Dynamic Delivery of the National Transit Database Sampling Manual

(Center Identification Number: 77933)

This project improves the National Transit Database (NTD) Sampling Manual and develops an Internet-based, WordPress-powered interactive Web tool to deliver the new NTD Sampling Manual dynamically. The new manual adds guidance and a tool for transit agencies to develop sampling plans customized to their conditions but similar to those in Circular 2710.1A. Additionally, the manual adds requirements for a minimum sample size of 50 for all new NTD sampling plans and for the sample data to be used for developing new NTD sampling plans. The new manual is included in this report as an appendix. The Web tool can deliver the portion of the new manual relevant to the special circumstances of individual agencies that they specify through the user interface of this tool. Agencies can also use the tool to browse the manual in terms of its sections, subsections, and individual pairs of questions/answers. Agencies can search the new manual with keywords as well. The tool currently can be found at http://ntd.transitgis.org/ and is planned to be taken over by the official NTD website at http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/. In addition to an introduction and a conclusion section, this report covers the following three aspects of the research project:

1. Enhancements to the Sampling Manual – discusses both enhancements that were implemented and those not implemented because their shortcomings are expected to outweigh their potential benefits.

2. Alternative Content Management Systems – considers different content management systems for building the Internet-based interactive tool and selects WordPress as the final approach for this project.

3. Dynamic Delivery through WordPress – describes the different aspects of the implementation and the final Web tool for dynamic delivery of the new sampling manual and includes guides to use and update the tool.

The enhancements to the manual help improve the reliability of NTD sampling plans and give transit agencies more options to identify the best sampling plans for their special circumstances. The Internet-based tool greatly condenses and simplifies the comprehensive full manual for many transit agencies and their special circumstances, particularly small- and mid-size agencies. Download the final report. For more information, contact Xuehao Chu at xchu@cutr.usf.edu.

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