This study considered both the conceptual and empirical aspects of performance evaluation criteria and processes. At the conceptual level, the research approach included (1) developing a cross-referencing software application for describing and linking the various legislative details that define the context for public transportation delivery and evaluation, (2) developing a conceptual framework for categorizing and interpreting various public transportation evaluation criteria, and (3) evaluating the evolving attempts to redefine level of service (LOS) criteria, especially as they relate to the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), Growth Management, and State Public Transportation Plan requirements. At the empirical level, the research approach included (1) exploration of the application of evaluation criteria in four prototypical planning situations, including one planning application designed specifically to support the Washington State Department of Transportation's (WSDOT's) development of a framework to assess basic accessibility for public transportation in Washington State, and (2) exploration of multivariate statistical profiles of selected public transportation performance and geographic context variables using Section 15 and census data. The empirical portion of the project applied both Geographic Information System (GIS) and statistical analysis tools.
Ten working papers were written to aid in developing the Washington State Transportation Plan and to encourage new approaches to planning and evaluation among transit agencies. To request a copy, contact the Public Transportation and Rail Division (360-705-7914) of the WSDOT.