The following is a list of projects and publications that Transit Mobility researchers are currently working on:
Transit Financial Management Workshops, 2017 – Present
TTI developed and continues to deliver its Making Dollars and Sense of Transit Finance workshop. The full workshop is approximately two-and-a-half days and covers key financial management topics including understand sources of transit funding, requirements for use, procedures for reporting, and strategies to contain costs. The workshop can be customized, and has been delivered in various forms at the following:
- 2020 Southwest Transit Association Conference: Managing your Dollars with Sense and Allocating Costs (1-day workshop)
- 2019 Southwest Transit Association and Texas Transit Association Conference: Money In, Money Out: Managing your Dollars with Sense (1/2-day workshop)
- 2018 Texas Transit Association Conference: Making Dollars and Sense of Transit Finance
- 2017 TxDOT Public Transportation Division Training: Making Dollars and Sense of Transit Finance (1 1/2-day workshop)
- 2017 Texas Transit Association Conference: Making Dollars and Sense of Transit Finance (2 1/2-day workshop)
Bus Headway Management Improvement Project, 2019 – Present
The Bus Headway Management Improvement Project will seek to fully understand the root causes of, to empirically investigate the best intervention(s) for, and to potentially develop prediction models for bus headway violations (e.g., bunching or gapping) on Capital Metro’s MetroRapid routes (in Austin, TX). The research project will provide Capital Metro with an understanding of the inflection point in headway management (the gap/bunch threshold at which recovery is unlikely), will provide a replicable methodology to detect headway violation patterns, will identify and prioritize potential bunching/gapping solutions and interventions to test and evaluate, will give guidance for dispatchers to more effectively manage bus headways, and will create a replicable analytical methodology and supporting tools to calculate headway reliability performance measures using existing Capital Metro data.
Rural Transit District Financial Sustainability Improvements: Analysis, Tools, and Training, 2019 – Present
To support the financial sustainability of a large rural transit agency, TTI is developing a series of analysis, tools, and training kits, including: a cost allocation model, a transit service pricing tool, a tool for projecting state and federal funding, a 5-year budgeting template, documentation of state and federal requirements regarding non-cash contributions for local match, a board reporting template, board training, and recommendations for improving the accuracy of operating data. At the conclusion of the project, TTI will train transit agency staff on all of the tools, enabling the agency to continue use of the tools on their own.
Denton County Transportation Authority Title VI Technical Assistance and Innovation Research, 2018 – Present
TTI will conduct research to compare an innovative geo-spatial demographic analysis technique for assessing transit service changes with DCTA’s current Title VI service change analysis methods. The innovative method streamlines the service change analysis process and accounts for service performance and equity of service access concurrently, presenting an opportunity to improve service efficiency and enhance equity at the same time. As part of this project, TTI will provide technical assistance to conduct standard Title VI equity analyses for DCTA’s upcoming proposed service and fare changes to develop a baseline service change analysis for comparison with the innovative method. TTI will assess the innovative method and determine its effectiveness to better inform DCTA staff about potential adverse and inequitable impacts of service changes during the planning and development of such changes. If the innovative method if found to be effective DCTA will have the option to introduce a well‑vetted alternative method for assessing service efficiency.
TCRP Synthesis SA-47: Bus Transit Signal Priority – Current State of the Practice, 2018 – Present
Bus Transit Signal Priority (TSP) is an important tool that increases bus speeds and reliability, thereby improving transit system efficiency and effectiveness. Transit agencies implement a wide variety of TSP strategies and parameters and report different levels of benefits from TSP implementations in various traffic conditions and right-of-way treatments (e.g. mixed vs. dedicated guideway). This synthesis study documents the current practice of transit systems’ use of TSP to meet the different objectives under diverse conditions; it provides an overview of 1) TSP strategies and parameters, 2) the resulting benefits and 3) an assessment of to what extent the disparity in benefits realized are driven by strategy and parameter choices. Data were collected using a literature review focusing on modern deployments (both domestic and international), a survey of selected North-American transit systems that utilize TSP, and case examples. View the full scope of work.
Denton County Transportation Authority, Multi-Modal Service Cost Allocation Model, 2018 – Present
Produce a model that allocates variable and fixed operating expenses and capital asset replacement expenses to each of DCTA’s services using industry best practices and federally-accepted procedures.
Capital Metro, Transit Signal Prioritization System Functionality Assessment, 2018 – Present
Assess the functionality of the transit signal prioritization (TSP) system for two bus rapid transit lines. Determine system functionality by merging large, transactional data sets from the transit agency’s CAD/AVL system and the city’s traffic management system and comparing TSP transactions against system specifications.
VIA, Paratransit Fleet Fuel Alternatives Analysis, 2018 – Present
Compare the cost of ownership for a propane- versus gasoline-fueled paratransit fleet. Research will: 1) review industry practices and experiences and 2) incorporate established life cycle cost models.
TCRP IDEA T-91: Comprehensive Wayfinding for All (CWall), 2018 – Present
Develop and test a prototype CWall smartphone application (app). CWall is an accessible smartphone app that will provide transit and pedestrian trip planning and navigation assistance along the entire transit trip. CWall will aid users in traveling to bus stops, locating them using accessible pathways, obtaining real-time transit information, and receiving alerts for when to board and get off buses. Although CWall specifically targets users with disabilities, the app will also benefit users without disabilities by reducing the learning curve of taking transit and making the sidewalk and transit network easier to understand and use. Learn more about the project.
