Peer benchmarking among transit operators in the United States would be an effective technique for comparing and contrasting the operational performance of various modes of transit. While the FTA has access to a wealth of performance data through the data collection and reporting processes of the National Transit Database (NTD), NTD data are not used to compare important data elements related to system performance that would help transit agencies understand and learn from the operational experiences of other properties.
The most useful product resulting from this research would be a framework document that describes innovative best practices for collecting, analyzing, and reporting, within a defined frequency, transit operator performance; identifying key performance parameters that are benchmarked against peer group performance; and publishing the data in the form of best practices, lessons learned, and useful information in a variety of forums and publications.
By gaining an understanding of key operational performance elements that can be applied at the modal level, FTA can assist the transit community in identifyingthe key variables that can have the greatest impact on ridership, efficiency, and operational effectiveness and can share these data through a number of avenues (e.g., the NTD and FTA websites, periodicals, and trade publications).
The work associated with this research would improve the usefulness and management acceptance of NTD data reporting elements and the information that is provided to Congress on transit system performance. Therefore, this work is timely and urgent and would have significant benefit and payoff for the transit community by providing best practices, lessons learned, and other useful information that can allow transit operators to compare their performance to their peer group and implement critical changes in pursuit of best-in-class performance.
Status: The project is completed and the research published as TCRP Report 141.