Analysis and recommendations for a regional commuter assistance program

Analysis and recommendations for a regional commuter assistance program

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Analysis and recommendations for a regional commuter assistance program
University of South Florida. Center for Urban Transportation Research
Florida Dept. of Transportation. Public Transit Office
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Tampa, Fla
Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
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Commuting--Florida--Planning--Handbooks, manuals, etc ( lcsh )
Ridesharing--Florida--Evaluation--Handbooks, manuals, etc ( lcsh )
Employer sponsored transportation--Florida--Evaluation--Handbooks, manuals, etc ( lcsh )
Local transit--Florida--Evaluation--Handbooks, manuals, etc ( lcsh )
letter ( marcgt )

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C01-00055 ( USFLDC DOI )
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University of South Florida. Center for Urban Transportation Research.
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Analysis and recommendations for a regional commuter assistance program
Tampa, Fla
b Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)
c 1989 May
Commuting--Florida--Planning--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Ridesharing--Florida--Evaluation--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Employer sponsored transportation--Florida--Evaluation--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Local transit--Florida--Evaluation--Handbooks, manuals, etc
Florida Dept. of Transportation. Public Transit Office
1 773
t Center for Urban Transportation Research Publications [USF].
4 856


Analysis and Recommendations for a Regional Commuter Assistance Program Submitted to: Florida Department of T rans portation Tampa Bay Commuter Assistance Program (TCAP) Prepared by: Center for Ur ban T ransporta tion Research University of South Florida May 1989


T a ble of Cont e nts S ummary of TCAP to Date 1 Analysis of Proposed lostitutioos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Backg r ound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Responsibilities of a Comm u ter Assistao ce P rogram ..... : . . . 5 Comparison of In stitutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 A Criteria Ana lysis of the P roposed T CAP Institutions . . . . . . 1 5 APPENDIX A-Rev ie w of Exis t ing Ridesbaring Progra ms . . . . . . . 21 APPE NDIXB Comparison of lost i tu ti o oal Models . . . . . . . . . . 30


SUMMARY OF TCAP PROGRAM TO DAT E T he F l or ida Departm e n t of T rans portation (FDOT) has contracted with the Center for Urban Trans porta tion Resea r c h (CUTR) a t the University o f So u t h Flori d a to undertake a Tampa Bay Commute r Assistance Pro g ram Demonstra t ion Proje ct (TCAP). The pur pose of this p roject i s to implement the recommendations of a recently co mp leted e valuation of the S t ate ridesharing program The study was conducted by a consultant and resulted i n a recommendation to create a regio nal trans p ortation service b ro kerag e agency. This agency will serve a s a regiona l organization and will com b ine th e exist ing ri d e s ha ring services i n the Tampa Bay area. The o rgani zat ion will promote t h e vari o u s tra ns po rtation alternatives availab l e to the sing le-o ccupant vehicle. The Departm e nt's Distric t S eve n regi o n (Hillsborou gh, Pine llas Pasco, and Hernando Counties) was se l e c ted for this demo n stratio n p r oject a s a res u lt of recommendation by d i s tric t and loc al rides haring agencies involved. A project advisory group was established by FDOT c o nsisting of re p r esenta tives from th e following: FDOT, District VII Hillsborou gh MPO Pinellas MPO Pasco MPO Hernando County CUTR The purpos e of this gro u p w as to meet on a periodic basis to revi ew and guide the progress o f t h e r esearch co n d u cte d by CUTR. The first meeting was held Oct obe r 7, 1 983 t o introd u ce all parti es invo l ved and to i nformall y dis cu s s t h e existing ridesh ari ng p r og rams a s well as the p r oposed TCAP. The second meeting was held on N o vem ber 9, 1988 with t h e purpose being to review the existing ridesha r i ng prog ram s i n grea t e r detail and tO discuss the various inst it mion al p o ssi b ilities for impleme ntati o n o f the TCAP p r oject. A com p lete revi e w o f the existi n g ridesharing programs is included in Append i x A of this docu ment. A number of implic ati ons can be d r awn from a considerati o n of t his revi ew The most prominent is t h at, e ve n though the county rides haring programs h ave n ot b een a high priority, they still have achieved some deg re e of suc cess. T his indi c a tes that a dedicated staff, wh ose chief respons ib ility is the im p le m entation of a comm u te r ass i s tan ce program, m ay enjoy cons i derable s ucces s. It is evident f rom the review t hat the most e ff e c tive m arketing approach is t h roug h direct contact wit h emp l oyer s The firs t p r io r ity sho u ld be the e s tablishme nt o f new employe r contacts as well as maintaining th ose contacts already established in the program. At the same tim e, a n i nn ovative mark eting cam pai gn shou l d b e unde rtaken t o enc ou r age indi v i d u al inte rest as well An emp l oyer base has a lr eady been developed i n Hillsborough and Pinellas Count i e s which will be v ery helpf ul when the reg i onal program i s ul timately establ ished. Altho u gh somewhat li mited t his employer bas e still prov i des a starting poi nt from which TCAP can expand 1


This review was followed by a discussion of th e vari o us institutional possibilit ies f or program implementation. The institutions considered are as follows: Each County "Does Its Own Thing" That is, Hillsborough and Pinellas would continue operating their existing ridesharing programs while Pasco and Hernando would establish their own commu ter assistance programs to serve their individua l counties. Each program would b e a completely separate entity maintaining an office and staff, p rep aring separate promotional m ateria ls, etc. "One County Does All" The regional program would be established s p ecifically within a n existing program but that program would now be responsible for provid ing services to all four counties. This would require interlocal agreements to assure necessary financial support from each of the count ie s. FDOT Commuter Assistance Office The Florida Department ofT ransponation would establish a regional commuter assistance program within the Distr i c t VII office. They would assume total control over t he prog ram and wou l d be re sponsible for serv in g each of the four participating counties. Tampa Bay RPC Commuter Assistance OfficeThe commuter assistance progra m would be establ i shed within the Tampa Bay Regiona l P l a nni ng Cou ncil and wo\ild assume all functio n s o f the program. CUTR Commuter Assistance OfficeCUTR would assume full res ponsibility for the establishment and operation of a regional commuter a ssistance p rogram. HART/PSTA Cofllllluter Services OfficeOne of the local transit agenc ie s or a combina t ion of the two would expand the ir services to include t hose offered by a regional commuter assistance program. Private Non-Profit Commuter A-;sistance OfficeA private non-prof it organization wou l d be established with the sole purpose being to organize and operate a regio nal commuter assistan ce program. Guide d by a board of directors consisting of rep rese ntatives from the public and private sectors, a dedicated staf f would implement all functions of the program. The advantages and disadvantages of each of the seven in s tit utio na l possibilities were discussed (a listing can be fou nd in Appendix B). There was general agreement th at the ultimate institution should be some form of independent regio n al office. The a dv anwge cited most frequently in favor of this ins t it utio n was that i t would then be establi s hed with a single purpose The consensus decision of the committee at that time was to establish a public/private n on-p rofit organization which would be carefully monitored by a board of directors. This board would be compose d of represe ntatives from both the pub lic and 2


private sectors. The committee decided that CUTR should prepare a description of this potential organization for discuss ion at the next meeting. CUTR an organizational structure and recommended budget for such a program. A third meeting was held January 5, 1989 with the intention of reviewing the preliminary o rganiz atio n prepared by CUTR. During the interim period, there was new represe nta tion on the advisory committee from Hillsborough Several reservations were indicated by this new repr esen ta t io n as to what in s titut ion shoul d ultimately be established. Plans were made to brief the various MPOs on the alternatives examined and to solicit their inpu t on these alternatives. Also at this mee ting, a represe ntati v e from HART indicated that his organization was a supporter of TCAP an d would be willing to assist the group in any way possible. Subsequently, Hillsborough County representatives evidenced a strong preference for an existing loca l agency to operate the prog ram The MPO briefings were postponed to allow respective staffs to further analy:z:e alternatives. CUTR met separately with Hillsbor o ugh County and Hart staff to discuss the various alternatives. The results of these meet ings i ndicated that additional ins t itution al possibilities should be considered further before making a fina l decision. Based on various opinions of the organizations involved, it was determined that th ree institutions should be analyzed more closely. Those selected for further review incl u de: Regional Program Housed Within HART /PST A Contract Services Out to a Private Company A Private Non-Profit Organization These institutions shall be carefully reviewed in this document. first, the advantages and disadvantages of each in stit u tion will b e outli ned and discussed. Second, a simple c riter i a analysis will be c o n d ucted to determine which institution is believed to have the g r eatest overall potential. 3


