TRB 2016 Blue Ribbon Committee
16th National Transportation Planning Applications Conference

Which Performance Measures do Rural Public Transportation Systems Select for Themselves?

Corresponding Author: Kai Monast, Institute for Transportation Research and Education

Presented By: Kai Monast, Institute for Transportation Research and Education


Recently, states such as Iowa, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, and others have explored including performance measures into funding allocations for public transportation providers. State interests, however, may be very different than local interests. For performance measures and especially performance-based budgeting to work, it is essential to understand the local perspectives before moving ahead with statewide performance measures.

This session shares the results of a comprehensive qualitative analysis of the 81 Success Plans created by rural public transportation providers in North Carolina. At the beginning in FY16, North Carolina required that all rural public transportation providers develop their own Success Plans. These plans consist of developing mission statements, vision statements, goals, and tactics that they will use to meet their vision and mission. Each tactic must be accompanied by multiple metrics that they can use to measure their success during the year. Success plans were developed by the 81 rural transportation providers in North Carolina, resulting in a large, rich dataset of what is most important to rural public transportation providers in North Carolina. ITRE acquired and analyzed these plans to determine what aspects are shared among most rural public transportation providers using qualitative analysis, with a goal of using the information contained within the plans to better-inform which performance metrics the state can use for assessing rural public transportation performance.

The analysis shows which aspects of service to the community are most important to NC rural public transportation providers as well as how they would like to be measured. The results of the analysis will be of great value to State DOT’s, Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organizations, rural public transportation providers, and transportation consultants.

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