenges since it could be used by dozens or even hundreds of agencies. In spite of these challenges, CUTR understands the need to document that the public transportation community and the State of Florida are indeed benefiting from the research being funded by FDOT through NCTR.
Task 1: Kick Off Meeting with FDOT Project Manager
CUTR will conduct a project kick-off meeting within the first 30 days of contract execution. At a minimum, the FDOT project manager and the CUTR principal investigator will attend. The purpose of the meeting will be to review and discuss the project’s tasks, schedule, milestones, deliverables, reporting requirements, and deployment plan.
Task 2: Present Research Plan to CUTR Management Team
CUTR will present the research approach, methodology, and rationale to the CUTR Management Team early in the project as a precursor to the data queries and personal interviews CUTR will perform in subsequent tasks.
Task 3: Review Scopes of Work of Targeted NCTR Projects
CUTR will review the scope of work for each NCTR project being reviewed to identify the initial reason(s) for conducting the project and to identify the targeted audience of the research results. This information will assist CUTR in knowing:
• If the intended customers received the research results • If the intended customers utilized the research results • How the research results impacted the intended customers.
Task 4: Data Query of CUTR Principal Investigators
Each PI who is currently employed at CUTR will be asked to provide information on what agencies they worked with (if any) as they completed their NCTR project. They will also be asked to provide any records (emails, letters, and notes) that indicate that their project has provided information that has served as the basis for changes in agency practice.
Each PI will be asked to determine if agencies that have utilized the findings of their research can identify and quantify any changes (cost savings, safety improvements, policy changes, operational procedures, etc.) that have resulted from instituting practices due to the research project’s recommendations.
Each PI will be asked to produce any correspondence they have received requesting more information on the subject of the report, regardless of the source of the contact (whether this is from transportation professionals, other public or private managers, the media, etc.).
Each PI will provide a record of any papers they produced that were published as part of professional proceedings, as well as a record of the presentations they made of the findings of their research at professional conferences.
Task 5: Interview CUTR Principal Investigators
CUTR will interview each project PI to assess their unique perspectives on project implementation, clarify any of the information and data collected in Task 4, identify industry stakeholders who may have utilized the research results, and identify and document any new software and utilization of that software or technology by others.
Task 6: Interview Industry
CUTR will interview stakeholders identified in Task 5 to discuss how research results were utilized, identify specific actions taken as a result of the research project’s findings, and assess how application of research findings positively impacted the individual and/or organization. If the research produced any new software or technology, CUTR will identify and document its utilization.
Task 7: NCTR Web Site Search
CUTR will summarize the number of hits and downloads that all of the reports have experienced from the NCTR website. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine who downloaded a report, or the agency they work for. There is also no way to determine if the project reports have been downloaded from FDOT’s website, or other websites that list NCTR’s reports. Nonetheless, this will be evidence of the interest in the subject.
Task 8: Google Scholars Search
CUTR will conduct a Google Scholar Search to identify how many times the reports that are subject to this project have been referenced in professional journals and articles, indicating their value to the transportation research community. CUTR will also conduct a broader search through all search engines to determine the extent to which NCTR reports have been mentioned in a variety of media.
Where there has been the development of new software, the utilization of that software or technology by others will be documented.
CUTR will solicit records available through FDOT’s Deployment of Research plan, follow up on any pertinent leads from this source, and incorporate for each project noted in the report.
Task 9: NCTR Listserv Query
CUTR will send a message via the NCTR Listserv asking all 1100 members to indicate whether or not they have utilized the findings of the research from the projects that will be listed in the message. CUTR’s PI will personally follow up with those who respond to summarize what actions have been taken and what results have been achieved.
Task 10: NCTR Advisory Board
CUTR will present the research plan to the NCTR Advisory Board and query each Board member to determine their awareness of the research projects and results. If appropriate, CUTR will personally interview NCTR board members and assess how they utilized research results.
Task 11: Recommendations
CUTR will provide recommendations going forward for how NCTR can better track the actions that have been taken as a result of completed research.
Task 12: Final Report
CUTR will summarize and synthesize all of the data collected in the previous tasks and provide a draft final report to FDOT’s Research Center at least 90 days before the project end date.
A Final Report will be provided within 15 months of the issuance of the Task Order. CUTR will deliver a minimum eight (8) copies on CD or DVD – seven (7) CDs will contain the final report in PDF format, one (1) CD will contain the final report in PDF format, MS Word format and a Summary of the Final Report.
Work not included in this scope of service is not to be performed and will not be subjected to compensation by the Department.
