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Center Identification Number: 350-11

Project Title: Analysis of National Transit Database

Co-Principal Investigators: 

Steven Polzin

Xuehao Chu


Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

I. Project Objective

To identify significant changes in transit agency performance as revealed by an analysis of NTD data and to explore that data to learn more about transit agency performance.

II. Project Abstract

To undertake a review of national transit performance trends using the NTD database. All transit properties submit data to this data base and it is regularly used as a tool in monitoring transit agency performance as well as a data source that supports the allocation of resources to the transit industry. This particular project would be designed to review the data base in search of significant performance changes or industry outliers. These agencies' performance would then be reviewed to determine the extent to which lessons could be learned in understanding how the performance or performance change occurred.

III. Task Descriptions

The project will consist of a number of tasks as follows.

Task 1 Research Review

The project team will review current research on performance measurement and the proposals for restructuring NTD data collection to develop a refined understanding about the reliability of the data and current thinking regarding performance trends and measurement.

Task 2 Data Assembly and Define Analysis Methodology

The project team will assemble historic trend data and determine the most appropriate software and screening methodology to use in the analysis. This will include determining how many years of data and what share of transit properties will be analyzed.

Task 3 Data Analysis

This task will involve a number of screens of the data to identify trends and absolute performance issues of interest to the study.

Task 4 Synthesis of Findings

The findings from the analysis will be compiled into a technical report and most probably a paper or short news report. Findings will be placed on the web and shared with the industry.

Task 5. Report production

The final report will be peer reviewed and placed on the CUTR/NCTR web site and disseminated by a variety of other means.

IV. Student Involvement

Students will be used to compile data and conduct various analyses of the data.

V. Relationship to Other Research Projects

This research will build on the extensive experience that CUTR has had in working with NTD data and transit performance analysis.

VI. Technology Transfer Activities/Peer Review

The results of this analysis will be provided through a series of quarterly progress reports, technical memoranda, and a final report. Copies of the final report will be widely distributed to various agencies, offices, and decision-makers in Florida.

Peer review will be carried out.

VII. Potential Benefits of the Project

The key benefit of the research would be to increase the understanding of transit system performance and identify some contexts where performance changes significantly.

VIII. TRB Key Words

Public Transit, National Transit Database, Productivity, Performance


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 Comments: