Posts categorized under "Research"

Research Report – Developing a Method for Assessing National Demand-Response Transit Level of Service

A new SURTC study has developed a method for assessing the level of demand-response transit being provided throughout a state or nationwide and prioritizing areas for needed service improvements.

Demand-response transit is a major source of mobility for older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income households in urban and rural areas, but the data needed to assess the level of service being provided across the country is lacking. Key variables for identifying the level of service include geographic coverage, days of service per week, hours of service per day, advance reservation requirements, and service eligibility. These data are largely missing from the National Transit Database or other sources.

Given that currently available data sources are inadequate, SURTC researchers developed and conducted online surveys of demand-response transit agencies in North Dakota and Florida to gather service details. The goal was to collect as much useful and detailed data as possible while minimizing the burden to transit agencies. Based on the results from these surveys, recommendations were made for deploying the survey nationwide. SURTC researchers also developed a method for combining the service data collected from the survey with population and demographic data to identify areas with greater needs for service improvements. The report shows how the data collected from this new survey tool can help state DOTs and transit planners evaluate current service levels and make investment decisions.

The full report and executive summary can be found at the link below:

Developing a Method for Assessing National Demand-Response Transit Level of Service

For more details, contact Ranjit Godavarthy at ranjitprasad.godavar@ndsu.edu or Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu.

Research Report – The Impact of North Dakota's Oil Boom on Transit Livability

SURTC has published a report highlighting the changes affecting public transportation in North Dakota's oil producing region. Population growth in western North Dakota from those seeking employment in the oil industry has led to substantial increases in personal income and transit ridership. Local survey findings noted that population growth has impacted the quality of life by increasing pressure on infrastructure and increasing feelings of insecurity that stem from demographic shifts and not knowing who is living in local communities. The housing market has also struggled to keep pace.

Transit livability index measures showed an increase in recent years. The combinations of increased ridership and household income have been the two main catalysts for this change. More workers utilizing transit has also led to fewer workers commuting alone to work. However, an increasing mobility needs index and a lack of transit vehicles to meet demand are becoming evident as many of the transit livability indexes are showing smaller increases during the past one to three years compared to earlier gains.

For more details contact del.peterson@ndsu.edu.

2015 Rural Transit Fact Book Published

SURTC has published its 2015 edition of the Rural Transit Fact Book. This publication is intended to serve as a national resource for statistics and information on rural transit in America. The Fact Book includes rural demographic and travel behavior data as well as financial, operating, and fleet statistics and performance measures for agencies receiving section 5311 funding. In addition to national level data, statistics are presented by state, FTA region, tribe, and mode, as well as other agency characteristics.

The Rural Transit Fact Book presents agency level data from the Rural National Transit Database (NTD) and rural demographic and travel data from the American Community Survey and the National Household Travel Survey.

The publication can be downloaded at the SURTC website. For more information, or if you're interested in receiving a hard copy, contact Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu.

Research Report – Identifying and Satisfying the Mobility Needs of North Dakota's Transit System

SURTC has published a new report that identifies the needs of transit agencies in North Dakota, gaps in transit service in the state, and additional services and funding needed to meet current demand as well as projected future demand. Surveys of transit agencies and human service agencies were conducted to gather information about existing transit services, how well those services are meeting the needs of the state’s residents, and the issues and challenges facing transit providers. Target levels of transit service and the funding needed to reach those targets were identified. Projections were also made based on expected population growth. Findings show a need for expansion of services across the state, especially in areas experiencing population growth, as well as needs for improvements in staffing and additional vehicles. The full report and an executive summary can be found at the link below:

Identifying and Satisfying the Mobility Needs of North Dakota's Transit System

For more details, contact Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu or Jill Hough at jill.hough@ndsu.edu.

SURTC at TRB

SURTC staff will be participating in next week's Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Below is a list of sessions and committee meetings in which SURTC staff will be participating.

