Flexible Public Transportation Services in Florida

(Center Identification Number: 77942) Due to the increasing demand to provide public transportation services and meet the mobility needs of diverse markets and environments, the transit industry has begun to provide flexible transportation services through cost-effective, unconventional service delivery models, including but not limited to: route deviations, point deviations, demand-response connectors, request stops, flexible route segments and zone routes.

Principal Investigators:

Jay A. Goodwill

Phone: 813-974-8755
E-mail: jaygoodwill@cutr.usf.edu
Fax: 813-974-5168

and

Lisa Staes

Phone: 813-974-9787
E-mail: staes@cutr.usf.edu
Fax: 813-974-5168

Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida

External Project Contact:     

Elizabeth Stutts
Grant Programs Administrator
elizabeth.stutts@dot.state.fl.us
Phone: 850-414-4500

I.  Project Objective/Problem Statement

Due to the increasing demand to provide public transportation services and meet the mobility needs of diverse markets and environments, the transit industry has begun to provide flexible transportation services through cost-effective, unconventional service delivery models, including but not limited to: route deviations, point deviations, demand-response connectors, request stops, flexible route segments and zone routes. Flexible public transportation services show great promise in addressing American Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit service requirements and providing service to service areas with low and irregular demand. Such areas include suburban, small urban and rural market areas.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is interested in exploring the current application and future potential for flexible public transportation services to help meet the mobility needs of Florida residents who reside in non-traditional transit areas.The research will provide an overview of the current use of flexible public transportation service in Florida, through the results obtain through a literature review, survey and selected case studies. This research will provide practitioners and other transportation professionals a resource document that will detail the recommended service design and implementation guidelines for flexible transportation services.

 II. Objectives/Tasks

Work not included in this scope of service is not to be performed and will not be subject to compensation by the Department. The proposed scope of services for this project consists of the following tasks:

Task 1 – Project Administration

This task will provide the project management activities associated with this project, including preparation of quarterly progress reports, consultation with the project manager, review of draft reports, technical memorandums and final report.

Task 2 – Literature Review

The Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida (CUTR) will conduct a literature review on the subject of flexible public transportation services in the United States. The results of the literature review will serve as a starting point for the research.

At a minimum this will include the review of current research on this topic and related subjects including:

• A Guide for Planning and Operating Flexible Public Transportation Services, TCRP Report 140, Transportation Research Board, 2010

• Operational Experiences with Flexible Transit Services, TCRP Synthesis 53, Transportation Research Board, 2004.

Task 3 – Survey Florida Transit Agencies on Current Use of Flexible Public Transportation Service

Based upon the findings of the literature review, CUTR will develop an electronic survey instrument to gather information on the current use of flexible public transportation services within Florida. CUTR will administer this survey instrument to all of Florida’s FTA Section 5307 funded systems. It is envisioned that the survey process would require CUTR to follow up with transit agencies telephonically and through email to encourage completion of the survey, to clarify responses, and ensure quality control and consistency of the responses. CUTR will compile the survey responses and report the results by a series of common categories, to include but not be limited to: type of flexible services offered, operating characteristics, operating costs, capital costs, use of technology, and cost/benefits of the innovative services.

Task 4 – Florida Case Studies

The selection of Florida case study sites will be dependent upon the results of the literature review and survey. The in-depth case studies, comprised of interviews and site visits, will document the programs initiated and implemented by five to six Florida transit systems selected as case study sites. A report will be produced that will summarize the data gathered and findings from each case study.

Task 5 – Development of Service Design and Implementation Guidelines

The final task of the research will be to provide practitioners and other transportation professionals a resource document that will detail the recommended service design and implementation guidelines for flexible transportation services. This document will provide an overview of the current use of flexible public transportation service in Florida, including the results of the case studies. This document will be developed in an easy-to-read, user-friendly format. If practical and realistic, a simple step-by-step process will be detailed to allow the user to apply the recommended service design and implementation guidelines for flexible transportation services.

