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Center Identification Number:  576-04

 

Project Title:  Guidebook for Start-up Transit Agencies

   

Co-Principal Investigators:

  

Jay A. Goodwill, Senior Research Associate

Phone: (813) 974-875

E-mail: jaygoodwill@cutr.usf.edu

 

Ann Joslin, Senior Research Associate

Phone: (813) 974-9183

E-Mail: joslin@cutr.usf.edu

 

Institution:                             

 

Center for Urban Transportation Research

University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida 33620

Fax: (813) 974-5168

Website:  www.cutr.usf.edu; www.nctr.usf.edu

 

External Project Contact: 

     

Tara Bartee

Florida Department of Transportation

Office of Public Transportation

 Transit Planning Program

(850) 414-4500

 

 

I.        I.    Project Objective

 

The objective of this project is to develop a guidebook for use by agencies in the process of initiating first time transit systems, as well as for employees and policy makers new to the public transit industry.  The guidebook is envisioned to be a consolidated source to inform the agency personnel on various initiatives, procedures and programs related to initiating and continuing to operate a public transit agency.  The guidebook will also serve as a reference source to direct transit personnel to appropriate sources for more detailed information.

 

 

II.    Task Description

 

The proposed scope of services for this project consists of the following tasks.

 

Task 1.  Summary of Federal Regulations and Funding Sources

 

In this task, CUTR will provide that  the various federal regulations, polices and procedures with which public transit agencies must comply, such as various U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration (FTA) circulars, federal registers, grant contracts, and certifications and assurances.  An inventory of regulatory and procedural requirements applicable to transit agencies will be presented.  This inventory will include grant management, fiscal, labor, civil rights, and safety regulations.  In addition, various funding options available to new/existing transit agencies will be discussed.  A timeline to comply with regulations and apply for appropriate grants and other funding will be provided.  This timeline will also include dates to provide various statistics to FTA, complete and submit forms, and take other key actions to start a transit agency or acquire the necessary funding for a new/existing agency.

 

Task 2.  Summary of State Regulations and Funding Sources

 

Similar to Task 1, this task will examine and document the additional regulations and funding options available for public transportation through the State of Florida, with specific focus on the Florida Department of Transportation. 

 

Deliverable:  Technical Memorandum 1 – Summary of Federal and State of Florida Public Transit Program Regulations, Procedures, Policies and Available Funding Sources

 

Task 3.  Case Studies: Discussions with Transit Agencies            

 

CUTR will conduct surveys, telephone interviews and on-site visits with representatives of up to ten transit agencies that initiated service during the past five years.  The agencies will include those located in Florida as well as throughout the nation.  These interviews and on-site visits will focus on each agency’s experience with the start-up process, lessons learned, and best practices identified.  Some of the specific areas to be addressed include:

·        chronology/timing of various steps (market demand analysis, preparation of transit development plan and other necessary documentation, securing funding, staffing, etc.);

  • decision process and selection of ownership type (city/county versus an authority, etc.) and          advantages/disadvantages of the selected form;

  • relationship between the agency and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and how the agency needs to interrelate with the MPO;

  • management structure (in-house versus private, etc.) and advantages/disadvantages of the selected management structure;

  • staffing/departmental organization;

  • lessons learned;

  • identification of best practices;

  • important issues they would like to inform/train new personnel not familiar with the transit industry on; and,

  • other related issues.

 

Results of the surveys and interviews will be summarized to provide a discussion of various issues to consider in starting a new transit agency or in training new personnel. 

 

Task 4.  Identification of Key Steps and Issues Related to Start-Up Efforts       

 

Based on the findings of the previous tasks, as well as peer-to-peer discussions and based on input received from CUTR faculty with transit administration and operations background.   CUTR will identify key issues and specific steps that must be accomplished for the successful initiation of new service.

 

In addition to the federal and state requirements and procedures that must be met, an overview of other related steps and actions related to initiation of transit service will be provided.  Such items will include: marketing programs, design and production of timetables, bus stop design issues, standard operating procedures, fiscal and financial controls, human resource requirements, employee training programs, maintenance procedures and organization, safety programs, and so forth.

