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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-65 [Active]

Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Public Transportation

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000 (FY 04)
$300,000 (FY 05)
$300,000 (FY 06)
$250,000 (FY 07)
$250,000 (FY 08)
$300,000 (FY 09)
$350,000 (FY 10)
$400,000 (FY 11)
$450,000 (FY 12)
$450,000 (FY 13)
$450,000 (FY 14)
$450,000 (FY 15)
Staff Responsibility: Gwen Chisholm-Smith
Research Agency: Various
Principal Investigator: Various
Effective Date: 8/1/2003

The AASHTO Standing Committee on Public Transportation (SCOPT) is called upon to provide information for the establishment of policies and positions of the state transportation departments on issues associated with the nation's transportation system. The Committee needs information on a reasonably prompt basis, through a continuing research project geared to its responsibilities. AASHTO member departments require timely information regarding transit planning, operations, transit delivery, and related matters as state involvement in public transportation continues to grow.

This project comprises a program of quick-response research tasks to assist in the fulfillment of SCOPT and AASHTO responsibilities. Research conducted responds to public transportation issues of importance to SCOPT, AASHTO, and state departments of transportation. For example, when any new or revised federal transportation regulations related to transit are proposed or finalized, research is typically needed to develop new methods, processes, and procedures to ensure their effective and timely implementation.

Status: The project panel has allocated funds for sixty-six tasks to date. The status of  tasks 1 through 16 is provided below, and the status of the remaning tasks is provided under the individual task numbers. 

Click on the task number to link to the task writeup.

TASK TITLE
Task 16 Current State Eligibility Requirements for Grantees to Qualify for Federal Section 5310 and 5311 Funds
Task 15 Updated Research Agenda for State DOT Public Transportation Divisions and NCHRP Project 20-65
Task 14 Current Practice and Future Guidance on the Development of SAFETEA-LU- Required Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan
Task 13 State Public Transportation Division Involvment in State Emergency Planning, Response, and Recovery
Task 12 Cost-Allocation Methods for Commuter, Intercity and Frieght Operations on Shared-Use Rail Systems and Corridors
Task 11 Current State Issues with Implementing FTA Section 5310 and 5311 Programs
Task 10 FMCSA Regulations as They Apply to FTA Section 5310/5311 Providers: A Handbook
Task 9 Centralized Versus Decentralized State Procurment of Vehicles for the Federal Section 5310 Program
Task 8A Buy America Issues Associated with the State DOT Procurement of Paratransit Vehicles Using FTA Funds
Task 7 Evaluation of States' Ability to Have Adequate Staff Resources to Implement Federal Public Transit Programs
Task 6 Comparative Review and Analysis of State Transit Funding Programs
Task 5 Transit-Oriented Development: Developing a Strategy to Measure Success
Task 4 Impacts of the U.S.'s Aging Population and Changed Demographics on Public Transit, Including ADA Paratransit, Over the Next 10 Years
Task 3 Availibility and Accessibility of Liability and Excess Insurance for Public Transit and Private Coach Operators
Task 2 Toolbox for Promoting the Transit Bus Safety and Security Program in Your State: A Training Curriculum for Implementation
Task 1 Research Agenda/Potential Roles for SCOPT



Task 1, FY 2004
Research Agenda/Potential Roles for SCOPT

Consultant: TransTech Management
Start Date: March 2004
Expiration Date: January 2005--Completed
Allocation: $50,000
Status: This task has been completed.
Project Manager: Christopher Jenks

This task developed a research agenda in support of SCOPT activities for consideration by the Project 20-65 panel. In addition, the task examined potential roles of SCOPT within AASHTO and with other organizations such as APTA, CTAA, and FTA.


