Automatic vehicle location (AVL) on Reno buses leads to nearly four percent increase in on-time performance for paratransit services and more comprehensive schedule adherence data to create more accurate schedules.
As determined by the Washoe County Transportation's Regional Transportation Commission's ITS Implementation Evaluation .
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United States

Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County Intelligent Transportation System Implementation Evaluation Study

Summary Information

Beginning in 2000, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County, Nevada, began planning for ITS implementation into their regional transit services. They set goals that aligned with the U.S. DOT's six goal areas for ITS projects and applied for funding for their project through the FTA. By 2007, RTC had completed the installation, testing and acceptance of the ITS components. This report is an evaluation of RTC transit ITS. It covers both planned and deployed components of their system, evaluating how well the system works to meet their initial goals and describing the functionality of the various components of the system. The report also includes lessons learned by RTC as they progressed through the procurement, deployment and operation processes in order to be a resource for other agencies contemplating similar ITS investments. RTC deployed automatic vehicle location (AVL), remote engine diagnostics (RED), computer-aided dispatch software (CAD), and automatic passenger counters (APC) in their vehicles. They also installed, but have not activated traffic signal priority (TSP) components.

The RTC looked at data points over a six year period, from FY2002 to FY2008 in order to evaluate how the ITS technologies may have affected ridership and uses of the systems by customers, staff and administration. A large pre-implementation window was used for analysis because RTC ACCESS (the paratransit service) began using scheduling software in 2005, ahead of the rest of the system and the same time scale was wanted for the analysis of both fixed-route and paratransit services. Each of the six U.S. DOT goal areas were assigned measures to evaluate RTC's progress in that goal area.

The on-time performance of RTC ACCESS increased from 91.5 percent to 95.3 percent since they began using scheduling software connected with automatic vehicle location (AVL) to create manifests, plan routes and track performance of drivers. RTC RIDE now has the capability of being able to track schedule adherence throughout the entire route and on every trip which was not previously possible using only manual evaluations which were typically at end-of-route termini and not during peak periods. Although RTC RIDE has seen decreased on-time performance after using AVL to evaluate schedule adherence, they are now able to use information from the AVL to determine problematic stretches on routes and adjust schedules to better reflect reality.

Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County Intelligent Transportation System Implementation Evaluation Study

Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County Intelligent Transportation System Implementation Evaluation Study
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Tina Wu, Matt Weatherford, Ancila Kaiparambil, Linna Zhang
Federal Transit Administration U.S. Department of Transportation

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Goal Areas
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