Public Transit Regional Coordination Pilot Projects-Scope

(Center Identification Number: 79050-02 A)

Principal Investigators

Jill Hough, Ph.D.
Small Urban and Rural Transit Center
Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
North Dakota State University
Fargo, North Dakota

Jeremy Mattson
Small Urban and Rural Transit Center
Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
North Dakota State University
Fargo, North Dakota


Phase I: Project Initiation

Task I-1 . Perform review of regionalized transit systems that are operating elsewhere in the country to identify potential operating models and related strengths and shortcomings; this review will focus on systems with demographics and needs that are similar to the focus of North Dakota’s prescribed studies.

  • Conduct a literature review and contact transit  industry personnel  (operators, government officials, researchers, etc.) around  the country to identify existing systems that should  be included in the review
  • Compile information on selected  systems and conduct a review of their  operations
  • Prepare a summary analysis which highlights alternatives that may have merit for implementation in the selected region in North Dakota
  • Identify data required from NDDOT for completion of subsequent tasks

Task 1-2. Hold the initial “kick off ‘ meeting with NDDOT and its designates, hereafter referred to as Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) 

  • Review possible  coordination  options  identified  in Task  I- I
  • Discuss rationale for selection  of regions  chosen  for pilot studies
  • Review available findings  from ongoing NDDOT Statewide Transit Needs  Analysis Study
  • Review study goals, draft work plan, key responsibilities, and timelines
  • Identify key stakeholder groups to include on a Regional Steering Committee (RSC) for both regional pilot studies (it is envisioned that the RSC will include no more than nine members.)
  • Finalize project work plan and timeline

Task I-3. Hold  initial  meeting  with  each RSC

  • Review legislative mandate and goa ls and NDDOT approach  to  implementation
  • Outline role of TAC
  • Review work plan adopted by TAC and solicit related suggestions
  • Review possible  coordination  options  being  investigated in Task  I- I  and  solicit  related input
  • Identify best approaches to gather information and to encourage participation in the study process  by transit operators, clients (users and contracting entities), and the public; factors to discuss    regarding public input meetings include potential meeting sites, meeting times, invitation lists, related  promotions

Phase II: Information Gathering

Task  II-1. Regional Transit Service Inventory & Interviews

  1. Identify all public transit agencies providing service in each region
  2. Review available NDDOT  records  concerning funded services
  3. Conduct interviews with all funded transit services in each region
  4. Information to be gathered as a part of this task will  include:
  • Organizational structure (non-profit, for profit, )
  • Types of operation
  • Service area, clients, and perceived client needs (origins, destinations, trip purposes, etc.)
  • Hours of operation
  • Routes/schedules
  • Number of passengers and passenger trips/segment
  • Budgets, funding sources, and financial program
  • Equipment and facilities
  • Dispatching capabilities,  systems,  and services
  • Coordinated efforts with  other providers or agencies
  • Organization, management,  administrative  structure(s)
  • Staffing
  • Maintenance and  maintenance agreements
  • Marketing efforts
  • Contracts to provide service5. Compile county-by-county demographic information to identify potential mobility-dependent populations

Task 11-2.  Hold first briefing session with NDDOT Executive Management Team

  • Meet with TAC to review  presentation  to NDDOT  Executive Management Team
  • Meet with NDDOT Executive Management Team:
  1. Present regionalization  options  identified  in  Phase I
  1. Review findings  of regional  transit service  inventory
  1. Discuss involvement  and  activities of TAC and RSCs
  1. Discuss goals and details associated with upcoming public input meetings
  1. Discuss time-frame for completion of regional coordination pilot projectsTask II-3. Host initial set of public input meetings
  • Discuss legislative mandate and goals for regionalization
  • Present information on approaches to regional coordination used elsewhere in the county and associated benefits
  • Describe existing public transportation services that are available in the region
  • Solicit input from attendees concerning existing services – adequacy, cost, opportunity for improvement


Phase III: System Design and Initial Review

Task III- I . Analyze information collected in Phases I and II to identity potential benefits associated with various approaches to regionalization

  • Prepare an inventory of all available public transit vehicles in each region, including capacity, accessibility features, age, mileage,
  • Prepare budget  summaries for all public transit services  in each region, including  funding sources
  • Analyze existing schedules, routes, and performance measures for each public transit service in each region to identify  deficiencies,  overlaps, and  opportunities for synergies
  • Identify operator strengths and weakness, service deficiencies and overlaps, funding sources and opportunities, etc.

Task III-2. Develop draft regional coordination alternatives based on information compiled in previous tasks

Each alternative review will include:

  • Coordination strategies
  • Organizational framework
  • Administrative structure
  • Job functions of a regional  coordinator
  • Optimal use of resources
  • Projected capital  needs and related costs
  • Anticipated efficiencies to be gained
  • Potential benefits

Task III-3. Review and refine alternatives with TAC and then with RSCs

Task Ill-4. Present preliminary findings and alternatives to NDDOT Executive Management Team

Task III-5. Host public information meetings to review identified alternatives and to solicit final input; work with TAC and RSCs to identify target audience and best means to promote attendance


Phase IV: Develop Interim Report

Task IV-1. Prepare detailed plan for regional coordination in the selected regions Plan components will include:

  • Coordination strategies
  • Organizational framework
  • Administrative structure
  • Operating schedules  and routes
  • Projected operational  and capital costs
  • Projected funding sources
  • Anticipated efficiencies to be  gained
  • Potential benefits  of regionalization
  • Implementation recommendations

Task IV-2. Review interim report with TAC and RSCs

Task IV-3. Present interim report to NDDOT Executive Management Team


Phase V: Prepare Final Report

Task V-1 . Monitor legislative reactions and activities concerning interim report

Task V-2. Prepare final report and recommendations for regional coordination in the selected regions


Project Schedule

January 2010 – June 2011


Project Budget



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