AN ANALYSIS OF PROPOSED INSTITUTIONS FOR TIIE TAMPA BAY REGIONAL COMMUTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM BACKGROUND Before analyzing the various institutions under con s ideration for the regional co mmu t e r ass i sta n ce program, it i s important that o ne has a clear und ersta ndin g of the characteris t ics of the service area. The follow in g i s a b r ief descr iption of the service a rea being considered for the regional program. General characteristics are listed below for t h e aggregated serv i ce area as well as for each of the individual counties participating in the p rogram (Hillsbo rou gh, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando). Service Area Characteristics (Totals for a ll four counties) Population: Estimated 1986, 1,910,023 Sq u are Miles: 2548 square miles Population De n sity: 750 persons per s q uare mile Employment: Estimated 1987, 9 1 0,696 Number of Political Jurisdictions: 4 cou nties 34 cities (Hillsborough-3, Pine llas-24, Pasco-5, Hernando-2) Number of Transi t Provide rs: 3 transit agencies Service Area Characteristics by County Est. 1986 Square Density County (persons per Po pu latio n Miles s q uare mi le) Hills bo r ough 775,269 1,053 736 Pi n ellas 816,015 280 2,914 Pasco 245, 093 738 3'? :>Hernando 73 646 477 154 Total 1,910,023 2,548 750 Source: Florida Stat i stical Abstract 1987 4 State Rank (Density) 6 I 13 22 .. ....


RESPONSffiiLITIES OF A COMMUTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM The various possible responsibilit ies of a comprehensive commuter assistance program a re listed below and shou l d be reviewed carefu ll y before making a decis ion as tO which institution is best suited to implement t hem. 1. Mat ching Services 2. Marketing and Promotion a Coding a. Prog ram I m age b Key Punching b Material Preparation c. Editin g c. Design d. Software Inst a lla t ion d. Research e. Data Entry and Execution e. Employer Contact f. Statistica l Updat e f. Employer Follow-Tbru g. Hardware P r ovis ion g. Employer Ince ntive Provis ion h. T e l ephone Matching Services i. Civic Awareness j. Pub lic Awareness 3 Van pool/Buspool Option 4. Transportation Planning Assistance a Service Start-Up a. F l exible Work Hours b Record Keep i ng/ Adm. c Rider /Driver Identific ati o n b Parking Management & Other TSM c Employee Incentives d. Vehicle Maintenance d. Traffic Engineering Improvements e. Legal/Insura n ce Services f Veh icle Reco rds Maintenance e. Pol icv Advocacv f Reve rse Comm u ting g Veh icle Provision g. Assistance to Pl anni n g Agencies h. Spare Van Prov i sio n i. Fare Management h. Energy I Air Quality Assistance to Employers i Rideshar i ng CoordinatOr Trai ning j Driver Traini ng k. Thir d Party Prov i ders 5. General Program Adm. 6. Monitoring/Evaluation a. Interna l Relations a. Data Collection b Externa l Relations b. Monitoring Report Preparation c Budget Preparatio n c. Evaluation d. Grant Preparation/ Adm e P l anning d. Innovation/Experimentation e. Performance Reporting f. Staff Performa n ce Monitoring g. Library Maintenanc e b. Contract Adminis t ra t ion 7. Public Transportation i A u diting j. Accounting/Bookkeeping a Transit Information b Tran sit ImprovementS Source: TRB Special Report 1 93 c Employe r Subsidized Pass Programs 5


COMPARISON OF JNSTITtmONS The analysis below considers three possible institutiona l frameworks for the proposed Tampa Bay Commuter Assistance Program. They are: (1) An independent p rogram housed within HART/PSTA; (2) Contract p r ogram to private company (may or may not be house d within HART/PSTA); (3) An independent private non-profit organization. A summary of each proposed institution is presented followed by a li st of advantages and disadvantages I. Regional Program Housed Within HART/PSTA Summary The TCAP regional office would be administratively housed within HART /PSTA, but wou l d have a separa te iden tity established A advisory board would be established consisting of representative s from the participating counties (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando) as well as representa tives from FOOT District VII, CUTR, and the private sectOr (various major employers to be determined). The purpose of the advisory board would be to oversee and guide the activ iti es of the organization. The board would also monitor the progress and performance of the commuter assistance program. The advisory board would select a n executive director whose sole responsibility will be to direct the TCAP program. Despite being housed at HART /PSTA, the executive director would be accoun tabl e to the advisory board and would rep ort to them periodically. It is suggested that, i n the early stages, the advisory board meet with the executive director on a monthly basis. However, as the program progresses, meeting frequency would l ikely be reduced tO a quarterly basis. The exec u tive di.rector would in t u rn be responsible for the h iring of a ll staff positions. It is anticipated that the program will achieve greater s u ccess if the executive director is permitted to select hisjher own staff. lnterlocal agreements wou l d be established among the four cou nt ies a n d t he FDOT in order t o ensure that all participants are aware of and support t he organizational framework of the program. In part i cular these agreements would outline how the counties intended to fund the program. Each of the four count i es would participate in the fundin g process and the int erlocal agreeme nt s would establish to what exten t each county should support the prog ram with funding and/ o r in kind services. 6


All funding would be funneled through the administration process at HART. This includes funding from each of the participat ing c o u nt ie s as well as any funding from FOOT District V1I, othe r public entities, and even the private sec tor. Probab l y the most important characteristic of this inst itution is that i t maintain its independence. This would ensure that t h e sol e priority would b e tra n sportation commuter assistance and that the program would receive the priority it needs i n order to maximize the likelihood for success. Despite being hous ed within HART /PST A, it should not be trea ted as a HART /PSTA program but as an i ndepende nt entity l ocated within the HARTJPSTA administrative s tructure Advantages Authority to perform operating functions already exists HART /PSTA are already established as operating agencies which means that no new organization would need to be established. In t he past, r idesha re programs hav e been housed within the Metropo li tan Planning Organizations whose specific tasks re la te to planning. Being housed within a planning environment has apparently bee n a m ajo r deterrent to the operationa l success of ridesharing programs. Economies of scale It is appa rent that many economies of scale would exist as a result of having many activities that could be carried on in c onjunction with the on-going admi nistra tion of the trans it system. If a new o r ganization were esta bl ished it would likely con t ribute to the d up lica t ion o f efforts in administration, market ing, and the provision of services. For this reaso n al o n e, imp leme ntation cost s co ul d be less tha n with an independent agency. Marketing orientation already exists -The most importan t tas k in initiating the regional program is establishing an effective and innov ative marketing strategy. The advantage of being housed \vithin HART/PSTA is that a m a r keting orientation already exists. Therefor e many marketing activities co u ld perhaps be carried on in conjunction 'vit h t he existing marketing efforts of HART /PST A. Still independent Despite be ing housed in t he transit agency, i t is anticipated that the o

