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2022 On-Street Bus Operations Management A Synthesis of Transit Practice Daniel Boyle Dan Boyle & Associates, Inc. San Diego, CA Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the American Public Transportation Association Subject Areas Administration and Management â¢ Operations and Trafc Management â¢ Public Transportation T R A N S I T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M TCRP SYNTHESIS 166
TCRP SYNTHESIS 166 Project J-07, Topic SA-55 ISSN 1073-4880 ISBN 978-0-309-68765-2 Â© 2022 by the National Academy of Sciences. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the graphical logo are trade- marks of the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, APTA, FAA, FHWA, FTA, GHSA, or NHTSA endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transporta- tion Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board does not develop, issue, or publish standards or speci- fications. The Transportation Research Board manages applied research projects which provide the scientific foundation that may be used by Transportation Research Board sponsors, industry associations, or other organizations as the basis for revised practices, procedures, or specifications. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the Transit Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names or logos appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. Published reports of the TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to https://www.mytrb.org/MyTRB/Store/default.aspx Printed in the United States of America TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM The nationâs growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Cur- rent systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating prob- lems, adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit Coopera- tive Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report 213âResearch for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 and based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation Administrationânow the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- solving research. TCRP, modeled after the successful National Coop- erative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), undertakes research and other technical activities in response to the needs of transit ser- vice providers. The scope of TCRP includes various transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. Pro- posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the three cooperating organi- zations: FTA; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, acting through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and APTA. APTA is responsible for forming the independent govern- ing board, designated as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Commission. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the TOPS Commission to formulate the research program by identi- fying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the TOPS Commission defines funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel appointed by TRB. The panels prepare project statements (requests for propos- als), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired effect if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on disseminat- ing TCRP results to the intended users of the research: transit agen- cies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other supporting material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for workshops, train- ing aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that results are imple- mented by urban and rural transit industry practitioners. TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively address common operational problems. TCRP results support and complement other ongoing transit research and training programs.
e National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. e National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. e National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. e three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. e National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. e Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. e mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. e Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. e program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
CRP STAFF FOR TCRP SYNTHESIS 166 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Waseem Dekelbab, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Gwen Chisholm Smith, Manager, Transit Cooperative Research Program Mariela Garcia-Colberg, Senior Program Officer Emily Griswold, Program Coordinator Natalie Barnes, Director of Publications Heather DiAngelis, Associate Director of Publications TCRP PROJECT J-07 PANEL Elizabeth Presutti, Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART), Des Moines, IA (Chair) Jameson Auten, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, Kansas City, MO Mallory Avis, Battle Creek Transit, Battle Creek, MI Raymond Chan, Greater Dayton RTA, Dayton, OH Roderick B. Diaz, Southern California Regional Rail Authority, Los Angeles, CA Mark Donaghy, Petersburg, KY Rachel Dungca, Metro Transit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Anthony, MN Christian T. Kent, Christian T. Kent Transit Management Consulting, LLC, Virginia Beach, VA Beverly Neff, San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, San Diego, CA Edward F. Watt, WattADR, Rockaway Park, NY David C. Wilcock, VHB, Boston, MA Tara Clark, FTA Liaison Arthur L. Guzzetti, APTA Liaison William Terry, National Transit Institute Liaison TOPIC SA-55 PANEL Antoinette Brasson, Metro Transit (MN), Anoka, MN Mark Donaghy, Petersburg, KY Gregory T. Edwards, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Landover, MD Peter C. Martin, CDM Smith, San Francisco, CA Al Martinez, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles, CA Thomas Ross, Pace Suburban Bus (retired), Yonkers, NY John C. Toone, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA Karen Winger, WSP, Atlanta, GA Nimah Ismail, FTA Liaison Murtaza Kamal Naqvi, FTA Liaison C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S
ABOUT THE TCRP SYNTHESIS PROGRAM Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This infor- mation may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the transit industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire transit community, the Transit Cooperative Research Program Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, TCRP Project J-07, âSynthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices,â searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute a TCRP report series, Synthesis of Transit Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. FOREWORD By Mariela Garcia-Colberg Staff Officer Transportation Research Board This synthesis provides an overview of the current practices in real-time management of street operations at North American transit agencies. The study, prepared by Daniel Boyle, Dan Boyle & Associates, Inc., analyzes how transit agencies are monitoring and managing street operations, including the tools, staffing, organizational structure, and functions being used for the purpose. The study presents a literature review and results of a survey of transit agencies that use technology for on-street supervision. Thirty-six completed responses were received from the 58 agencies in the survey sample, a response rate of 62 percent. Case examples of six transit systems are provided; these case examples present an in-depth analysis of the processes and procedures, challenges, lessons learned, and keys to success. This synthesis will assist transit agencies to manage their bus operations and to identify whether new technologies can help improve, among other things, on-time performance and real-time infor- mation to customers. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on page iv. This synthesis is an immedi- ately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
1 Summary 4 ChapterÂ 1 Introduction 4 Project Background and Objectives 4 Technical Approach 5 Organization of Synthesis 7 ChapterÂ 2 Literature Review 8 Supervision Strategies 9 Simulation Examples 10 Real-World Examples 13 AVL-Specific Examples 13 International Examples 15 Decision Support Systems 16 Current and Future Training Needs 17 Summary 18 ChapterÂ 3 Survey Results PartÂ 1: Procedures 18 Procedures in âNormalâ Times 26 Changes in Procedures during the Pandemic 26 Techniques and Technologies to Manage On-Street Operations 30 Analysis, Corrective Actions, and Coordination 31 Unintended Consequences 32 ChapterÂ 4 Survey Results PartÂ 2: Agency Assessment 32 Agency Assessments of Efforts to Enhance On-Street Bus Operations Management 32 Challenges 34 Benefits and Drawbacks 37 Lessons Learned 39 Final Thoughts 40 ChapterÂ 5 Case Examples 41 Concord Kannapolis Area Transit (Rider): Concord, NC 43 Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA): Dayton, OH 45 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro): Los Angeles, CA 48 Transit Authority of River City (TARC): Louisville, KY 51 Metro Transit: MinneapolisâSt. Paul, MN 53 Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA): Washington, DC C O N T E N T S
57 ChapterÂ 6 Conclusions and Areas for Future Study 57 Findings from the Survey and Literature Review 58 Lessons Learned and Keys to Success from Case Examples 59 Conclusions 60 Areas of Future Study 62 References 64 List of Acronyms 65 Appendix A List of Participating Transit Agencies 67 Appendix B Transit Agency Survey 79 Appendix C Transit Agency Survey Results