Public transportation projects compete for funding with other transportation modal projects including highways, freight, and active transportation in state, regional, and local plans and programs. These plans and programs increasingly include metrics-based prioritization methods to inform funding decisions. The prioritization methods often do not fully capture key benefits of public transportation investments, making it difficult for transit projects to compete with other modal investments.
Because the demand for transportation investments far exceeds the funds available, communities need methods to prioritize transportation projects to guide decision-making. The decision-making process can be very complex, and methods that may be effective in one area may not be effective elsewhere.
The objectives of this research are to (1) present and evaluate methods and performance metrics that currently guide transportation investment decision-making and (2) propose improvements that advance the state of the practice for prioritizing public transit projects. The key audiences of this research include metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), state departments of transportation, regional and local transportation agencies, and public transit agencies.
The research is completed. The final report has been published as a Prepublication TCRP Report 227. The report can be downloaded here: Prioritization of Public Transportation Investments: A Guide for Decision-Makers | The National Academies Press (nap.edu)