The National Academies

TCRP F-03 [Completed]

Total Quality Management in Public Transportation

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Research Agency: MacDorman & Associates, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Littleton MacDorman
Effective Date: 5/10/1993
Completion Date: 11/10/1995

The result of this research project is a guidebook that describes how to implement total quality management (TQM) in a transit agency. The guidebook highlights significant aspects of TQM, relates TQM to public transit, and provides suggested references and a glossary on the subject. This guidebook distills the findings of the research project into "how to" tips for quality managers, focusing on the three phases of TQM implementation: the foundation phase, the momentum phase, and the commitment phase. The role of management leadership is also described.

This project was initiated because changes in demographic patterns and employee expectations, shifting societal demands, increasing competition and fiscal constraints, and the requirements of adopting new technologies have made many traditional business practices obsolete. To meet these broad challenges, growing numbers of American businesses have adopted the principles of TQM to improve the responsiveness of their products and services. Up to this time, there was no systematic effort within the transit industry to evaluate applications of TQM, to disseminate information regarding successful strategies, or to develop a body of practical resources specifically designed for transit. The objectives of this research were to identify, evaluate, and recommend applications of potentially successful methods of implementing TQM in public transportation to increase ridership through improved customer satisfaction, to increase productivity, and to reduce cost.

The primary product of this project, TCRP Report 8,"The Quality Journey: A TQM Roadmap for Public Transportation," is supplemented by an unpublished report prepared under TCRP Project F-3, Total Quality Management in Public Transportation. A video entitled, Four Views from the Road: Public Transportation's Quality Journey, was also prepared. The video features drivers, mechanics, managers, and labor representatives describing the positive changes in their transit organizations as a result of applying TQM principles. A limited number of final reports are available on a loan basis from TCRP. The video is available from the American Public Transit Association.

TCRP Report 8 is available in portable document format (PDF). Double-click on the files below to access the report. (A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.)

Front Matter; Chapter 1: An Introduction to Total Quality Management (TQM); Chapter 2: Foundation Phase; and Chapter 3: Momentum Phase (535 Kb)

Chapter 4: Commitment Phase; Chapter 5: Leadership: The TQM Driver; and Appendixes A and B (295 Kb)

This project also produced TCRP Research Results Digest 3, which is available in portable document format (PDF). (A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.)

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