Project Kickoff Meeting
A kick-off meeting shall be scheduled to occur within the first 30 days of execution by the university. The preferred method for the kick-off meeting is via teleconference or video conference. As a minimum, the project manager and the principal investigator will attend. The Research Center staff shall be advised of the meeting and given the option to attend. Other parties may be invited, as appropriate. The subject of the meeting will be to review and discuss the project’s tasks, schedule, milestones, deliverables, reporting requirements, and deployment plan. A summary of the kick-off meeting shall be included in the first progress report.
The Principal Investigator will submit quarterly progress reports to the Research Center. The first report will cover the activity that occurred in the 90 days following the issuance of the Task Work Order.
Reports should be submitted within 30 days of the end of the reporting period. Reports are due even if little or no progress has occurred (in which case, the report should explain delays and/or lack of progress). Progress reports should be sent in MS Word to Sandra Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org not to the Project Manager
Progress reports must include the following information: 1. Contract Number, Task Work Order Number, and Title in the report and in the subject line of all e-mail correspondence for the submission of reports. 2. Work performed during the period being reported 3. Work to be performed in the following period 4. Anticipated modifications (i.e., to funding, schedule, or scope). This section is for reporting/informational purposes, not for officially requesting an amendment. Note: To request an amendment to a contract, the contractor must provide the project manager with the appropriate information (i.e., what is being requested with justification) in the required format. If the project manager concurs with the request, he/she shall forward it with his/her approval and commentary, as appropriate, to the Research Center for administrative review and processing (pending available funds, etc.) 5. A Progress Schedule (figures A, B, and C) updated to reflect activities for the period being reported.
Failure to submit progress reports in a timely manner may result in termination of the work order.
Draft Final Reports
The Draft Final Report is due 90 days prior to the end date of the task work order. The draft final report will be submitted to Sandra Bell, email@example.com. It should be edited for technical accuracy, grammar, clarity, organization, and format prior to submission to the Department for technical approval. The Executive Summary in the beginning of the report must be written in the Governor’s prescribed Plain English. The Principal Investigator will provide a double sided copy of the report for the Project Manager’s review. The Research Center expects contractors to be able to provide well-written, high quality reports that address the objectives defined by the scope of service. Draft final reports must be prepared in accordance with the “Guidelines for Preparing Draft Final and Final Reports.”
Once the draft final report has been approved; the university shall prepare the final report. The university will deliver a minimum eight (8) copies on CD or DVD – seven (7) CDs should contain the final report in PDF format, one (1) CD should contain the final report in PDF format, MS Word format and a Summary of the Final Report. The CD/DVDs should be labeled in a professional manner and include at a minimum the contract number, task work order number, project title and date.
The final report is due no later than the end date of the task work order and should be delivered to the following address:
The Florida Department of Transportation Research Center, MS 30 605 Suwannee Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450
IV. Project Close-Out
A closeout meeting shall be scheduled during the final 30 days of the project. The purpose of the closeout meeting is to review project performance, the deployment plan, and next steps. Attendees shall include, as a minimum, the project manager, the principal investigator, and the Research Center performance coordinator. This meeting is to occur prior to the expiration of the contract and subsequent to the approval of the draft final report.
V. Project Schedule
CUTR will complete the project within 15 months of execution of the Task Order.
VI. Project Budget
No need for non-standard equipment is expected for conducting the proposed research.
No travel is anticipated. Any travel requested by the Project Manager shall be in accordance with Section 112.061, Florida Statutes. FDOT employees may not travel on research contracts.
IX. Use of Graduate Student(s) and Other Research Assistants
Student assistance is expected to conduct data gathering and analysis under Tasks 7, 8, and 9.
X. Project Team
Principal Investigator: Michael J. Audino is the principal investigator for this project. He is a highly accomplished transportation executive with over 30 years of multi-modal leadership and management experience. He has a proven track record of trustworthiness and ethical conduct and demonstrated relationship development, consensus building, and communications excellence. Michael holds a Masters Degree in Business Leadership from Upper Iowa University and Bachelor’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University. He serves as a part-time Senior Researcher at CUTR.
Researcher: Joel Volinski is the director of the National Center for Transit Research (NCTR) program at CUTR. He will provide guidance and input throughout the project and will provide internal review of the draft final report.
Program Assistant: CUTR will utilize a Program Assistant to assist with contract administration. She will assist with preparation of quarterly reports, layout and editing of the draft final report, and other programmatic and clerical assistance needed for the project.
Graduate Research Assistant: A graduate research assistant will perform most of the on-line data searches under Tasks 7, 8 and 9. The graduate student selected will need to be enrolled at the Masters level.
National Center for Transit Research · at the Center For Urban Transportation Research · University of South Florida · 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 · Tampa, FL 33620-5375 · (813) 974-3120 · (813) 974-5168 · www.nctr.usf.edu · Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org