Arkansas Statewide Public Transit Needs Assessment James Wensley Senior Transportation Planner
Purpose of Study • Develop a statewide, regional and county-level assessment of public transportation needs • Develop service recommendations to address those needs • Identify 10-year financial needs for implementation of those services
Role of the Advisory Committees • Eight Regional Advisory Committees • Review inventory of providers and services • Provide input on local needs • Participate in development of service recommendations • Statewide Advisory Committee • Review Regional Committee membership, survey content and recipients • Monitor study progress • Seek statewide perspective on transportation needs • Ensure balance of recommendations across regions • Provide input to AHTD on transportation priorities
Completed Tasks • Existing Conditions • Demographic analysis by county • Online survey of transportation providers • Meeting with Regional Advisory Committees • Estimate of Need for Public Transportation Service • Potential demand for transit service • Potential demand for ADA paratransit service • Potential demand for human service transportation • Compare demand to existing service in each county • Develop 10-year estimates of potential demand • Areas of public transportation need by county identified • Meeting with Statewide and Regional Advisory Committees
Demographic Analysis by County • Detailed demographic data for each county • Total population • Seniors • Persons in poverty • Persons with disabilities • Data later used to estimate transit need • Current (2010) and future (2020) estimates developed • 2010 census detail not yet available • Key groups growing faster than the overall population
Human Service Agency Survey • Survey of rural transit providers and human service agencies • Approx. 300 survey recipients contacted • Approx. 100 complete or partial responses • Many partial responses • Missing ridership data supplemented from AHTD records and grant applications
Unmet Transit Need • Two types of passenger transportation • 1) Human service agency program-related trips • Depends on program need and extent of programs provided • Trips to/from agency programs and facilities • 2) Public transit trips • Depends on the demographics of the county • All other trips • Methodology • Estimate total need • Subtract currently met need • Identify unmet need
Total Need for Public Transit Trips • Arkansas Public Transit Needs Assessment (APTNA) 1992 methodology (with revised trip rates) • Trip rates applied to three population groups • Seniors • Persons with disabilities • Individuals living in poverty • Trip rates revised from 2001 National Household Travel Survey • Results not dependent on the level of transit service provided
Public Transit Needs Currently Met • Unmet transit need is total need minus need currently met • Currently met need assumed to be current ridership • Assumption: most current riders are transit dependent • Ridership data from inventory of transit services • Public transit trips are trips: • On public transit vehicles open to the general public • Agency-provided trips to access non-agency facility (e.g. hospital)
Total Need for Human Service Agency Program-Related Trips • Transportation is not an agency’s prime function • Purpose is to support other agency programs • Transportation need depends on • Types of human service agency programs provided • Number of persons served • Frequency of program activities • Methodology based on • TCRP Project B-36, Methods for Forecasting Demand and Quantifying Need for Rural Passenger Transportation (2009) • TCRP Project B-3 Demand Forecasting for Rural Passenger Transportation (1995) • What would be the need if all potential programs were provided?
Agency-Related Trip Rates and Data Inputs • Factors derived from sample counties across the US • 13 different agency program types • Method estimates: • Persons who would participate in agency programs, if provided • Trips needed for those persons to use the program • Factors applied to 2010 and 2020 demographic data • Caution: Expanding human service agency programs is beyond the scope of transportation planning. Actual need depends on the number of agency programs actually provided.
Agency-Related Needs Currently Met • Unmet transit need is total need minus current ridership • Agency-related trips are: • Agency-provided trips to access own agency programs/facilities • Incomplete annual ridership data for many agencies • County totals approximate because • Riders often reported only for entire agency (not by county) - riders apportioned based on total or group population • No data for many small agencies - assumed average annual ridership per vehicle
Next Steps • Identification of Services to Address Unmet Needs • Estimate service levels and vehicle requirements by county • General estimates of vehicle hours, vehicle miles • Fixed route, ADA paratransit, other paratransit, and intercity bus services • Use reasonable assumptions about service coverage, productivity, operating speeds • Estimate operating and capital costs of vehicles, facilities, and technology • Based on typical local unit costs • Statewide Plan • Develop 10-year financial needs • Prepare Statewide Needs Assessment Report • Service Needs and Strategies • Financial Needs and Strategies • Capital/Technology Needs and Strategies • Policy Needs and Strategies