Rural Transit Fact Book (2014)

(Center Identification Number: 79060-02-A)

Public transportation plays a fundamental role in the livability of all communities. Information on transit service availability and cost is necessary to efficiently and effectively meet rural community mobility needs. Financial and operating statistics can be used by agency managers, local decision makers, state directors, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and lawmakers to assist in policy making, planning, managing operations, and evaluating performance. The Rural Transit Fact Book was initiated by the Small Urban & Rural Transit Center in 2011 to provide information to assist the transit industry in the United States provide efficient and effective service to rural communities.  While significant data exist in urban areas, data for rural transit has been lacking.

The intent of the Rural Transit Fact Book is to serve as a national resource for statistics and information on rural transit in America. The publication includes rural demographic and travel behavior data as well as financial and operating statistics for agencies receiving section 5311 funding. In addition to national level data, statistics are presented by state, FTA region, tribe, and mode, as well as other agency characteristics. The rural transit data presented are obtained from the Rural National Transit Database (NTD).

As new and better data become available, it is useful to continually update this publication. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to produce a 2014 edition of the Fact Book with new and updated data. A SAS program will also be developed to more efficiently analyze the data contained in the NTD data files.

Research Plan

Task 1) Identify Needs and Resources

Opportunities for improving previous editions of the Fact Book will be identified, as well as possible new data sources. The main data source will be Rural National Transit Database (NTD), and data from the American Community Survey and National Household Travel Survey will also be used.

Task 2) Collect Data

Data from the Rural NTD will be collected, as well as data from the other identified sources.

Task 3) Develop SAS Program

A SAS program will be developed to more efficiently analyze data from the various NTD data files

Task 4) Data Analysis

This task involves compiling, reorganizing, and analyzing data from the Rural NTD and other sources and conveying the information from these sources in a series of tables. These tables will provide a number of useful statistics, including rural transit operating statistics, financial statistics, fleet statistics, and performance measures. Statistics will be provided at the national level, as well as regional and state levels and for tribal transit and mode. General data on rural America and rural transportation will also be presented.

Task 5) Prepare Final Report

The final report will be made available in hard copy and also can be downloaded from the SURTC website.

Project Schedule

March 2014 to August 2014

Project Budget

Total Project Cost     $7,465.00

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