Task 2, FY 2004
Toolbox for Promoting the Transit Bus Safety and Security Program in Your State: A Training Curriculum for Implementation

Consultant: Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), University of South Florida
Start Date: July 2004
Expiration Date: October 2005--Completed
Allocation: $75,000
Status: This task has been completed.
Project Manager: Christopher Jenks

This task developed material for a "toolbox" that provides guidance on the use of the FTA Model Bus Safety and Security Program. The revised final report is housed on the the CUTR "Transit Bus Safety Resource Guide" website where it can be updated on a regular basis by CUTR and the AASHTO Standing Committee on Public Transportation Safety and Security Subcommittee as circumstances warrant. The link to this material is http://www.cutr.usf.edu/bussafety/safety_toolbox/

Task 3, FY 2004
Availibility and Accessibility of Liability and Excess Insurance for Public Transit and Private Coach Operators

Consultant: Cambridge Systematics
Start Date: April 2004
Expiration Date: December 2004--Completed
Allocation: $75,000
Status: This task has been completed. The final report has been published as NCHRP Research Results Digest 295.
Project Manager: Christopher Jenks

This task assessed liability insurance issues, and identified and detailed alternatives to commercial insurance.


Task 4, FY 2004
Impacts of the U.S.'s Aging Population on Public Transit Over the Next 10 Years

Consultant: ICF Consulting
Start Date: August 2004
Expiration Date: January 2006--Completed
Allocation: $75,000
Status: This task has been completed. The final report has been published as NCHRP Web-Only Document 86. The document describes a spreadsheet tool that can be used to estimate the future effects of the aging population on public transportation use.
Project Manager: Christopher Jenks

This task developed a tool for the public transportation industry to help plan for and communicate predicted changes due to an aging population. The tool provides quantitative data that clarifies the issue and the development of a model for assessing future cost impacts.


Task 5, FY 2004
Transit-Oriented Development: Developing a Strategy to Measure Success

Consultant: Rutgers University
Start Date: April 2004
Expiration Date: December 2004--Completed
Allocation: $25,000
Status: This task has been completed. The final report has been published as NCHRP Research Results Digest 294.
Project Manager: Christopher Jenks

This task developed a strategy to evaluate TOD in order to help determine if goals have been met.


Task 6, FY 2005
Comparative Review and Analysis of State Transit Funding Programs

Consultant: ICF Consulting
Start Date: June 2005
Expiration Date: June 2006--Completed
Allocation: $99,730
Status: This task has been completed. The final report has been published as NCHRP Report 569.
Project Manager: Christopher Jenks

The objective of this task was to further analyze AASHTO/APTA's state transit funding infomation collected by the US DOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) to better enable states to conduct meaningful "peer analyses", "best practices", and other comparative state funding review and evaluation activivites.


Task 7, FY 2005
Evaluation of States' Ability to Have Adequate Staff Resources to Implement Federal Public Transit Programs

Consultant: Cambridge Systematics
Start Date: July 2005
Expiration Date: October 2006--Completed
Allocation: $99,998
Status: This task has been completed. The final report has been published as NCHRP Research Results Digest 314. The appendixes to the final report have been published as NCHRP Web-Only Document 99
Project Manager: Christopher Jenks

The objectives of this task were to collect, present, and evaluate information on State DOT public transportation staffing levels and other resources, and their ability to adequately administer FTA public transportation programs.


Task 8A, FY 2005
Buy America Issues Associated with the State DOT Procurement of Paratransit Vehicles Using FTA Funds

Consultant: AECOM Consult
Start Date: April 2006
Expiration Date: January 2007--Completed
Allocation: $50,000
Status: This task has been completed.  The final report has been published as NCHRP Research Results Digest 319.
Project Manager Christopher Jenks

The objectives of NCHRP Project 20-65(8A) were to (a) describe current Buy America requirements and new Buy America provisions resulting from the passage of SAFETEA-LU as they relate primarily to the procurement of paratransit vehicles by state DOT's and their federal funding subrecipients, (b) identify common issues faced by state DOT's and their funding subrecipients as a result of meeting current Buy America provisions as well as expected issues resulting from proposed changes resulting from SAFETEA-LU for the procurement of vans and body-on-chassis buses, and (c) develop recommendations for dealing with the issues identified for presentation to FTA by state DOT's and their funding subrecipients.


