The National Academies

TCRP A-02 [Completed]

Service-Delivery Systems for Rural Passenger Transportation

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Research Agency: Ecosometrics, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Jon E. Burkhardt
Effective Date: 5/15/1993
Completion Date: 5/19/1995

This manual will be of interest to agencies engaged in planning, operating, or funding passenger transportation services in rural areas. The manual will assist transportation planners in rural areas in designing public transportation services in communities where no systems now exist or in restructuring and improving existing rural transportation. The manual provides detailed methods that allow local planners and operators to identify and analyze transportation services in rural communities.

Under TCRP Project A-2, Service-Delivery Systems for Rural Public Transportation, research was undertaken by a team headed by Ecosometrics, Inc., to present an overall plan for conceptualizing alternative transportation systems for rural passenger services. To achieve the project objective, the researcher conducted a comprehensive literature review of current practices. A survey of nearly 200 randomly selected rural public transportation operators, representing all rural public transportation systems in the country, was conducted. The survey collected detailed information on services consumed, services provided, operating and capital costs, sources of funds, and other relevant information. A substantial portion of this information is not available from any other data source.

TCRP Report No. 6, "Users' Manual for Assessing Service-Delivery Systems for Rural Passenger Transportation," describes recommended methods developed using these data. The manual includes methods to decide which types and what levels of service to provide and highlights case studies of a variety of successful rural transit operations. Information for contacting specific operators is also provided. Thus, the manual will assist planners and operators in designing and evaluating a wide range of rural passenger transportation service-delivery systems.

Three other products were developed under this project; they are as follows:
  • The Rural Transportation Services (RTS) Computer Program. This is a software package that allows the user to identify the characteristics of existing rural transportation systems and the communities that they serve. Information such as operating and performance statistics and financial resources is provided. Users of the program are able to specify their own peer groups, obtain information about systems in those groups, and obtain information for contacting the transit operators they have identified.
  • Users' Manual for the Rural Transportation Services Computer Program. This manual describes how to install and operate the RTS computer program.
  • Service-Delivery Systems for Rural Passenger Transportation: Final Report. This report provides a description of some of the procedures used and the factors investigated in developing the manual and computer program. Although this report is designed for persons interested in the research process, persons interested in the characteristics and performance of rural transportation systems are encouraged to obtain copies of all of the products of this contract.

    Both the computer program and the users' manual for the computer program are available for downloading in the Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) TAP-In Bulletin Boards maintained by the Community Transportation Association of America at 202/628-2537. The final report is available on loan.

    TCRP Report 6 is also available in portable document format (PDF). Double-click on the files below to access the report. (A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available at https://www.adobe com.)

    Front Matter; Chapter 1: Rural Passenger Transportation Services; Chapter 2: Potential Service Options; and Chapter 3: Which Service Type? How to Decide (978 Kb)

    Chapter 4: Case Studies of High-Performance Systems (556 Kb)

    Chapter 5: Numbers, Numbers, Numbers: Results from Other Communities (643 Kb)

    Chapter 6: Putting It All Together; Glossary; and Annotated Bibliography (1,551 Kb)

    Appendixes A, B, and C (408 Kb)

    Appendix D (1,158 Kb)

    Appendix E (1,490 Kb)
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