Disadvantages Possible bias in fa,..or of traditiona l transit solutions -There are very few success stories where commuter assistance programs have been estab lished within an acrual transit agency Mosf believe that this is a result of a sense of competitiveness between advocates of trans i t and advocates of commuter assistance to be offered by the proposed regiona l program. This is not to say that this institution would not be successful but it does in d icate that it would not be an easy task. If all players involved have the positive attit ude necessary to ach i eve success, then the program can work. Perceived difficulty in serving all four counties -It is anticipated that it would be q u ite difficult to serve all four counties fairly when the program is housed specifically in a Hillsborough Counry agency. This is a question that will need to be addressed in the interlocal agreements that are to be established among the four participating c ounties and FDOT. Difficult to obtain private sector participation Bei ng housed within a t ransi t agency the progra m will be perceived as bein g another addition to loca l government. For t hat reason alone, priv ate sector i nvolveme nt will be difficu lt to obta in. Requires interlocal agreements Problems may arise in attempting to establ ish interlocal agree ments suitab le to all parties involved Pot ential for reduced emphasis if envi. ronmcnt changes -In particu l ar, if the env i ronment c h anges such that reduced funding and staffing is required, it is anticipat e d that TCAP would be the first area withi n HART /PSTA to suffer as a result of t he r ed u ced emphasis EXAMPLE Tidewater Regional Transit P.O Box 2096 Norfolk, Virginia 23501 (804) 627-9291 Service Area Characteristics: Population: Estimated 1988, 800,000 Square Miles: 1 000 square miles Population Density: 800 persons per squ a re mile Number of Political Jurisdictions: 5 cities in Southeastern Virginia 8


The Tidewater Transportation District Commission (TTDC) is a regional transportation authority. Chartered by the state in 1973, TTDC is responsible for the planning, regula t ion, construction, acquisition, operation, and p rov ision of transportation services in all f ive cities. The District does not have taxing authority; it reli es on annual contributions from th e city, state, and Federal governments to subsidize its operating and capital costs. One of the major service development goals of Tidewater Transi t is to enhance commuter mobility by offering a variety of innova tive transportation al ternat ives. These alternatives include: bus service, troll ey and seasonal services, commuter ridesharing, handicapped services, d emand responsive service -s, community based services, ferry service, and other special services. As a multi -service provider of both traditional and innovative transportation services, Tidewater is an excellent example of t he i nst itution being considered within HART/PSTA. ll. Contract Se!Jiices Out to a Sector Summary All participating counties, FDOT District VII, and CUTR would jointly select a private company to provide all services of a regional commuter assistance program. Under contract, the company could operate an i ndepende nt office or could operate within an existing public o rg anizat i on suc h as HART/PSTA. Ano ther implementing pos sibility is that FDOT coul d contract directly wit h a private company as was done with Gold Coast Commuter Services loca ted in Brow a rd County. Regardless of the operating lo cation, the p ro gram would be treated as an independent entity. However, the private company must report to a board of directors on a monthly or quarterly basis. The board of dire ctors would be composed of represe ntatives from each of t he four counties as well as representatives from FOOT District VII and CUTR. The purpose of the board would be to guide the activities and monitor the performance of the contracted company. Interlocal agreementS would be established among the participating counties to determine the extent to which each county should be required to finance the operations of the p rogr am. If housed w i thin an ex ist ing agency all fun ding would be funneled through the administrative process of that agency. This includes funding from all poss i ble sources (counties, FOOT District Vll, other public entities, priva te secto r). 9


Advantages Priva t e company should have u n biased and regional perspectiveIt is a nt icip ated that t h e con t rac tin g c o mpany would serve each of t h e four cou nt ies in an equa l and sat i sfactory manner. Each county would moni to r the p erforma n ce of t h e organization by having re p re s entati o n on t h e b oard of directors. All functions would be administered b y the private compan y Th e contrac t ing company would handle m atc hing services marketing and promotion, third party vanpools, transportation systems management and general program administration. Incen tive to su cceed -As in the private sector, the company m ust produce results if they intend to con t inue under cont ract. This implicitly a ssumes t hat an effective perform a n ce eva lu ation system will b e i mplemented along with t h e program i n order to accurately reflect t h e program's effective ness. This i nce ntive may not be as e vid e nt if the organization were run by o r "ithi n an exis ti ng public organiz a tion Marketi ng likely to be more elTecthe -A success f ul marke ting strategy i s the mos t im po r tant element in t he development of a s u ccessful commu ter assi stance program. In particular, if a fir m were hire d that specializes in o r is s t ro n gly associated with marketing t hey would li kely hav e experience in wor king \vit hin a compe t itive marketin g env ironmen t. A commute r assis tan c e prog ram whi c h requires an extremely innovative a nd sophistica ted m arketing s trat egy, coul d perhaps ac hieve this t hro ug h a contracted private comp any. A single purpose organi zat ion This means t hat t h e so l e purpose o f the con t r acted company woul d be to further the object ive s o utlined by the missio n statement of TCAP. This ha s n ot been t h e case in t he past and for that reason attempts at various ride s h a rin g prog ram s ha ve achieved l imited success. Private firm more flexib le A private fir m woul d be more flexib l e and more re s p onsive t o the constantly changi n g market de m ands and needs. This organization wou l d be much more capa ble o f reorganizing its int e rna l s truct u re to adapt to changes in the l oca l economy. Disadvantages Anticipated cost is high -It is ant icip a t ed t hat the cost of hiring a private company u nder co nt ract would be relatively expensive. If chosen, it is expected that, i n return f o r the r e l at ive l y high cost, t he program wou.ld b e s taffed \vith qua lity people an d cha n ces for success would be r el ativ ely high as well. N o economies of s cale No eco n omies of scale would exist if t be privat e company e stab lis he d an indep e nden t office. Howeve r this disadva ntag e coul d be lessene d 10


somewhat if the contracted company were physically housed within an existing agency. Difficult to obtain private sector funding and participation It is anticipated that the private sector would be unwilling to provide financ ial support to another private company (operating for prof it) no matter what type of product or service is being offered. Need for interlocal agreements -lnted oca l agre ements would have to b e developed to specify the funding responsibilities of each of the participating counties. EXAMPLE Gold Coast Commuter Services 6261 Northwest 6t h Way, Suite 100 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309 (305) 525-7433 Service Area Characteristics: Population: Estimated 198 6, 3,677,414 Square Miles: 5,159 square miles Populat io n Density: 713 persons per square mile Number of Political Jurisdictions: 3 counties Gold Coast Com m uter Services was estab lished by FDOT in June of 1983 with the purpose being to assist in tbe provision of various t ransp ortation alternatives in the South Florida Area. Gold Coast, w hi ch is staffed under contract by ATE Management & Service Company, Inc. and MET A, Inc., was established to provide a public information and marketing program that will furnish updated information on 1 -95 construction activities and p romot e carpooling, vanpooling, public transpo rtation, and alternate roadway s as part of the Expansion Project. Because the p rogram has been i n existence for le ss than year, it is d i f ficult to measure its performance with any degree of certainty. However, the program is being represented and marketed w ell with its current staff. III. Non-Profit Organization Summary A private non -p rofi t corporation would be establis hed to admi nis te r the object iv es of TCAP as outlined in the mission statement. This corporation would be established independent of any existing agency and would be housed in a newly established independen t office. 11