At a minimum this document will address the following subject areas:

• Basic concepts

• Definitions

• Service design criteria

• Planning and scheduling

• Marketing and promotion

• Operating costs

• Capital costs

• Use of technology

III. Deliverables

 

Deliverables for this project will include the following:

Project Kickoff Meeting

A kick-off meeting shall be scheduled to occur within the first 30 days of the execution of the work order by the university. The preferred method for the kick-off meeting is via teleconference or video conference. At a minimum, the project manager and the principal investigator will attend. The Research Center staff will 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.

Quarterly Progress Reports

Progress reports are required on a calendar quarter and should be sent to the Sandra Bell at sandra.bell@dot.state.fl.us for processing. The first report will cover the activity that occurred in the quarter following the issuance of the task work order. Reports should be submitted within 30 days of the end of the reporting period.

Quarterly reports will include the following information:

1. Contract Number, Work Order Number and Title

2. Work performed during the quarter

3. Work to be performed next quarter

4. Anticipated modifications (i.e., to funding, schedule, or scope).

5. A progress schedule updated to reflect activities for the period being reported

CUTR researchers understand that failure to submit progress reports in a timely manner may result in termination of the work order.

Technical Memorandum 1 – Literature Review and Background Information

CUTR will prepare the first Technical Memorandum which will summarize and document the findings of Project Task 2. This deliverable will be submitted within 30 days of the completion of Task 2.

Technical Memorandum 2 – Summary of Survey and Case Studies

CUTR will prepare the second Technical Memorandum which will summarize and document the findings of Project Tasks 3 and 4. This deliverable will be submitted within 30 days of the completion of Task 4.

Draft Final Report

The final task of the research will be to provide practitioners and other transportation professionals a resource document that will detail the recommended service design and implementation guidelines for flexible transportation services. This document will be developed in an easy-to-read, user-friendly format.

The Draft Final Report will be submitted 90 days prior to the end date of the task work order to Sandra Bell, sandra.bell@dot.state.fl.us.

The report will be edited for technical accuracy, grammar, clarity, organization, and format prior to submission to the Department for technical approval. CUTR will provide a well-written, high quality report that addresses the objectives defined by the scope of service. CUTR will prepare the draft final report in accordance with the “Guidelines for Preparing Draft Final and Final Reports” posted at http://www.dot.state.fl.us/research-center/Project_Mgt_Resources.shtm

Final Report

Once the draft final report has been approved, the university will 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 will 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 will be completed and provided to Department no later than the end date of the task work order. CUTR will deliver the final report to the following address:

The Florida Department of Transportation

Research Center, MS 30

605 Suwannee Street

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450

Project Closeout Meeting

A closeout meeting will be conducted 30 days prior to end of the task work order 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.

 

IV. Project Schedule

Start Date:  November 2011               Expected End Date: April 2013

V. Project Budget

Total Lump Sum Amount (Salaries and Benefits)            $57,641.76

Cost Reimbursable Subtotal                                                  $2,295.00

Indirect Cost (subtotal x 10%)                                                   $229.50

Total Project Cost                                                                  $60,166.26

Other Expenses

A provision for postage was included for cases requiring such mailing agreements, hard drives, cables to and from participating transit agencies. The provision for postage was $70. Also $50 was included for the preparation of the final report CD which includes all the required materials and services for labeling.

Budget Justifications

• Travel @ $2,295

o It is anticipated that a minimum of five trips from Tampa to selected Florida transit agencies will be required over the course of the project.

Travel was estimated based on the following per assumptions:

 Two members of the project team would participate in each trip

 Each trip would include one hotel night per person

 Hotel costs estimated at $120 per night per person

 Each trip would include two per diem expenses of $36 per day per person

 Travel will be accomplished using rental cars with an estimated per trip expense of $75

 Cost per trip = (1 x 2 x $120) + (2 x 2 x $36) + $75 = $459

 Five (5) trips @ $459 = $2,295

VI. Equipment

No equipment will need to be purchased for this project.

VII. Travel

Travel to five Florida transit has been budgeted for two members of the project team. It is anticipated that a minimum of five trips from Tampa to selected Florida transit agencies will be required over the course of the project. The purpose of the visits to the transit agencies will be to in-depth case studies, comprised of interviews and site visits. All travel shall be in accordance with Section 112.061, Florida Statutes. FDOT employees may not travel on research contracts.

VIII. Use of Graduate Student(s) and other Research Assistants

No graduate student involvement is anticipated in this study.

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