Methodology for Performance Measurement and Peer Comparison in the Public Transportation Industry (TCRP Report 141)
TCRP Report 141 research developed and tested a methodology for performance measurement and peer comparison for (a) all fixed-route components of a public transit system, (b) the motorbus mode specifically, and (c) major rail modes specifically (i.e., light rail, heavy rail, and commuter rail). This report complements TCRP Report 88: A Guidebook for Developing a Transit Performance-Measurement System, which describes how to implement and use performance measurement on an ongoing basis at a transit agency. This report describes eight steps for conducting a benchmarking effort. The steps are:
- Understand the context of the benchmarking exercise,
- Identify standardized performance measures appropriate to the performance question being asked,
- Establish a peer group,
- Compare performance within the peer group,
- Contact best-practices peers in areas where one’s performance can be improved,
- Develop a strategy for improving performance based on what one learns from the best-practices peers,
- Implement the strategy, and
- Monitor changes in performance over time, repeating the process if the desired results are not achieved within the desired time frame.
The project developed a web-based tool that implements the methodology. This tool identifies potential peer agencies and presents information from the National Transit Database that allows a transit agency’s performance to be compared with its peers.
- Paul Ryus, Principal Engineer, Kittelson & Associates, Inc.
- Kathryn Coffel, Principal, Kathryn Coffel Consulting, LLC
- Victoria Perk, Senior Research Associate, Center for Urban Transportation Research
- Linda Cherrington, Research Scientist and Program Manager, Transit Mobility Program, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
- Albert Gan, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida International University
Transit managers, decision-makers, and others interested in using performance measurement and bench-marking as tools to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their organization, set goals or performance targets, and identify best practices to improve performance.