An advisory group would be established to be composed of representatives from each of the four counties as we ll as representatives from FOOT District VII and CUTR. The purpose of this group would be to direct the establishment of the new organization. They would be responsible for hiring the executive director of the program as well as selecting t hose individuals who should serve on the board of directors. This advisory group shall be dissolved as soon as the new organization begins operating. A board of directors wou l d be established with their purpose being to direct and monitor the organization. The board of directors would consist of members from both the public and private sectors. It is anticipated that membe rs would include representatives chiefly from the private sector (Transportation Management Associations (TMA's], major employers, etc.). However, it may be de termi ned that representation should also exist from t h e MPO's the transit agencies, FDOT District VII, a n d CUTR. Those representatives from the public se ctor would perhaps serve as ex-officio board members; their purpose would prima ril y be that of an advisory capacity. This organization is suggested with the intention that TCAP wou l d eventually become a comp l etely stand alone organization. The executive director would be responsible for h ir ing all supporting staff, for the on-going operations o f the organization, and for reporting periodically to the board of directo r s re garding the performance of the program. The pri vate non-profit corporation would involve both the publ ic and private sectors in actively seeking innovat ive solutions to transportation p rob lems in the area. Funding wou l d be provided by the public sect o r, the private sector, and some ad d i ti o n al funding throug h contracting out of services. Advantages Program flexibility in meeting and adapting to market needs By establishing a comple t ely ind ependent organization, the program wou l d be free to change with the market de mands and needs. This flexibi lit y is not so evident in the public working environmen t. This abi lity t o adapt cou l d p l ay an extremely i mpo rtant r ole i n the early operational success of the commuter assistance program. Strong integration of private sector The private sector (employers, individuals, etc.) wou l d be much m o re likely to get involved with a private non-profit corporation than a company operati n g for profit o r an organization with strong ties to an e)(isting public agency. For example, Commuter Computer, a private non-profit co mmu ter assistance program in California, enjoys widesp read private sector particip ation on its Board of Directors. These individ u als represent the private sector by participating in the direction and funding of the program. Funding may include financial assistance as well as any i n -ki nd services that may be offered It would also b e much easier for the organization to accept private sector donations. 12


Single purpose organization A newly-established organizat i on w it h a si ngl e purpose would have much greater opportunity for success. Why? All efforts would be directed toward one objective--i m proving commuter mobility. It has been shown in the past that, if these prog ram s are housed in multi purpose organizations, they have generally achieved limited success. This has been true because these types of p rograms have not typically been c o n s ide red a priority and, therefore, have not received the attention required to achieve success. Characterized by an unbiased and regional perspective That is, afte r the independent program is ultimately established, its single purpose would be to serv e the area ou tlined in its by-laws. This area includes Hillsborough, Pi ne llas, Pasco, and Hernando Counties. All counties should be adequately se rve d by an independent organization and it is not expected that any county would be provided a hi ghe r level of service than is indicated by thei r respective contributions to the p rogram. Strong marketing orientation -An independent single purpose organization can focus marke t ing and promotions on its specific services. In fact, ma rket ing would be one of the more time-consuming efforts of the s taff making it a n esse nt ial activity for the program to ach ieve success. Despite focusing marketing activities on the program's specific services, it will obviously be he lpful to market t r ansit i n th e process. By the same token the local transit agency should not hesi tate in promoting t he transportation alternatives offe r ed by TCAP. History lends itself to this institutional framework One of t h e most successful commuter assistance organiz ati ons i n the cou ntry was established u nder an institution very simi lar to the one discussed here Di sadvantages Creates another transportation organization in the area -The estab li shme nt of an additional organization with new t r ansportation programs may ca u se conflict with existing agencies. It is not certain whether the new organization and existing agencies would work together to a chieve their s i milar goals. Need to create a completely new organizationThe admi nistrat ive responsibili ties asso ciated with estab l ishing an new, i ndependent organization are much greater than is associated wit h the other inst ituti ons u nder conside r ation. In addit i on, legal assistance will need to be sought in order to estab lish the private non-profit corporation. Relies on private sector funding to some extent -Funding from the private sector would not be easy to obtain to begin with and, when obtained, it would not be a very reliable source for the future. 13


EXAMPLE Commuter Transportation Serv i ces (CTS or Commuter Computer) 3550 Wilshire Bou l evard, S uite 300 Los Angeles, California 90010 (213) 3807750 Service Area Characteristics: Service Area Population: 9,834,000 Sq uare Miles: 8,926 Populati on Den sity: Los Ange les -1,983, Riverside 356, San B ernar din o 546 Ve ntura 314 N u mber of Polit i ca l J uri sdictions: 4 counties Commuter Compute r is a private, n o n -profi t c orpo rati on e st a b li s he d in 1974 and funded primarily by the Federal Highway Administration C al tr ans, and the county t ransportati o n comntissions o f Los Ange l es, Riverside San B e rn ardino, Ventu r a a nd Orange Co unti es. I n addition, Commuter Compute r has sought a close rel ati o n ship with the private sector. CIS is a r egional examp l e of a public sec to r/priva te sec tor par t n e rship which cur rently mai ntains three offices and 120 employees. CIS h a s a Board o f Directors which serves to focuses upon the needs o f clients fu nders, and other players in t he business co mm u nity The 45 member Board r e presents gove r nment, bus iness, and various i nterest groups fro m all f i ve c o unti es o f S o u t hern California. The Boar d meets as a gro up twi ce a nnually. The Boa r d members v o lu n teer their t im e a nd s e rvic es to participa te on various c ommittees in clu ding the Pub li c P o licy, Audit, Nominating, Hum an Res ou rces and Marke t ing Review Committees. W it h a budget of $5,76 1 ,700 for fisca l year 1986 87, CIS met the majority of its pe r f o r mance s tandards as prescribed by t he fu nding co ntr act. Some these sta nd ards a ch iev ed inclu de d p l a cin g over 35 ,000 in d i vid u als i nto carpoo ling, vanpooli n g, m ass transit or other forms of shared t r ansporta t ion. Oth ers i nclude serving over 132 new cl ient worksites, updating 2,631 exist ing client worksites, producing 175,518 matchlis ts t o client companies and f orming 155 vanpools. 14


A CRITERIA ANALYSIS OF THE PROPOSED TCAP INSTITlJTIONS This section conducts a re lati vely simple criteria analysis of the proposed TCAP institutions. Based on the advantages and disadvantages listed previously for each institut ion comments are put forth concerning six bas i c criteria. Thes e crit eria are: (I) Ease of Imp lementation (2) Cost of Implementation (3) Effectiveness (4) Equity (Fairness) (5) P ri vate Sector Participation (6) Overall Assessment It is important that these criteria are clearly defined in order to bring about a clear understanding of the analysis. The first criterion u nder consideration is ease of implementation. This criterion re fers to the relative ease of a ctually forming the p articular ins t i t utio n under consideration. Components of this criterion include establishing in ter l oca l agreements, legal assistance, etc. all of which would contrib ute to additional administrative activities. Cos t of i mplementation is the second criterion under consideration and its meaning is self explanatory. That institu t ion with t h e leas t implementation cost would be cons i de red to best fulfill this criterion. E ffec t ivene ss refers to the relative degr ee of success of the institutional alternatives i n term s of meeting the objectives of TCAP. It is anticipated tha t t her e will be a tradeoff between effectiveness and cost of impl ementat ion which will require v alue j u dgeme nts as to what the op timu m combination would be. A fourth criterion is equity. T he term equity ref ers to fairness i n the distribution of welfare and/or services. In the context of this analysis, t his relates to which institut ional f ramework provi des a n equitable level of service to each parti cip a t ing county b ased on their contribution to the program. Although fairness is u ltima tely a value j udg e ment, it still remain s an important factor in any policy action. Private s ector participation is the fifth criter ion an d refers to the relative degree of suc cess in achieving involvement from the private sector, i.e. business, individuals, and other privat e o rga nizations. The sixth and fina l criterion is termed overall assessment. An overall assessment will be provided based on the an alysis of the five previous cri t eria. That institution receiving the highest overall assessment shall be recomme nded for imp lementat i on. 15


