Issues and Challenges in Transit Performance Research

by Gordon J. Fielding, Univ of California, Inst of, Transportation Studies, Irvine, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Innovative Strategies to Improve Urban Transportation Performance


Using performance indicators as a management tool in the transit industry is a developing art. Three theoretical issues have deterred progress: disagreement over definitions of efficiency and effectiveness, selection of indicators, and the appropriateness of comparing transit agencies. Availability of data from the UMTA Section 15 Reporting System has solved part of the problem by providing comparable nationwide statistics on transit operations. These data have been used by researchers to develop statistically valid peer groups for comparative performance analysis and to demonstrate the validity of using a small set of indicators to represent the major dimensions of transit performance. Now that comparative analysis is possible, research is needed to explore the factors which make some agencies consistently high performers.

Subject Headings: Comparative studies | Rapid transit systems | Transportation management | Industries | Terminology and definition | Urban development | Statistics

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