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The National Academies

NCHRP 08-36/Task 74 [Completed]

Customer Research Practices and Applications in Transportation
[ NCHRP 08-36 (Research for the AASHTO Standing Committee on Planning) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Research Agency: ICF Incorporated
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kelley Pecheux
Effective Date: 7/17/2007
Completion Date: 7/16/2008
Comments: Completed--Final report sent to AASHTO

The objective of this research is to systematize knowledge on transportation customer research. It is to compile and disseminate practice, including but not limited to these elements:

  • Questions, formats and alternative methods for obtaining customer ratings of satisfaction and importance of transportation services and products. 
    • Are there standard questions or metrics that agencies could consider that would facilitate benchmarking across agencies for those who are interested?
  • Approaches to designing and directing customer research projects to obtain valid and reliable results.
  • Approaches to applying customer research to such decisions as prioritizing investments, allocating budgets, or redesigning services and products.

Steps in the project will include:

Step 1.  Review recent research (e.g., NCHRP report 487: Using Customer Needs to Drive Transportation Decisions) that identify best practices and case study examples.

Step 2.  Survey transportation organizations to create a beginning profile of practice relative to professional market research standards.  Identify agencies’ lead staff practitioners, methods employed, and types of application in planning, measurement, and decision-making.

Step 3.  Convene a small experienced peer team to recommend ongoing mechanisms for continuing research and dissemination of customer research knowledge. 

Step 4.  Summarize the previous steps in a guidance document that can be distributed to state departments of transportation, MPOs, and other transportation agencies.

The final report has been sent to AASHTO and can be found at: http://www.statewideplanning.org/_resources/239_NCHRP-8-36-74.pdf

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