Each ins tit ution sha ll be given a rating for each criter i o n u nde r considera t io n These ratings, a lth ough somewhat s ubj e ctive, s h all serve as a g uide for the recomme n dations to be made by CUTR. Rating s for the ove rall a ssessme nt crite ri on a re excluded because it is r ecognize d th a t in d ividuals may place varying degrees of significance o n th e respecti v e c ri te ria inv olved in the ana l ysis CRITERIA ANALYSIS I. Regional Program Witbin HART/PSTA Ease of Implementation: A regiona l commuter assistance program within HART /PSTA would be relat i vely easy to establ i sh. Inter loca l ag ree me nts wou l d be requi red bu t the s e would probably b e require d regard less of the inst i tu tion ch o s e n for i mp le mentati on. Being ho u sed within a n exist ing organiza t ion would eliminate the need to es tabl ish a new, independent transpo rtati o n organization. Rating: A Cost of Implementation: It is believed that this inst it u t ion w o ul d be the least expensi v e of t hose institutions un der consideration The economies of sca le t hat wou ld be inhe r e m if e s tab lish ed within a n ex ist in g o r ganization shou l d cause op e rating costs to be les s as ma n y functions could be ca rried on in c onj unct i on with the on-going a d ministr ati on of the t rans i t system. Rating: A Effectiveness: There are s everal disad vantages listed earlie r tha t may the effe ctiveness o f the p rogram if hous ed within HART/PSTA. Ideally, a ll transport ation alterna tives should be t rea ted as possible solu t ions to t ranspo rt a t io n problems in the are a H o wever in the past, t h ere has been a perceived bi as in favor o f traditiona l tr ansit solut i o ns. An o ther pro b le m ar ise s fro m t h e political aspects associated with the transit system. The potentia l f o r red uce d emphasis i s evident if TCAP were to become poli t ically unpopular. I t i s not certain whether t hi s institut i on woul d permit TCAP to enjoy t h e independenc e necessary to be effecti v e Rating: C Equity: One of the disadvantages listed earlier inclu ded a perceived inabi lity for this partic ular instit u tion t o di st ribute it s services in a fair and equitab l e manner. Thi s pe r cep t io n is mostly d ue to the proposal that TCAP b e ho u s e d w ith in HART /PST A which is almo s t str i ctly a Hillsb oro u gh County agency. Although this cou l d perhaps be resolved with i nterlo cal a gr eements, the p erception may s t i ll remain. Rating: B Private Sector Participat i o n: It will likely be somewhat diffi cu lt t o ob tain private secto r p art icip a t io n within TCAP when it i s h o used within a n existing t ransit age ncy. Because i t may be perceived as being anot he r a ddition to the local bu rea ucracy, the priv ate sector would h esitate to get involved with TCAP, part i cularly in the form o f fund ing a n d/or in-1 6


kind serv ices If private sector part icipation is determi ned t o be one of t h e goals of TCA.P, then this disadvantage will need to be considered m o re closely. Rating: C Overall The majority of commuter ass istan ce programs housed within existing transit agencies have achieved lit!le success. Most believe this is due to a competit ive en viron ment between advocates of public transportation and a dvoc ates of oth e r commuter assistance activities. Despite this tendency, there hl!ve been some success s tories. In particular, Tidewa te r Regional Transit in Norfolk, Virginia is an exce lle nt example of a transit agency that has become a mult i-serv i ce provider of trans porta t i on alternatives They operate everything from co nventi o na l t ransit s ervices to comprehensive r i desha r ing services to hig h occupancy vehicle la nes (HOY) lanes. Why has this particular trans i t agency been s ucce ssfu l in combining these services? Does an ins titution wit hin HART/PSTA have the potential to achieve similar success? The atmosphere at Tidewater T ransit is characterized by a strang belief in all tr ansportation alternatives. They believe it is necessary to complement conventional tr a n sit with other alternat i ves such as r ides h aring, vanpooling, etc All of these are considered viable solut ions to t ra ns po rtation problems. The question remains as to whether HART /PSTA would p rovide a dedica ted implementing atmosphere for TCAP. It is argued that this potential institution provides a degree of indep endence for the program which would pre v ent any hind rances from s ur facing due to outs i de interference. Many questions rema in after consideration o f this inst i tu tion. IT. Contract Services Out to a Private Sector Company Ease of Implementation: This institUtion would likel y require a greater effo rt to implement d ue to the process of selecting an outside provider for this program. A private firm would be jointly hired by the participat ing counties and FOOT. It is not cenain whe t her this selection proces s woul d be a lengthy one or not. For that reason, a conservative estimate of effort involved in implementation would surely be greater than tha t est imated for the previous institution cons i dered (within HART). Rating: B Cost of Implementation: The cost of contrac t ing the se serv ice s to the private sector is perce ived as being the most expensiv e of the remaining alternatives u nder consideration The services to be offered by the proposed TCAP organizat ion are not services that ca n be provided with the expectation o f a prof i t (at least not at the present). For that reason, all costs p lu s the private firm' s reasonable profit would be bo rne by th e publ i c organizations involved. Rating: C Effectiveness: There are advantages regardi ng the anticipated effectiveness of the program if imp l emented by a private firm un der contract. Firs t the fa ct that commute r ass i s tan c e as ou tlin ed by the p ro ject advisory group would be the single purpose of the institut io n 17


indicates that it is more likely to be effective. In addition t he private firm wou l d have the incentive to achieve res ults if thei r inte n tion is t o continue under c ontra ct in the years to come. Rating: A Equity: A private company would likely have an unbiased and regional perspec tive, mor e so than the other instit u tiona l considerations. Because they are jointly hired by all pa r tic ipating counties, they would also report to each of t hese counties periodically which means they would have an incentive to provide services to e ach county based on their contribu tion to the program. Rating: A Private Sector Participation: It is a nticipa te d t ha t acquiring private sector participation in the form of funding and/or in-ki nd services wou ld be quite difficult. TI1is would be due to the unwi ll ingness of the private sector to suppo r t what they see as another private for profit company which h appe ns to b e providin g these commuter services. Rating: C Overall Asse.ssment: The anticipated effectiveness of this i nst it utio nal alternative is relatively high but so is the an t icipated cost of implementation. This institution is currently being u sed at Gold Coast Commuter Services in Southeast Florida. FDOT has contracted this c ommuter assista n ce program to a private company and, although in service less than a year, i t appears to be a chieving some success already. This private co m pany cou l d be housed 'vithin HART or the firm could provide its own of f ice space as part of t he con t ract. III. Private Non-Profit Organization Ease of Implementation: This institutional alternative would be the most difficult to estab li sh because a comp l etely new transportation organizat i on would need to be created. This would require extensive efforts by all parties involved as well as legal assistance to establish the non-profit corporation. Rating: C Cost of Implementation: The cost of imp leme nting this institution would likely be somewhere between the o ne housed within HART /PST A and the private contracted firm. It is a n ticipated that a private non-profit organization would h ave the greatest opportunity to solicit funding and in-kind services fro m the pri vate sec tor This would he lp i n defraying many o f the day-to-day operational expenses of the program. However, it would still be more expensive than establishing an organization within HART as new office s pace would need to be acquired and many administrative functions that could otherwise be carried on in conjunction with HART/PST A, would now be dupl i cated Ra ting: B 18


