Transit Mobility Program
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
The Texas A&M University System
701 N. Post Oak, Suite 430
Houston, TX 77024
Phone: (713) 613-9240
Linda K. Cherrington is a research scientist with the TTI Transit Mobility Program. Her career in the transit industry spans more than 40 years and encompasses work in public sector operation, private consulting, and transit research. Ms. Cherrington worked 10 years with Houston METRO, where she held senior management positions in regional transit service planning and scheduling, transit operations, procurement and personnel, vehicle maintenance, and project development. Ms. Cherrington founded LKC Consulting Services, Inc. in 1986. For 17 years, LKC Consulting provided transit planning, operational analysis, and performance auditing for cities, rural transit agencies, and regional transit authorities nationwide. In 2003, Ms. Cherrington joined TTI to develop the Transit Mobility research program. She received the TTI Researcher Award in 2009 and the G. Sadler Bridges Senior Researcher Award in 2016.
Ms. Cherrington recently served as the principal investigator for TCRP Report 192: Decision-Making Toolbox to Plan and Manage Park-and-Ride Facilities for Public Transportation (TCRP H-52); TCRP Report 200: Contracting Commuter Rail Services (TCRP G-14); and TCRP Report 202: Handbook for Examining the Effects of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Brokerages on Transportation Coordination (TCRP B-44).
Since 2005, Ms. Cherrington has supported the Texas Department of Transportation, Public Transportation Division initiatives to improve performance for rural and small urban transit and to advance the concepts of regional transportation coordination. She works with regional transit authorities to improve performance and financial sustainability for different modes (bus, paratransit, commuter bus, light rail, commuter rail). Her research portfolio includes transportation management reviews, best practices and peer research, transit service planning for bus and rail, performance analysis and benchmarking, financial analysis, and public-private partnerships for delivery of transit services. She was a member of the research teams for the Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual, Third Edition (TCRP Report 165) and TCRP Report 141 Methodology for Performance Measurement and Peer Comparison. She has also participated in more than 30 performance audits for the student transportation function for public school districts in seven states.
- M.B.A., Business Administration, University of Texas at Austin, 1995.
- M.P.Aff., Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin, 1974.
- B.A., Political Science, Rice University, 1972.
- American Public Transportation Association
- Member, Legislative Committee
- Community Transportation Association of America
- Southwest Transit Association
- Transportation Research Board
- Member, Committee on Paratransit (AP060)
- Member, Committee on Transit Management and Performance (AP010)
- Friend, Rural Public and Intercity Bus Committee (AP055)
- Friend, Transportation Issues in Major Cities Committee (ABE30)
TTI Tenure / Total Industry Tenure
- 15 years
- 44 years
- Strategic Management
- Transportation Management Reviews
- Performance Analysis and Benchmarking
- Financial Analysis and Sustainable Funding
- Public-Private Partnerships in Transportation
- Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Project B-44: Examining the Effects of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Brokerages on Transportation Coordination. Principal Investigator. The lack of transportation for Medicaid beneficiaries can impede their ability to access medical services, particularly for individuals living in rural or medically underserved areas, as well as those with chronic health conditions. This research was conducted to better understand what influences states to establish separate NEMT brokerages and the resulting impacts on customers, human services transportation, and public transportation. There were three objectives for this research: to describe the different models available to states for providing NEMT; to use case study research to understand the effects of the different models for providing NEMT on access to health services and on coordination with other transportation services; and to identify opportunities to coordinate NEMT, other human services transportation, and public transportation in the future.
- TCRP Project G-14 Contracting Commuter Rail Services. Principal Investigator. Commuter rail refers to passenger trains operated to carry riders living in suburban areas to and from work in city centers. Commuter rail often uses track shared with freight rail operations or track that was sold by a freight operator and may now be owned by the public transportation provider with an arrangement that allows for joint use by freight, intercity passenger, and commuter trains. The objective of this research was to develop a guidebook to assist public agencies and other key stakeholders with contracting commuter rail services. The guidebook describes commuter rail systems in North America and the different approaches for providing rail services. The guidebook provides guidance for assessing the different approaches to service delivery and offers step- by- step decision trees to help determine how to implement commuter rail or evaluate changes in the approach to service delivery of an existing system.
- El Paso County Regional Transit Options Study. Principal Investigator. The study examined the feasibility of a single, seamless, transit system in El Paso County, serving and connecting rural communities to destinations in the urban areas of the county. The scope of work included a demographic analysis of the region to understand the distribution of people, jobs, and other important trip generators. TTI documented transit need compared to transit supply and identified areas with regional transit gaps (transit need exceeds transit supply). TTI developed different service scenarios for regional transit including projections for ridership, operating and capital expenses, and sources of revenue from federal, state, and local governments.
- TCRP Project H-52 Decision-Making Toolbox to Plan and Manage Park-and-Ride Facilities for Public Transportation. Principal Investigator. TTI led a research team to develop a decision-making toolbox to better plan and manage park-and-ride facilities for public transportation. The research identified strategies and best practices to plan and manage park-and-ride facilities for public transportation. The final product for this research was a guidebook for public transportation planners and managers.