Task 9, FY 2006
Centralized Versus Decentralized State Procurment of Vehicles for the Federal Section 5310 Program

Consultant: AECOM Consult
Start Date: January 2006
Expiration Date: November 2006--Completed
Allocation: $74,885
Status: This task has been completed. The final report is published as NCHRP Research Results Digest 315.
Project Manager Christopher Jenks

This task collected information on the multi-year procurement experience of the states that directly procure vehicles, and those that indirectly procure vehicles, to help states either improve their current vehicle procurement process, or enable them to strategically consider an alternative process to annually acquire vehicles for this program.


Task 10, FY 2006
FMCSA Regulations as They Apply to FTA Section 5310/5311 Providers: A Handbook

Consultant: ICF Consulting
Start Date: December 2005
Expiration Date: August 2006--Completed
Allocation: $75,000
Status: This task has been completed. The final report has been published as NCHRP Research Results Digest 311.
Project Manager Christopher Jenks

This task developed a handbook that can be used by state DOT's and transit agencies to obtain clear, concise information regarding what Federal Motor Carrier requirements must be administered for the various types of services provided. This handbook contains not only contain Federal Motor Carrier requirements, but frequently asked questions, and "how-to" information regarding obtaining any Federal Motor Carrier identification numbers. The handbook provides a mechanism by which state requirements, and their impact on the federal requirements, can be identified.


Task 11, FY 2006
Current State Issues with Implementing FTA Section 5310 and 5311 Programs

Consultant: Cambridge Systematics/KFH Group
Start Date: December 2005
Expiration Date: March 2007--Completed
Allocation: $75,000
Status: This task has been completed.  The final report has been published as NCHRP Research Results Digest 320.
Project Manager Christopher Jenks

This task surveyed state DOTs and other relevant entities (e.g., AASHTO Standing Committee on Public Transportation; AASHTO MTAP; staff of AASHTO, APTA, CTAA, FTA) to identify and prioritize current program compliance issues facing the states, and identified potential options for addressing these issues.


Task 12, FY 2006
Cost-Allocation Methods for Commuter, Intercity and Frieght Operations on Shared-Use Rail Systems and Corridors

Consultant: AECOM Consult
Start Date: December 2005
Expiration Date: September 2006--Completed
Allocation: $75,000
Status: This task has been completed. The final report has been published as
NCHRP Research Results Digest 313.
Project Manager Christopher Jenks

This task (1) collected and reviewed through literature reviews and surveys of relevant entities information regarding current and proposed arrangements governing the level of publicly-funded infrastructure improvements and allocation of operating, maintenance and other costs for commuter, intercity passenger and freight rail services operating on shared-use corridors; (2) identified potential cost-allocation methods warranting further analysis and/or refinement; (3) identified further analyses and recommended courses of action for addressing associated issues; (4) identified potential outreach and buy-in efforts among shared-use system stakeholders; and (5) identified potential case studies that cover the spectrum of geographic areas, freight densities, passenger service operating speeds, infrastructure improvement programs and ownership-configurations. This effort addressed the application of the cost-allocation methodology to state-supported intercity rail service on private freight railroads as well as other shared-usage systems for various ownership/operation configurations.

Task 13, FY 2007
State Public Transportation Division Involvment in State Emergency Planning, Response, and Recovery

Consultant: AECOM Consulting Transportation Group
Start Date: 03/27/2007
Expiration Date: 09/26/2007
Allocation: $100,000
Status: This task has been completed. NCHRP Research Results Digest 326
Project Manager Gwen Chisholm Smith

The natural disasters encountered by the coastal states in 2005 increased national awareness of the role that public transportation has in planning, response, and recovery with regard to weather-related threats. State departments of transportation and their public transportation divisions were required to communicate and coordinate with local, state, and federal agencies with which they may have had little or no prior exposure. Emergency operation practices for natural disasters, such as hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and blizzards, vary from state to state. In addition to varying on a state level, there may also be institutional differences in how operations and communications are handled among the highway divisions compared to public transportation and rail divisions. 