 

SURTC Staff Session/Meeting Presentation Title Date
Jeremy Mattson (Presenting) ADA30 Transportation Planning for Small and Medium-Sized Communities Committee Mobility Management, Cost-Benefit Analyses, and Demand-Response Level of Service: Recent Research from SURTC Jan 12, 10:00 – 10:20 AM
Jill Hough (Presiding) Session 442 – Transportation Planning Applications: Tips and Tools Jan 12, 4:15 – 6:00 PM
Jill Hough and Del Peterson (Attending) AP055 Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Committee Meeting Jan 13, 10:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Jeremy Mattson (Poster) Session 638 – Inclusive Transportation: Infrastructure and Services Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Human Service Transportation Coordination Jan 13, 2:00 – 3:45 PM
Del Peterson (Presenting) Session 699 – Special Topics in Rural and Small Urban Public Transportation Improving Veterans' Mobility in Small Urban and Rural Areas Jan 13, 3:45 – 5:30 PM
Ranjit Godavarthy (Presenting) Session 699 – Special Topics in Rural and Small Urban Public Transportation Cost-Benefit Analysis of U.S. Rural and Small Urban Transit Jan 13, 3:45 – 5:30 PM
Jill Hough (Presenting) Session 826 Gender Differences and the Built Environment Relative Desired Mobility of Elderly Women Living in Rural and Small Urban Locations in North Dakota Jan 14, 2:30 – 4:00 PM

Research Report – Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Human Service Transportation Coordination

A new report published by SURTC evaluates mobility management and human service transportation coordination efforts at different locations across the country and provides an evaluation model that can be used in individual communities. For this study, two surveys were developed and conducted at multiple sites across the country. An end-user survey was distributed to transit users, and a stakeholder survey was sent to transportation providers, human service agencies, and other organizations. The results can be used to assess the effectiveness of mobility management and coordination programs in meeting the needs of transportation-disadvantaged populations and achieving the goals of improved efficiency, ease of access, and quality of service. Results from the communities where surveys were conducted showed positive impacts from the perspectives of both transit users and stakeholders. The full report and executive summary can be found at the link below:

Evaluating the State of Mobility Management and Human Service Transportation Coordination

For more details, contact Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu.

2014 Rural Transit Fact Book Published

SURTC has published its 2014 edition of the Rural Transit Fact Book. This publication is intended to serve as a national resource for statistics and information on rural transit in America. The Fact Book includes rural demographic and travel behavior data as well as financial, operating, and fleet statistics and performance measures for agencies receiving section 5311 funding. In addition to national level data, statistics are presented by state, FTA region, tribe, and mode, as well as other agency characteristics.

The Rural Transit Fact Book presents agency level data from the Rural National Transit Database (NTD) and rural demographic and travel data from the American Community Survey and the National Household Travel Survey.

The publication can be downloaded at the SURTC website. For more information, or if you're interested in receiving a hard copy, contact Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu.

Webinar Recordings Online: Veterans Transportation and Rural Transit Cost-Benefit Analysis

Recordings of recent webinars conducted by SURTC staff are available online. Del Peterson presented findings from his study on veterans transportation in a webinar on July 10. Earlier this year, Ranjit Godavarthy and Jeremy Mattson presented a webinar on their cost-benefit analysis research for small urban and rural transit. Both webinars were presented as part of the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) webcast series. Recordings of the webinars can be found at the links below. Links to the full reports and executive summaries of the research are available in the Completed Reports section of the SURTC website.

Webinar recordings:

Research Report – Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit

SURTC has published a report analyzing the costs and benefits of providing transit services in rural and small urban areas. The full report and an executive summary can be found at the following link:

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Rural and Small Urban Transit

This study focuses on the qualitative and quantitative benefits of small urban and rural public transit systems in the United States. First, a thorough review of previous literature is presented. Then, a framework is developed which focuses on three main areas of transit benefits most relevant to rural and small urban areas: transportation cost savings, low-cost mobility benefits, and economic development impacts. This study estimates the cost savings from using transit in place of alternative modes and the significant costs that would result from trips foregone in the absence of transit. Estimated benefits are compared to the costs of providing service to derive benefit-to-cost ratios. Results are presented nationally, regionally (FTA regions), and statewide. Sensitivity analysis is also conducted to illustrate how the benefits and benefit-cost ratios vary with changes in key variables. With estimated benefit-cost ratios greater than 1, the results show that the benefits provided by transit services in rural and small urban areas are greater than the costs of providing those services.

For more details, contact Ranjit Godavarthy at ranjitprasad.godavar@ndsu.edu or Jeremy Mattson at jeremy.w.mattson@ndsu.edu.

SURTC is a part of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University