Effectiveness: It is anticipated that th e private non-profit institUtion would be effective because it would have a staff dedicated to a single purpose within an organization which has that same single purpose. In addition, the program could be estab lish ed at a lower cost than if t he organizatio n were contracted out to a private company. The flexibility t h at t bi s institution offers is also a contributing factor to its perceived effectivene -ss. Rating: A Equity: A private non-profit organization would also have an unbiased and regional perspective when providing services to each o f the participating counties. All counties would participate in the hiring of the executive director wbo in turn would be responsible for serving all four counties. The director would also be accountable for the program's performance in each o f the counties. This r egiona l perspective indicates a program that would be perceived as being fair. Rating: A Private Sector Participation: It is beli eve d that the oppo rtunity for inducing private sector participation is greatest with the priva t e non-profi t organization. Tbis is mostly due to its non-profit and independent status which is designed more to e n courage private sector participation. In particular, the board of directors would be composed o f various pub lic officials as well as significa nt represe ntat ion from the private secto r By giving the private sec tor representation in determining the direction and policies of the program, it encourages them to participate in other aspects o f the progra m as well (financial assi stance, in-kind services, donation of time to specia l c ommittees, etc.). Rating: A Overall Assessment: One of the most successful commu ter assistance orga ni zat i ons in the country is Commuter Transportation Services, Inc. (Commu ter Computer) in Los Angeles, California. Commuter Computer was esta blis hed in 1974 as a private non-profit o rganization The above criteria indicate that this in st itut ion could be quite successful in the Tampa Bay area as well. However, it should be recog nize d that the political structures a nd environment are extreme l y different in the Tampa area when compared with the Los Angeles area. Much of the pr ivate sector participation is a result of air quality standards and trip reduction ordinances enfo rced by var i ous governments and public agencies in the LA. area. Conclusion: As stated previously, the re is an obvious tradeoff be tween relative cost and relative effectiveness. This tradeoff mus t be considered closely when ultimat ely choosi n g the institutional alternative. A summary of the criteria ana lysis is presented in the table below: 19


Criter i a Within HART f Co n tract Out Non-Profit PSTA Ease of Implementat io n A B c Cost of Implementation A c B Effectiveness c A A Eq uity c A A Private Participation c c A It is also clear that st aff and organizational commitment are the most i mportant factors in for program success. This could be accomplis hed under any of the alterna t ives examined The simp l e c r i t eria a n alys i s suggests that t h e private non-profit o rganiz ation rates hig h e s t in effect i veness, equity, and priva t e participation Therefore CUTR recommends this institutional alternative for i m p leme ntation. It is b e l i eved t hat th i s in stitut i on has t he g r eatest opport u nity for achiev in g t h e o b ject i ves of t he TCAP program However, CUTR does recognize that any o f the proposed institutions can be success ful. The positive participation and cooperation of all public agenci e s and the private secto r i s essenti al to t he success of a n y commuter ass i stan c e prog r a m Therefore, t he pre f ere nce of eac h of the part i cipants shou l d also be t aken into conside r a tion whe n making t he fin al decision. 20


APPENDIX A REVIEW OF EXISTING RIDESHARING PROGRAMS IN THE TAMPA BAY AREA The purpose of this review i s to ident ify the current roles of ridesharing programs in the Tampa Bay area. The four co un t ies to b e in cluded in this discuss ion are Hill sborough, Pinellas, Hernando, and Pasco. These c o unties hav e been chosen to participate in the Tampa Bay Commuter A ssistance Demonstration P ro je ct. Af ter discu ssing t he exi s tin g program in each county, the review will conclude with a cons i d e ration o f i mplications that t hese p rogra m s may hav e o n the Commute r Ass istance Project. HD 1 SBOROUGH COUNTY The SAVE (Sh are A Ve hicle Everyday) Program in Hillsboro ugh Cou nty was o riginally c o n c eived t o achi eve a n u m b e r of objec t ives: (1) to reduce auto emissi on s ; (2) to mi nimize the disrup t io n that any future fuel s hort age might have o n res id ents; (3) to provide a ready alternative in the event of a transi t strike; ( 4) to provi de e conomic reliefto citi zens in need of a r e d uct ion i n expenses rel a ted to the ir jo u rney to work; (5) to conserve scarce petro leu m r e serves; ( 6) to ease traffic c o nges tion during rush h ou r s; (7) tO reduce the pa rk ing r equirements, especially in high employment areas; (8) to utilize microcomputer tec hnology in ride s haring data processing Coordinated by the Hillsborough Met r opo litan P lan ning Organization a pil o t program was initiated with City and County emp l oyees to det e rmine the s ignifican ce that ridesharing may have in helping to ach i eve t he state d objectives. Evaluation o f this program i ndi cated that its affects were s i gnificant e n ough to offer SAVE to th e g e neral p ub lic. A ta sk f orce was created to assist i n establishing guid elines for t he program. Membe rs wer e selected from t he private and poli tical s ect o rs. The committee me t a n u mber of times and made various recommen datio ns t hat were useful in the initi al program impleme nta t ion. This g r o up is no l o n ger a ctive with the SAVE program. The service was ma de availa b le in 1983 a n d i s st ill in exis t ence today The f o llowing p arag raphs summarize the current roles of SAVE in H ill sborough County at the present t ime. 21


Scope of Activitie.s The strength of the existing program can be seen when one co n siders it's ou treach to employers in the area. At t he pres ent t ime, SAVE has 165 transportation coordi na tors (TC) who repres ent various major employers and are trained to facilitate the formation of ridesharing arrangements by making fellow employees more aware of transportation alternatives. These alternatives include car and vanpools, bus services, bicycling, and walking. In most cases, there is more than one TC per employer. In fact, SAVE recomm ends one TC for every 35 to 50 employees in order to encou;age personal contact and i mpro v e the effectiveness of the program However, the op tima l number of TC's varies depending on the structure of each organization. The major role of SAVE is to generate interest in the program through various marketing techniques. The most effective technique has been the oral presentation to emp lo y ers because interest seems to be generated much more effect ively with personal contact. It is also effective because the presentat ion is made to employ ees at one work destin ation assuring compat ibility of one of the major rideshar ing variables. After an organization agrees to initiate a p rogram, SAVE provides training and ad visory assistance to the selected coordinators. Together, the TCs and SAVE staff work to provide each registrant with as many m atc hes as possible. Registrants are no t limit e d to t h ose working for employers that participate in the program. I ndivi d uals may also register and will receive those matches t ha t the computer will generate as well. Other marketing techniques i nclude radio advertising and public serv ice announcements, slide presentations to civic organizations, billboards, roadside signs an d sunshades These other techniques have had some limited success but this success is normally enjoyed for only a shon t ime. SAVE presents information not only on carpooling but also on vanpooling and bus services as well. The vanpool program presented tO employers is basically an explanation of the services offered by Van Pool Services, Inc. (VPSI), a privately-owned business firm which l ease s vans to those interested i n forming vanpools. SAVE also presents a special bus pass program which has been deve loped t hrough an info rma l agreement with HARTLINE. This program stipulates that if the employer provides 10 percent of the cost of a monthly pass, then HARTLINE will provide 10 percent as well Therefore, employees can purchase a monthly pass, which consists of forty rides, for approximately $!9.40 as opposed to the normal rate of $24.00. SAVE also publishes a monthly n ewslett e r which is distributed to all organizations p art icipa ting in the program. The monthly newsletter emphasizes o n e of six central themes: (1) congestion, (2) parking, (3) conservation, (4) economy, (5) pollution, (6) safety. Each newsle tter highlights the bene f its associated with the theme chosen for that month. All o f the above themes are featured in the newsletter twice a year. Mechanism and Purl:ing of Files The computer programs used to match potential poolers were written by the H i lls borough County Metropolitan Planning Organization. The match consists of two pans: the 22


