In many cases, rural transit grew out of agencies which at the time were engaged or charged with social service programs. As such, many states have rural transit systems whose primary function is not public transportation. Many State DOTs have considered, and some have actually carried out, rural transit system consolidation. Some for economical and efficiency reasons, others because the parent agency simply determined transit was no longer its primary focus and discontinued transit service. Often this results in the State DOTs scrambling to stitch back together the rural transit network.
Guidance is needed on best approaches to reorganizing and consolidating rural transit systems.
The objective of this research is to develop broad guidance on the consolidation of rural transit systems. The research conducted under this topic will provide insight and options to consider when the consolidation rural transit systems. The products of this research should be summarized with best practices highlighted to provide guidance for future consolidation efforts.