The National Academies

TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SH-20 [Active (Synthesis)]

Innovative Practices for Transit Planning at Small- to Mid-Sized Agencies
[ TCRP J-07 (Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/24/2019 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Research Agency: Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Kelly Blume
Fiscal Year: 2019

Final  Scope


Small agencies serve 4M passenger trips or less; mid-sized agencies serve more than 4M but less than 10M passengers. This synthesis study will document innovative planning practices to solve challenges at small and mid-sized agencies including but not limited to top issues identified by the survey such as:

·         Ridership and demographic shifts

·         First and last mile

·         Change in land use

·         Service design

·         Funding challenges

·         Service delivery and technology changes

The consultant should document the impact on the planning process that is necessary to accomplish the desired result including but not limited to:

·         Role of staff/consultant (In house/outsourced)

·         Budget

·         Data collection and analysis ( metrics used)

·         Public engagement and outreach

·         Title VI implications

·         Governing bodies (decision makers)

·         Coordination/cooperation with other organizations (MPOs, peer agencies, SDOTs, etc.)


The information will be gathered by:


·         a literature review

·         survey of small and midsize agencies that identifies the key challenges to be addressed through planning

·         Case examples/ interviews of small, mid-sized or large agencies serving lower density communities who have successfully addressed the challenges identified. The agencies should have experienced improvements in performance and efficiency as well as improved satisfaction on the part of transit users and the larger community.  Agencies that do innovative work shall be included.


The report should emphasize lessons learned, challenges, and opportunities. The needs for future research shall also be included.


Information Sources:

Best Practices in Transit Service Planning, (CUTR/USF 2009)



Evaluating Public Transit Benefits and Costs Best Practices Guidebook (2015):







 TRB Staff

Mariela Garcia-Colberg

Phone:  202/334-2361

Email:  mgarciacolberg@nas.edu


Meeting Dates

First Panel: October 10, 2019

Teleconference with Contractor: October 21, 2019

Second Panel: June 9, 2020 Washington, DC


Topic Panel

John Christian Andoh, III, Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority

Julia Castillo, Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Authorithy ( HIRTA)

Elizabeth Collins, Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA)

Murriah  Dekle, St. Lucie County BOCC - Treasure Coast Connector

Ronald Kilcoyne, TMD

Amy Pettine, Rhode Island Public Transit Authority

Steven F. Ponte, Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority

Luther Wynder, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority

Raymond Tomczak, Federal Transit Administration – Region 2

Sheila Moore, Transportation Research Board

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