geographic match and t he tim e match. 1/2 m i le x 1/2 mile grids are u sed in t he determination of the geographic match In a normal batch run, the number of grids considered for possible matches a t the residency varies depending on the length of the work trip under consideration. The following table explains this principle further: Leneth of Trip 0 10 miles 10 15 miles 1520 miles #of Grids 1 Grid + 1 Ring (3 x 3) 1 Grid + 3 Rings (7 x 7) 1 Grid + 5 Rings (11 x 11) The table indicates that as the length of the work trip increases, the number of grids considered for matching also increases. However, the mat c h for the work destinat i on considers one grid p lus one ring regardless of the le n g th of the work t rip. After the geographic matches have been de termin ed, a time match is perfo rm ed on each of t he geographic matches. A time m atc h is found when the starting and ending times of prospective poolers are within + /-15 minutes of each other. It is important to pu rge matching files freq uently in order to effective l y implement the ridesharing program and to accurately reflect r ideshare statis tics. SAVE pu r ges employer files comprehensively once a year. However, TC's are encouraged to gather updated informatio n on part i cipating employees throughout the year. The comprehensive purging of empl oyer files is carried o u t by sending a special memorandum to each organization and asking the m to collect updated infor ma tion on all participating employees. I ndividual r ideshar in g file s are purged approximately four times per yea r by sending le tters to all those on file. Telephone ca ll s a r e also made to those s u spec te d of n o longer participa tin g in the program. Althoug h the response of individuals is very poor, it is still helpful in eliminating many un neces sary files. Fundine and Staff The following table indicates the amount of funds allocated to ridesharing in Hillsborough County. The sou r ce of all rid esharing assistance is the state of Florida. However, all state fu nd s listed in the tab l e below must be matched locally. 23


State Rideshafing Assistance to Hillsborough Coun t y Year Programmed Received Additional Local Total Funds Matc h FY 1988 $ 80,000 $ 43,25 0 $ 4 3,250 $ 86,500 $ 173,000 FY 1989 113,000 43,000 -----43,000 86,000 The tab l e indi c ates that fr o m the State, the Share-A-Ride program r ece i ved $86,500 in fisc al year 1988 and $43,000 in fiscal year 1 989 Many times, funds distributed thro ug hout the State are not used for thei r ini t ial a llocation. SAVE was ab l e to obtain a portion of these unused funds during fiscal year 1988. This port ion a m o unted to $43,250 and is s h own i n the tab l e un der Addi t ional Fund s. The t ota l budget includi ng t h e l ocal mat ch amounted to $173 ,0 00 i n fiscal year 1 988 and $86,00 0 in fiscal year 1989. The fiscal year !989 budget may al so b e increased if SAVE can obtain additional s t ate funding. The loca l m atch i s predomina ntl y a soft matc h comp r ised of i n-ki nd services of SAVE staff and TC's Evaluation A major proble m e xists with the evaluat ion program in Hillsborough County. The matching prog rams h ave already bee n rewr itte n to better accommoda te the needs o f the ridesharing system. However, the eval u ation program has n ot yet been rewr itten a nd t h erefore is no t useful at t his time beca u s e it is not compatible with the matc hing programs. Despite this p rob l em some very approx imate evaluat i on estimates have bee n com piled and are listed below: 70 80 calls per month 20 applicat i ons per month currently 400 500 ac tive car pool ers in the system e stim ated cost/benefi t factor = 8 -12 : 1 The Flor ida Department of Transportat ion (FDOT) also requires a q u arterly evalu ation report t o be p r epare d This report basically summa riz es the a ccomplishments and prob le m s of the previous quarte r a nd also sets new objec tives fo r the coming quarter. The evalua t ion 2 4


for t he second quarter of 1988 indica te s that SAVE continue d exten s ive support of USAA by providing a match run for 1 50 new registrants. Revisi o n s were made o n more tha n 150 p revi o u s re gistrants as well S AVE als o provide d rideshare a ssis ta nce to two other m ajor employer s in add iti on to extensive a ssistan c e to USAA I n summary, 130 individual ca lls were handled and over 500 USAA e m p loy ees received m atch li s ts. Records in dicat e that there are now o ver 100 carpoolers and o ver 150 vanpoo lers at USAA a l one. The repo r t also in di cat es that many of the stated objec tives of th e p revious evaluation report were not reach ed b eca u s e of the limited staff ava il a b le 25


PINELLAS COUNTY The Pinellas County Share A Ride p rogram was firs t implemented in September of !984. It has been coordin a ted by the Pinellas County Metropolitan Pl a nning Organization sinc e its incept ion. This r ides haring program was esta b lished to achieve t h e following objectives: (1) reduce energy consumptio n ; (2) reduce traffic congestion; (3) reduce pollution; (4) reduce t he need for additional p arking spaces; (5) reduce tr ansportat io n costs for residents of P i nellas County. The following p a ragraph s identify the curr ent roles of the Share-A-Ride program in Pinellas County. Scope of Activities At the pre s ent t i me the Share-A Ride program has been fo cus ing largely on six major areas. Al l efforts have been d irecte d toward tasks within these areas. However, i n recent months, there has been little or n o staff to imp l ement t h ese tasks in d i c ating that the program has been unab l e 10 attai n the majori t y of its objec t i ves. In o the r words, a framework of activities has been developed but has not been f ully imple m ente d due to the lack of human resources. T h e s L x focu s are a s are desc ribed below: (1) The major efforts of the program are to be d i re cte d towards the i niti ation of a Pinellas Cou nty Government employe e r i d e sbaring progra m Pla n s were made to insert lette rs with sa l ary stubs expla ining a program where employees could obtain p r e f erential p arking places if three or m o re employees car p ooled to work. This p rogram is in the proc ess of being implemented at this time. (2) The Share-A-Ride p rog ram u s es t h e same computer m atc hin g program as in Hillsborough County. I t is believed that the program is very eff ec tive in gen e rating ma tc hlists for those name s entered. It is also capable of generating letters which i ndicate t h e cost savings of r i deshar ing as well as other advantages. (3) Current marketi n g techn i q u es include roadway sig ns, radio announceme nts, su n shades, and som e bill boards. Howeve r it is believed t hat the use of billboards is not a cost effective method of promotion. As in Hillsborough County, the most eff ective method of promoti n g the program is with face-t o face presentation s to employers and o the r civic orga niza tions in the county. (4) The greatest success has been achieved t hr ough the coo rdina t i on of activities with m ajor employers in the area. However, there h as not been a sufficie nt s taff to ma i ntain a consistent and on go ing relationship with t h ose i ntere sted in starting their own p r ogra m 26


(5) It has been determined that the Share-A-Ride program should work closely with PSTA concerning Park N'Ride lots in order to encourage commuters to leave their vehicles at home. (6) The Share-A -R ide staff is also expected to encourage the formation of vanpools when they are making presentations to var iou s organizations aro und t he county. Matching Mechanism and Purging of Files As stat e d previously, the program uses compute r software prov i ded to them by the Hillsborough SAVE program. It is believed that this sof tware is d esigned for easy data inputt ing and processing. It provides matches for those names e ntere d and also perf orms a variety of other tasks including the e stima tion of cost savings a n d program evaluation However the files cre a ted in thi s program have not been purged for some time which indicates that much of the in formatio n may not be accurate at the present time Funding and Staff T he following tab le indicates the amount and source of funds allocated to the r i desharing prog ra m i n Pinellas Cou nty The figures are take n from t he c ur rent Joint Panicipatio n Agreement.(June 9, 1988) Just a s in Hillsborough County, all assistance is from the state and must be matched locally. Sta te Ridesharing Assistance to Pinellas County Year State Local Total Allocation Match FY 1988 $ 40,000 $ 40,000 $ 80,000 FY 1989 46,500 46,500 93,000 The table indica tes that the total budget was $80 ,000 for fiscal year 1988 a nd $93,000 for f i scal year 1989. These funds were allocated with the expectation that one and one-half perso ns would be working with the program. How eve r there has been very little or no s taff working in ridesharing i n recent months. 27


