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Center Identification Number: 392-04

Project Title: Inventory and Analysis of Advanced Public Transportation Systems in Florida 

Principal Investigator:

Joel Rey


Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

External Project Contact: 

Ike Ubaka, Public Transportation Office, FDOT

I. Project Objective 

This study will conduct an inventory and analysis of existing and planned Advanced Public Transportation Systems (APTS) in Florida. This information will be used to develop baseline information relating to characteristics of APTS development and deployment that will be useful to transportation planners and decision makers throughout the state and across the nation. Some of the development and deployment characteristics that will be addressed in this study include, but will not be limited to:

  1. level of conformity with national (and soon to be developed Florida) ITS architecture, 
  2. institutional arrangements needed for multi-modal and inter-modal connectivity, 
  3. available funding sources, 
  4. procurement methods of APTS products and services, 
  5. impacts to agency operations and maintenance staffs and budgets, 
  6. extent of public-private and public-public partnering, 
  7. extent of general public involvement, 
  8. integration into regional transportation services and systems, 
  9. application to rural areas and/or demand responsive service, and
  10. extent and sophistication of benefits analysis (prior to deployment) and performance monitoring (following deployment) 

Since it is anticipated that the extent and sophistication of benefits analysis undertaken will be minimal, this study will also define and conduct a prototype assessment of APTS user benefits in a selected geographic area of Florida with significant APTS deployment. With input and assistance from the local transit agency in the selected geographic area, an ITS analysis tool such as SCRITS (SCReening Analysis for ITS) or IDAS (ITS Deployment Analysis System) will be utilized in conducting the prototype assessment of APTS user benefits. Feasible post-deployment performance monitoring measures and techniques will also be recommended, with the help of the participating transit agency.

II. Project Abstract 

The August 1999 Florida ITS Strategic Plan calls for the FDOT to "pro-actively support the development, coordination and deployment of public transportation ITS technology". During the development of the ITS Strategic Plan, it became apparent that there was no comprehensive information at the state level regarding the location and operability of APTS in Florida. This is because much of the APTS activity in Florida has been initiated and implemented at the local level. This study will attempt to provide this missing information to the FDOT as it becomes more involved in the development and deployment of APTS throughout Florida. This study will also provide guidance to transit properties in the formative stages of APTS investigation.

III. Task Descriptions 

The Inventory and Analysis of Advanced Public Transportation Systems in Florida will consist of the following tasks:

Task 1 - Survey of APTS in Florida 

With assistance from the Florida Transit Association (FTA), CUTR will develop and administer a mailback type survey of APTS–related activities and projects to the 23 passenger transit systems within the state. As needed for clarification and completeness of responses, telephone follow-up will also be conducted by CUTR. CUTR will prepare and transmit a project memorandum letter to summarize and signify the completion of this task.

Task 2 - Determine Common Characteristics of APTS Development and Deployment 

The results of the APTS inventory survey will be tabulated and provided to the FDOT-PTO. Of particular concern, will be the documentation of any common characteristics among transit properties following an examination of the survey feedback regarding at least those ten items noted above in the project objective. It will be important and useful to not only highlight trends, but to investigate objectives that lead to the particular agency’s decision-making. Most importantly, the impact toward conformity with the national ITS architecture will be assessed. CUTR will prepare and transmit a project memorandum letter to summarize and signify the completion of this task.

Task 3 - APTS Benefits Analysis 

Based on the survey response, CUTR will select an appropriate candidate (Florida public transit agency) for developing a prototype APTS benefits analysis. Using either the SCRITS or IDAS spreadsheet tools, CUTR will work closely with the transit agency to complete and document a full benefits analysis (pre and/or post APTS deployment) for others to use as a guide toward gaining consistency and transferability of analysis. Based on this case analysis and survey input, CUTR will recommend suitable performance monitoring measures that are compatible with the FDOT ITS Strategic Plan. CUTR will prepare and transmit a project memorandum letter to summarize and signify the completion of this task.

Task 4 - Final Report 

CUTR will consolidate the findings of the first three tasks into a Final Report to FDOT-PTO. Fifty (50) copies of the Final Report will be provided. Regarding Task 3, CUTR will include sample benefits analysis spreadsheets in the appendix of the Final Report to provide an explicit aid in the exercise of APTS benefits analysis (the actual name of the transit property may have to be kept confidential given the type or extent of numerical performance data utilized on the spreadsheets).

IV. Student Involvement 

Graduate students will be used to compile APTS inventory data received from transit properties throughout Florida. Students will also be used to assist with APTS benefits analysis, and develop sample worksheets.

V. Relationship to Other Research Projects 

As indicated previously, a statewide survey and analysis of APTS has not yet been conducted. To some extent, individual transit agencies may have conducted isolated APTS deployment evaluation and monitoring on its own.

VI. Technology Transfer Activities/Peer Review 

The results of this analysis will be provided to the FDOT-PTO through three separate project memoranda and a final report. Copies of the final report will be provided to the Research Office, the State Public Transportation Administrator, the Manager of the Transit Office, and the Grant Programs Administrator in the FDOT Central Office and the District Directors of Planning and Programs and Public Transportation Managers in Districts One through Seven. The Final report, with APTS benefits analysis worksheets will be distributed to each of Florida’s transit systems to promote general awareness and encourage consistent development, deployment, and performance reporting of APTS statewide.

VII. Potential Benefits of the Project 

The findings of this project will provide much needed transit related information (which is NOT currently available) as the FDOT sets to begin development of its statewide, multi-modal/inter-modal ITS architecture. The findings that are documented and recommendations that are put forth in this report may lead to more effective APTS development and deployment. Finally, more awareness and guidance in the area of APTS benefits analysis may also lead to a wide variety of cost-effective projects that transit agencies may not have previously considered.

VIII. TRB Keywords 

Public transit, advanced public transportation systems, APTS, cost effectiveness, ITS.



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: