Saturday, May 14, 2016

MTI: Transit Performance Measures in California

Caroline Rodier, Ph.D. and Emily Issac

This research is the result of a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) request to assess the most commonly available transit performance measures in California. Caltrans wanted to understand performance measures and data used by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and transit agencies to help it develop statewide measures. This report serves as a summary reference guide to help Caltrans understand the numerous and diverse performance measures used by MPOs and transit agencies in California. First, investigators review the available literature to identify a complete transit performance framework for the purposes of organizing agency measures, metrics, and data sources. Next, they review the latest transit performance measures documented in planning reports for the four largest MPOs in California (San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento). Researchers pay special attention to the transit performance measures used by these MPOs, because these measures are available for the majority of California’s population. Finally, investigators summarize 231 performance measures used by a total 26 local transit agencies in the State of California, based on transit planning documents available on the internet.


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Equity Act (ISTEA) and was reauthorized under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st century (TEA-21). MTI then successfully competed to be named a Tier 1 Center in 2002 and 2006 in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Most recently, MTI successfully competed in the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2011 to be named a Tier 1 Transit-Focused University Transportation Center. The Institute is funded by Congress through the United States Department of Transportation’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), University Transportation Centers Program, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and by private grants and donations.

The Institute receives oversight from an internationally respected Board of Trustees whose members represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI’s focus on policy and management resulted from a Board assessment of the industry’s unmet needs and led directly to the choice of the San José State University College of Business as the Institute’s home. The Board provides policy direction, assists with needs assessment, and connects the Institute and its programs with the international transportation community.


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