The goal of this research is to identify existing and best internal and external state planning, response, and recovery policies and practices pertaining to weather-related emergencies with an emphasis on state public transportation and state passenger rail division involvement in administering emergency operations.     
 
The objectives of this research were to: (1) identify current weather-related emergency communication and response practices in a sample of states; (2) identify lessons learned from recent emergencies (e.g., Hurricane Katrina); (3) identify key issues associated with the involvement of state public transportation divisions in state emergency planning activities; (4)  identify best practice examples; of cross-modal communication and public transportation and passenger rail involvement in state emergency planning operations; (5) identify state policy and practices for communicating with state-level emergency preparedness as well as federal emergency response agencies during the response and recovery phases of natural disasters; and (6) provide a future research agenda in this subject area.  This task provides a summary of current practice, identifies lessons learned from recent emergencies (e.g., Hurricane Katrina), identifies key issues associated with the involvement of state public transportation divisions in state emergency planning activities, and provides a future research agenda in this subject area.

Task 14, FY 2007
Current Practice and Future Guidance on the Development of SAFETEA-LU- Required Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan

Consultant: AECOM Consulting Transportation Group
Start Date: 04/01/2007
Expiration Date: 2/28/2009
Allocation: $100,000
Status: This task has been completed NCHRP Research Results Digest 331
Project Manager Gwen Chisholm Smith

The SAFTETEA-LU legislation and related FTA rulemaking calls for the development of coordinated public transit-human services transportation plans. State DOTs are currently working to develop such plans in the absence of detailed guidance. As such, research is needed to provide guidance to State DOTs on the development of these coordinated plans.
 
The objective of this research was to provide a summary of existing practice by state DOTs on how they are initially attempting to satisfy the planning requirements, and to develop guidance that can be used for the development of future coordinated plans.  Research tasks included: (1) a review of FTA regulations regarding the development of coordinated public transit-human services transportation plans; (2) a survey of State DOTs and other relevant agencies to collect information on how these organizations are initially attempting to meet the planning requirements and preparation of a synthesis of existing current practice; and (3) development of a guidance document that will assist state DOTs in the development of future coordinated plans, including provision of best practices.
 

Task 15, FY 2007
Updated Research Agenda for State DOT Public Transportation Divisions and NCHRP Project 20-65

Consultant: Cambridge Systematics
Start Date: 04/01/2007
Expiration Date: 09/30/2007
Allocation: $50,000
Status: This task has been completed.
Project Manager Gwen Chisholm Smith

State DOTs, the FTA, the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), university transportation centers (UTCs) and others provide research of particular interest to public transit divisions within state DOTs. Due to time constraints of state DOT transit division employees, it is often difficult to keep abreast of available and on-going research of particular interest to them. In addition, there is a need to provide guidance as to what research should be conducted on behalf of State DOT transit divisions and to identify appropriate research programs to potentially address these needs (e.g., TCRP, NCHRP 20-65, UTC, FTA).

The objectives of this research were to summarize research recently completed or currently underway that would be of particular interest to the transit divisions within state DOTs, and to develop a research agenda of future research needs.  This research included the following tasks: (1) through surveys and other means, identified recently completed (i.e., within the past 5 years) research, and research in progress by state DOTs, FTA, TCRP, and others that would be of particular interest to the transit divisions of State DOTs; (2) categorized and summarized this research by key subject area; (3) identified research needs of particular interest to the transit divisions of state DOTs; and (4) prepared a detailed research agenda that provides proposed scopes, funding requirements, and potential research programs (e.g., TCRP, FTA, UTC, state DOT).