- Gulf Coast Transit Climate Change Adaptation Pilot Study, Federal Transit Administration. Climate change-related issues place substantial operating and financial burdens on public transit agencies, particularly in coastal settings. Gulf of Mexico coastal transit agencies, such as the rural transit provider Galveston Island Transit, and their constituents are especially vulnerable to natural hazards resulting from extreme heat, flooding, and high winds. The FTA contracted with TTI to research the adaptation practices of Gulf Coast transit agencies to reduce the impacts of weather events and long-term climate. Ms. Cherrington was part of TTI team that conducted three case studies for Galveston Island Transit, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART), and the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (Houston METRO), to compile information of how Gulf Coast transit agencies deal with the severe weather impacts due to climate change.
- METROLift Moving Forward: Workshops and Community Feedback, Houston METRO. TTI assisted METRO in developing community outreach materials to discuss changes in METROLift policies and practices. METROLift is the complementary paratransit service for people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the Houston region. Ms. Cherrington assisted in developing and participated in a series of community meetings to involve the public on specific policy and practice changes. She prepared and delivered presentations to the METRO Board on the community outreach outcomes.
- Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual (TCQSM), 3rd Edition. Role: Team. TTI was part of a research team led by Kittelson & Associates, Inc., responsible for preparing the third edition of the TCQSM for the transit industry. The TCQSM is a comprehensive reference resource including quantitative techniques for calculating the capacity of bus and rail transit services, terminals, and platforms and a framework for measuring transit availability and quality-of-service from the passenger point of view. Ms. Cherrington contributed to Chapters 2, 5 and 7 of the manual on demand responsive transit. The research is published as TCRP Report 165.
- Managing Operating Cost for Rural and Small Urban Transit Systems, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). Rural and small urban transit providers across the United States face fiscal challenges caused by the growing gap between the cost of providing transit service and available federal and state funding. In Texas, the fiscal challenges facing rural and small urban transit providers are compounded by an increasing population and growth in urbanization in some counties and declining population with increasing demand for transit service for an aging population in other counties. This research better equips public transportation providers to understand, predict, and manage operating costs.
- TCRP Report 141, Methodology for Performance Measurement and Peer Comparison. Cherrington worked with Kittelson & Associates on a TCRP project to develop a methodology for performance measurement and peer comparison for the public transit industry. The objective of this research was to develop and test a methodology for performance measurement and peer comparison for the fixed-route components of public transportation systems (both the bus and rail modes). The methodology includes an approach to peer comparison that will enable performance assessments of public transportation systems of different sizes, operating environments, and modes.
- Edrington, S., Cherrington, L., Burkhardt, J. (2018). Handbook Examining the Effects of Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) Brokerages on Transportation Coordination, TCRP Report 202. Pre-Publication by Transportation Research Board, Washington. D.C. http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/177842.aspx
- Cherrington, L.K., Rutter, A., Morgan, C., ESH Consult, James Stoetzel, Shelly Brown Associates, LLC (Pending Publication 2018) Contracting for Commuter Rail Services, TCRP Report 200. Published pending by Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.
- Cherrington, L.K., Brooks, J., Cardenas, J., Elgart, Z., Galicia, L.D., Hansen, T., Miller, K., Walk, M.J., Ryus, P., Semler, C., Coffel, K. (2017). Decision-Making Toolbox to Plan and Manage Park-and-Ride Facilities for Public Transportation: Guidebook on Planning and Managing Park-and-Ride. TCRP Research Report 192. Published by Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. http://www.trb.org/TCRP/Blurbs/175966.aspx
- Kittelson & Assoc, Inc., Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., KFH Group, Inc., Texas A&M Transportation Institute, & Arup. (2013). Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual. Third Edition. TCRP Report 165. Published by Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/169437.aspx
- Ryus, P., Coffel, K., Parks, J., Perk, V., Cherrington, L., Arndt, J., Nakanishi, Y., and Gan, A. (2010). A Methodology for Performance Measurement and Peer Comparison in the Public Transportation Industry. TCRP Report 141. Published by Transportation Research Board, Washington, D.C. http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/163872.aspx
- Texas A&M Transportation Institute, The Texas A&M University System.
- Research Scientist, Transit Mobility Program, August 2003 – Present.
- Program Manager, Transit Mobility Program, August 2003 – November 2017.
- LKC Consulting Services, Inc., Houston, Texas.
- Chief Executive Officer and Principal, September 1986 – August 2003.
- Georgia A. Wilson & Associates, Houston, Texas.
- Project Manager, March 1985 – August 1986.
- Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, TX (Houston METRO).
- Assistant General Manager for Procurement and Bus Facility Development, March 1983 – February 1985.
- Director of Procurement and Personnel, July 1982 – March 1983.
- Assistant Director of Transit Operations, June 1981 – July 1982.
- Manager of Planning and Programming, January 1979 – June 1981.
- Assistant Transit Administrator, Office of Public Transportation, City of Houston, February 1975 – January 1979.
- City of San Antonio, TX.
- Energy Conservation Coordinator, Traffic and Transportation Department, June 1974 – January 1975.
- Legislative Budget Board, State of Texas, Austin, TX.
- Intern, June 1973 – May 1974.