Sun Metro, Mass Transit Fare Equity Analysis, El Paso, TX, 2018 – Present
Sun Metro, in El Paso, TX, is considering adjustments to its fare policy. TTI is helping Sun Metro understand the Title VI implications of the fare changes and is providing information about fare collection technologies and current practices for regional fare collection.
TxDOT, Phase One – Identify and Evaluate Existing TNCs Used as a Part of Basic Mobility, 2018 – Present
Provide technical assistance to support the TxDOT Public Transportation Division to evaluate the role of Transportation Networking Companies (TNCs) in providing basic mobility. TxDOT wishes to draft a call for proposals to develop pilot projects to demonstrate how TNCs might be used to support public transit operations. TTI researched existing partnerships between transit agencies and TNCs and documented lessons learned, issues, and opportunities for pilot projects.
VIA Level of Service Index and Map, 2018 – Present
Develop a Level of Service (LOS) Index calculated from several rider-oriented metrics for VIA’s bus routes. Assist VIA in developing the LOS metrics, weighting the metrics, calculating the LOS Index, and visualizing the results on an interactive map.
Houston Metro, METRO ADA Wheelchair Securement – Practices and Opportunities, 2018 – Present
Document existing METRO practices and conditions, regulations for wheelchair securement, user experiences of securing wheelchairs, national practices for wheelchair securement, and opportunities for improvement. The findings from this research will assist METRO in developing future procurements and ensuring the agency’s operator trainings match the state-of-the-practice.
Denton County Transportation Authority, Strategies for Improving Performance Data Reliability, Validity, and Reporting, 2017 – Present
Provide technical assistance, system and data analysis and assessment, and best-practice guidance to enhance performance reporting and management processes in order to: (1) improve the quality of data used in performance reporting, (2) enhance the presentation and reporting of performance metrics, and (3) expand the usefulness of performance data for management decision-making.
El Paso County, Transit Feasibility Study, 2017 – Present
Perform a feasibility study of a regional transit system serving all of El Paso County. Analyze existing conditions, assess unmet transit need, determine possible transit service scenarios, and identify potential funding and governance options.
TCRP Synthesis SF-20: Managing the Transit Scheduling Workforce, 2017 – Present
Document the current state of practice regarding how transit agencies manage transit scheduling human capital and examine how transit agencies are recruiting, training, developing, and retaining schedulers. The final report is currently in preparation for publication.
Innovative Concepts to Inform First / Last Mile Planning, 2017 – Present
Conduct an inventory of the sponsor’s current and potential service areas to assess trip travel patterns and areas of transit need to identify places that may be appropriate for innovative mobility options to mitigate service duplication, create more cost-effective service, and integrate new innovative services within the sponsor’s service portfolio. To assess the potential for addressing transit need with innovative and/or new services, TTI will document: 1) Operating characteristics of each option; 2) Existing service providers (including an assessment of each provider as a solution); 3) Concepts, strategies, and policies for fare payment and policies for innovative services. TTI will use findings to develop potential service scenarios and create a methodology to assess/rank these scenarios as solutions to the sponsor’s first/last mile challenges.
Sun Metro, Mass Transit Procurement Assistance, 2017 – Present
Assist the City of El Paso in its process to establish new contracts with a private company for transit management and operations. Work as an independent third-party facilitator and assist the City by evaluating different approaches to managing and operating Sun Metro transit services before developing a new request for proposal and by assisting with the procurement process as required. TTI has assisted the City in similar services since 2006 and provided historical perspective, continuity, and efficient services.
National Transit Institute (NTI) Course: Performance Based Planning and Programming, 2017 – Present
This new course focuses on planning and programming requirements from FAST Act and MAP-21. John Overman has delivered the first two of many slated. View the Course
TxDOT, Texas Transit District Profiles and Performance Dashboard, 2017 – Present
This project provides a thorough understanding of the current status of Texas transit districts regarding governance, service area population and land area, transit service information by mode, fare structure and fare media by mode, operating days and hours by mode, financial status, performance statistics, and planned projects in the coming years. The Texas transit dashboard will be the most up-to-date inventory of state-funded urban and rural transportation providers in Texas and a one-stop information center of their services, performances, financial status, and planned projects. View the dashboard here.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Electric Bus Implementation, 2015 – Present
Provide grant writing support to DART for eight electric buses under the Lo/No grant program. After a successful award, TTI is evaluating the deployment of seven (7) Proterra electric buses on the downtown circulator route.
TxDOT, Texas Transit Leadership Initiative, 2013 – Present
Recognizing the need for succession planning for senior staff and leadership development for current managers and aspiring leaders within the industry, TxDOT’s Public Transportation Division has provided the industry five Texas Transit Leadership Seminars working with TTI and Dr. Barbara Gannon. Approximately 110 Texas transit leaders have successfully completed these seminars. The objectives of the Texas Transit Leadership Seminar are to:
- Help transit managers to understand the difference between supervisor, manager, and leader.
- Assess individual leadership styles.
- Develop and reinforce leadership skills.
- Stimulate thinking about critical issues for the transit industry.
- Encourage discussion and exchange of ideas among peers.
National Transit Institute (NTI) Course: State and Metropolitan Transportation Programming, 2011 – Present
John Overman has delivered the course as an NTI contract instructor ten times from 2011-present. View the Course
TxDOT, PTN-128 Web System Maintenance, 2007 – Present
PTN-128 is a web-based system that provides a centralized repository for the TxDOT Public Transportation Divison PTN to collect financial operating data from state-funded urban and rural transit districts, large urban transit agencies, and specialized transit agencies. The data collected by the system enables TxDOT and transit agencies to manage and report on public transportation from a single location using a web-based application.