 

Deliverable:  Technical Memorandum 2 – Synthesis of Survey and Interview Results:  Experience and Lessons Learned on Starting New Transit Agencies and Identification of Key Steps and Issues Related to Successful Start-Up Efforts

 

Task 5.  Final Report

 

The final task of the research will be to summarize the results of the previous tasks and to develop a “Guidebook for Start-Up Transit Agencies”.  This report will be designed in a clear, concise summary format that will facilitate easy reading and application by the public transit industry, specifically for those employees and policy makers new to the public transit industry.

 

The final report will be available in printed and electronic format.

 

Deliverables

 

There will be three deliverables for this project.  Technical Memorandum 1 – Summary of Federal and State of Florida Public Transit Program Regulations, Procedures, Policies and Available Funding Sources will be submitted at the completion of Task 2.   Technical Memorandum 2 – Synthesis of Survey and Interview Results:  Experience and Lessons Learned on Starting New Transit Agencies and Identification of Key Steps and Issues Related to Successful Start-Up Efforts will be submitted at the completion of Task 4.  The third deliverable will be the “Final Report”, in both draft and final forms.  Once approved by the FDOT Project Manager and the Research Office, 12 copies of the “Final Report”, an electronic version, and an electronic version of the project summary will be submitted to the Research Office.


 

 

III.    Project Schedule

 

 

Month

Task Description

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

 

7

 

8

 

9

 

10

 

11

 

12

 

13

 

14

 

15

 

Task 1

 

Summary of Federal Regulations and Funding Sources

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 2

 

Summary of State Regulations and Funding Sources

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technical

Memorandum #1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 3

 

Case Studies: Discussions with Transit Agencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 4

Identification of Key Steps and Issues Related to Start-Up Efforts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technical Memorandum #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task 5

 

Final Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

·         IV.    Project Budget

 

  

 

A.      SALARIES:

% Time

Period Covered

 

-

 

      Principal Investigator: Jay Goodwill

                18%

15 months

               

                $18,185

      Senior Research Associate

                20%

15 months

               

                $15,000

      Research Associate

                3%

15 months

               

$  2,000

      USPS Personnel

                6%

15 months

               

$  2,000

Total Salaries

               

                $37,185

B.      OTHER PERSONNEL SERVICES (OPS):

 

      Graduate Students (1)

               

 $ 3,000

      Undergraduate Students (0)

               

                      0

Total OPS

               

 $  3,000

C.      FRINGE BENEFITS

-

                                Total Fringe Benefits

               

                $11,208

                                TOTAL SALARIES, OPS & FRINGE BENEFITS

               

                $51,393

D.      TOTAL PERMANENT EQUIPMENT

-

                   OCO

 

             0

E.       TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSES

 

                Reports

               

 $ 1,500

                Office Supplies (telephone, postage, etc.)

               

 $    250

                Rentals

               

          0

                Tuition

               

          0

                In-state Travel

               

 $ 2,500

                # of Trips: (10)

 

-

                Destination: (Tallahassee x 2, FPTA Annual, Ocala, Collier County, St. Lucie, Volusia)

 

-

                # of persons traveling: 1-2 per trip

 

-

                Duration:1-2 days

 

-

                Out-of-state Travel

               

$ 1,500

                                 # of Trips: (2)

 

-

                Destination: (Washington, DC to meet with APTA and CTAA staff, CATA – State College, PA )

 

-

                # of persons traveling: 1-2 per trip

 

-

                Duration:1-2 days

 

-

                Consultants (0)

         0

TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSES

               

$  5,750

                F.  TOTAL DIRECT COSTS

               

                $57,143

                G.  TOTAL INDIRECT COSTS @ 5%

               

$  2,857

                H.  TOTAL BUDGET

               

$ 60,000


Notes:  This budget does not reflect any federal participation.  The project team will include faculty, students, and secretarial and other support staff who will work directly on the project and whose costs are reflected in the direct costs of the project as listed above.  Budget requests includes salaries for clerical and administrative staff, postage, telephone calls, office supplies, general purpose software, subscriptions, and/or memberships.

 

 

·        V.    Equipment

 

No equipment is envisioned to be purchased under this project.

 

·        VI.    Implementation

 

This research project is intended as a guidance document to the transit industry.  As such, an implementation plan is not necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

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 · www.nctr.usf.edu · Comments: webmaster@cutr.eng.usf.edu