Task 16, FY 2007
Current State Eligibility Requirements for Grantees to Qualify for Federal Section 5310 and 5311 Funds

Consultant: Cambridge Systematics
Start Date: 03/13/2007
Expiration Date: 09/12/2007
Allocation: $25,000
Status: This task has been completed
Project Manager Gwen Chisholm Smith

Currently, all 50 States manage the Federal 5310 and 5311 programs on behalf of the Federal Transit Administration. Since the Federal authorizing legislation for these programs is very broad, there is a wide variation among States regarding agency eligibility for these funds. For example, some States limit eligibility to formally established rural public transportation authorities. Other States permit selected private, non-profit agencies to qualify for this funding. Given the wide variation in individual State eligibility for State 5310 and 5311 funds, it would be helpful to know the current eligibility requirements of each State for these programs. This information would be useful to States to either help reinforce their current eligibility policy, or help justify potential change in their current program eligibility requirements.
 
The objectives of this research were to document each State’s current eligibility requirements for the Section 5310 and 5311 programs with an emphasis on identifying, (1) which States limit eligibility to rural public transportation authorities, (2) which States permit private non-profit agencies to participate in the program, (3) which States allow public non-transportation agencies to apply for these funds; and, (4) which other major categories of program eligibility are utilized by one or more States.  Potential research tasks included:  (a) identifying which States currently allow rural public transportation authorities to qualify for these programs, the number of current approved grantees and the share of total current Section 5310 and 5311 funding provided to these agencies; (b)
identifying which States currently allow private non-profit agencies to qualify for these programs, the number of approved current grantees, and the share of total current Section 5310 and 5311 funding provided by these agencies; (c) identifying which States currently allow public non-transportation agencies to qualify for these programs, the number of current approved grantees, and the share of total current Section 5310 and 5311 funding provided to these agencies; (d) identifying any other categories of agencies that States currently determine as being eligible for these programs, the number of current approved grantees in each of these categories, and the share of total Section 5310 and 5311 funding provided to the agencies in each of these categories; and (e) summarizing the above information in a table, or matrix to facilitate a comparative review of all States to determine both how many States, and which States, currently permit the various forenamed categories of agencies to participate in their respective Section 5310 and 5311 programs, as well as, the relative degree of participation of each different category in each State’s programs.


20-65/Task 16 Current State Eligibility Requirements for Grantees to Qualify for Federal Section 5310 and 5311 Funds

20-65/Task 17 Compliance Monitoring Tools

20-65/Task 18 State DOT Best Practices for Developing a Title VI Civil Rights Program Document

20-65/Task 19 Utilization by States of the Flexibility to Transfer Federal Funds Among Eligible Federal Programs

20-65/Task 20 Analysis of Rural Intercity Bus Strategy

20-65/Task 21 Cost/Benefit Analysis of Converting a Lane for Bus Rapid Transit

20-65/Task 22 Cost/Benefit Analysis of Converting a Lane for Bus Rapid Transit

20-65/Task 23 Identification of State and Local Matching Fund Requirements for State Administered Federal, and Non-Federal, Public Transportation Programs

20-65/Task 25 Evaluate Requirements for the Utilization of Section 5311(f) Funds for Intercity Bus Service

20-65/Task 26 A Review of Human Services Transportation Plans and Grant Programs

20-65/Task 27 Innovative Financing Techniques and Best Practices for Providing Match on Federal Transit Administration Projects

20-65/Task 28 An Analysis of Automated Transit Data Collection and Analysis Processes in State DOT Transit Units and a Toolkit for Next Generation Transit Data Analysis

20-65/Task 29 Public Transportation Performance Measures: State of the Practice and Future Needs

20-65/Task 30 Local Practices in Developing Coordination Partnerships with Taxicab Companies

20-65/Task 31 Transporting Oversize Wheelchairs

20-65/Task 32 Models to Support State-owned Park and Ride Lots and Intermodal Facilities

20-65/Task 33 Determination of State DOT Financial Auditing Requirements for their Public Transportation Assistance Programs

20-65/Task 34 Statewide Transit Goal Setting

20-65/Task 35 Development of Appropriate Tools to Evaluate the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Selected Specialized Public Transportation Programs

20-65/Task 36 Data Needs for Assessing Rural Transit Needs, Benefits, and Levels of Service