Evaluation Some statistics which summarize the effectiveness of the Share-A-Ride program are listed b elow: 700 rideshare requestS on file 250 300 matc he s m a de since program began, 2-3 calls per week at present time (However, when act ive marketing campaigns have been implemented, the n u mber o f calls per week h ave been mu ch higher.) Based on the se statistics as well the other information in this review, it is appa r ent tha t the program has basically been at a stands t ill due to th e l ack of hu man resources available. It is for this reason that, a lth oug h ma n y pl ans have been made, very few have actually been imp l emented. However, t he re s ults of the limited e f forts i ndi cate tba t a program i mplemented on a large sca le cou l d possib l y be very successfu l i n Pinellas County. 28


HERNANDO COUNTY There is no existing ridesharing program in Hernando County. Those repre se nt ing Hernando County are very supportive of a Regional Commuter Assistance Program and have indicated that they are willing to assist in the implementation of such a program. The Hernando County representative to the advisory group indicated that support from Hernando County Commissioners l ooks promising particularly because three new commissioners have been elected all of whom were running on p l atforms strongly emphasizing transpo rtation issues. PASCO COUNTY There is currently no r idesharing program in Pasco County. However representa tives of Pasco have indicated that they are willing to assist tbe Commuter Assistance Program in any way they can as wel L A representative of the Pasco County Metropolitan Planning Organization, indicated that Pasco citizens and officia l s are not fully aware of formalized ridesharing services as an option Based on past experien c e, it may be somewhat diff i cul t to obtain support and funding from the County Commission. IMl'LICA TIONS A number of conclusions can be drawn after consideration of the review. T he mos t prominen t is that, even thoug h the county r i desharing programs have not been a high priority, they still have achieved some degree of success This indicates that a dedicated staff, whose chief responsibility is the implementation of a r i desharing program, may enjoy considerable success. It is evident from t he review that the most effective ma rket ing approach is through direct contact with emplo yers. The first priority should be the establishment o f n ew employer contacts as well as ma intai nin g those contacts already established i n the program. At the sam e time, a colorful and creative marketing campaign shou l d be undertaken to encourage individual interest as well. An employer base has al r eady been developed i n Hillsboroug h and Pine ll as Counties w hi c h will be very helpful if a regional program is established. Although thi s base is somewhat limited, it still provides a starting point from which the program can begin expansion To be successful, the program will require extensive time and effort regard l ess of the ins tit ution c hosen for implementation and even then, if the program is not maintained as a priority, it will h ave no chance of continuing with this success. 29


APPE N DIX B COMPARISON OF INSTITUTIONAL MODELS FOR TilE TAMPA BAY COMMUTER ASSISTANCE OFFICE ALTERNATJVE l : Each County "Does Its Own Thing" DESCRIPTION: Hillsborough and Pine ll as wou l d continue operating their exts tmg programs Pasco and Hernando would e stab lish commuter assista nce offices on their own. Each county would maintain i ts own telephone information line prepare separate promotional materials, and maintain its own o ffice and sta ff. ADVANTAGES: Each county mai nta ins to tal control o ve r it s own program Ease o f lega l imp l ementa tion. DISADVANTAGES No economies of sca l e Duplication o f fixed ex pens es. MPOs a r e not normally implementors. Difficulty serving multicounty trips. Private sector participation likely to b e l i mite d Conflicting local agency priorit i es. Lack o f marketing orient ation. DISTINGUISHING FEATURES: Subs t antial duplication of efforts Difficulty in serving multi-county clientele 30


ALTERNATIVE Z: "One County Does All" DESCRIP110N: A regional commuter assista n ce office would be established in one county, to provide service to a ll four co u nties. Inter l oca l agreements wou ld be signed to assure necessary financial support of the office by each of the counties. Although the functions would be admini stra t ively ho used within one county, the staff would be tasked with being responsive to the needs of alL ADVANTAGES: Economies of scale can be achieved. DISADVANTAGES: No t a prope r long term MPO role Ability for r e gional perspective is subject to doubt. Private sector pa rtic ipation li kely to be limi t ed. Need for inter a ge ncy agreements. Ma r ke tin g or i enta t io n like l y to be somewhat limited. Sub ject to confl i cting agency priorities. DISTINGUISIDNG FEATURES: Regional perspective subject to quest i on. 31


ALTERNATIVE 3: FOOT Commuter Assistance Office DESCRIPTION: Florida DOT would establish an operations office within the Distr i ct to serve as the regional commuter assistance office. FOOT wou l d assume total control for the operations of the program and woul d make operating decisions regarding the service based on its statutory responsibilities. ADVANTAGES: Ease of implementat io n Leg al basis already exist$. Economies of s cale realized. Regional perspective. DISADVANTAGES: Conflicting priorities a possibility. Integ rati on of private sector may be li mited DISTINGUISHlNG FEATURES: Centralized control. Ease of implementation. 32


ALTERNATIVE 4: Tampa Bay RPC Commuter Assistance Office DESCRIP110N: A r eg ional commuter assistance of fice would be established at the Tampa Bay Regional Planni n g Cou n cil. ADVANTAGES: Economies o f scale. Regio n al in outlook. DISADVANTAGES: Private sector sup p ort highly unlikely. Operations not in t he normal purv ie w of an RPC. Nee d for interlocal agreeme nts. TBRPC area la rger than District VII. Lack of TBRPC credibility in transportation DISTINGUISHING FEATURES: Difficulty in getting private sector support. L ack of TBRPC transportatio n capa bility. 33


ALTERNA11VE 5: ClJfR Commuter Assistance Office DESCRIPTION: A regional commuter assistance office would be establis he d and operated by CUTR. ADVANTAGES: Economies of scale. No app earan ce of bias to any one jurisdiction. Possible in st ruc tional value. DISADVANTAGES: Not part of CUTR's mainstream mission. Need for interloca l agreements. Difficulty i n implementing day to day operational activities DISTINGUISHING FEATURES: Day to day operational difficulties. Possibly a positive pub lic association with the University. 34


ALTERNATIVE 6: HART/PSTA Commuter Services Office DESCRIP110N: Either HART, PSTA. or a combination of bo th would operate a regional commuter assistance office. They would continue to promote traditional mass transit services, but would expand t heir interests to include vanpooling, carpooling, flextime TMAs, etc. ADVANTAGES: Authority to perform operating functions exists. Marketing orie nta t io n already exists Economies of scale. DISADVANTAGES: Possible bias toward traditiona l bus transit solutions. Perceived difficulty in serving all four counties. Integration of pr i vate sector probably difficult. Requires interloca l agreeme nt s. DISTINGUISHING FEATURES: Marketing orientation. Possible bus bias. 35


ALTERNATIVE 7: Private Non-Profit Commuter Ao;sistance Office DESCRIP110N: A new special purpose private non-profit organization wo u ld be e stab li shed. A board o f directors, comp rised of private and public representat ives would be appointed. A dedicated staff would be retained, to include management, database operation, marketing and promot ion, and p lanning support responsibilities. ADVANTAGES: Strong marketing orientation. Strong integration of private sector. Single purpose. Strong advocacy rol e Private stat us facilitates opera t ions imp l ementation. Economies of scale. Regional perspective. DISADVANTAGES: Need to create a totally new organization. Substantial legal assistance required DISTINGUISHING FEATURES: Most aggressive organiwt i onal form. Most difficult to establish. 36


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