Much has been written about performance measurement in the transit industry. Many performance indicators and measures have been developed and used in a variety of ways in response to differing transit-system goals and objectives.
What has been lacking in the transit industry is a rigorous process for determining the most appropriate performance measures and indicators that should be used by a transit organization. In addition, traditional service efficiency indicators (e.g., operating expense per vehicle revenue mile and/or hour) and cost-effectiveness indicators (e.g., operating expense per passenger mile and/or passenger trip) are sometimes not linked to customer-oriented and community issues.
Research is needed to develop a process that can be used by transit systems to prepare a performance-measurement system that is sensitive to customer-oriented and community issues. This process should provide a context, or framework, to select and apply appropriate performance indicators and measures that are integral to transit-system decision making. The research should analyze the different dimensions along which agency performance can be defined, measured, and interpreted based on an operator's goals and objectives.
The objective of this research was to produce a practical, user-friendly guidebook that assists transit system managers in developing a performance-measurement system that uses traditional and nontraditional performance indicators and measures to address customer-oriented and community issues. The guidebook provides a menu of performance indicators and measures, describes how to select and implement the most appropriate performance indicators and measures, and explains how to incorporate the indicators and measures in the decision-making process to monitor and improve service.
Status: The final guidebook for the project has been published as TCRP Report 88. In addition, a summary of the guidebook has been published as TCRP Research Results Digest 56.