20-65/Task 37 Best Accounting Practices in Sub-recipient Recording and Reporting of Program Income

20-65/Task 38 Estimated Impact of Selected State DOT Cost Reduction Initiatives on the Administration of State Public Transportation Programs

20-65/Task 39 Impacts of the New Health Care Bill on Mass Transit

20-65/Task 40 Construction Management Practices for Rural Projects--An Assessment

20-65/Task 41 Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation--Ways to Improve it

20-65/Task 42 Rural Public Transportation Strategies for Responding to the Livable and Sustainable Communities Initiative

20-65/Task 43 Best Practices in the Electronic Administration of Federal and State Transit Grants

20-65/Task 44 Curriculum for New State DOT Transit Grant Managers in Administering Federal and State Transit Grant Programs

20-65/Task 45 New Small Urbanized Area System: A Guidance Brief

20-65/Task 46 Successful Methods to Acquire and Oversee the Outsourcing of Tasks and Projects Related to State DOT Management of Transit Grant Programs

20-65/Task 47 MTAP Survey Tool Used to Assess FTA Contractor Performance of State DOT Triennial and Other FTA Reviews--An Update

20-65/Task 48 Condition of State and Federally Funded Transit Assets

20-65/Task 49 Impact Assessment Indicators for Administration of Public Transportation Grants

20-65/Task 50 Strategic Plan for the Standing Committee on Public Transportation

20-65/Task 51 Approaches To Improving the Grant Approval Processes for Transit Projects

20-65/Task 52 Selected Indirect Benefits of State Investment in Public Transportation

20-65/Task 53 Independent Cost Estimates for Design and Construction of Rural and Small Urban Transit Facilities

20-65/Task 55 Estimating the Long Term Impacts of MAP-21 on the Nation's Local Rural Transit Bus Infrastructure

20-65/Task 56 Best Practices in Rural Regional Mobility

20-65/Task 57 Assessment of State DOT Transit Vehicle Procurement Models

20-65/Task 58 Documentation of FTA Section 5310 Recipients and Projects Before the Enactment of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)

20-65/Task 59 The Determination of How Federal Section 5316 Funds Were Used Under the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users (SAFETEA-LU) and The Transportation Equity Act For The 21st Century (TEA 21)

20-65/Task 60 The National Mobility Management Initiative: State DOTs Connecting Users and Rides for Specialized Transportation

20-65/Task 61 Determine the Degree To Which JARC And New Freedom Activities are Being Continued or Initiated Under Map-21

20-65/Task 62 The National Perspective –An Assessment of Section 5310 Program Administration Under MAP-21

20-65/Task 63 DOT Oversight of Facility Projects

20-65/Task 64 Health and Human Services (particularly Medicaid) Revenue as Match

20-65/Task 65 Best Practices for State DOTs to Meet Rural Bus Fleet Replacement and Expansion Needs

20-65/Task 66 States and Local Use of Administrative Resources Provided by the Federal Transit Administration

20-65/Task 67 Multi-Modal Project Planning

20-65/Task 68 Successful Mobility Management Practices for Improving Transportation Services in Small Urban and Rural Areas

20-65/Task 69 Consolidation of Rural Transit Systems

20-65/Task 70 Cross Modal Investment

20-65/Task 71 Transit Network Balance; Efficiency and Equity

20-65/Task 72 Small System Alternative Fuel Strategies

20-65/Task 73 Best Practices and Marketing to Increase Rural Transit Ridership and Investment

20-65/Task 74 Best Practices and Tools for Addressing Transportation Needs and Public Transit Demands to Support the Integration of the Olmstead Population In Community Settings

20-65/Task 75 Baseline Research on Allowable In-Kind and Local Match Sources

20-65/Task 76 Opportunities for State DOTs (and Others) to Encourage Shared Use Mobility Practices in Rural Areas

20-65/Task 77 Lessons Learned and Impacts to Date of State DOT Implementation of New Federal Transit Asset Management and Public Transportation Agency Safety Requirements

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