Overtime hours for drivers reduced and no staff increase necessary to handle over 10 percent increase in transit ridership over six years.
As determined by the Washoe County Transportation's Regional Transportation Commission's ITS Implementation Evaluation .
Made Public Date


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.

Fixed-route service saw a 10.8 percent increase in ridership between FY2002 and FY2008 and paratransit service saw a 5.1 percent increase. The number of "no-show" passengers for paratransit services decreased 45 percent between 2002 and 2008, likely because of better scheduling and real-time vehicle information that can be obtained by the passengers by calling customer service. Even though there have been increases in the number of riders on both services, staff sizes have not had to increase in order to provide services to the additional riders.

There was only a nine percent increase between 2002 and 2007 in the cost per passenger trip mile even though the paratransit system saw a 23 percent increase in operating costs per passengers. The RTC believes that this is likely due to more efficient scheduling by the software. Overtime hours of drivers have also been reduced since implementing scheduling software and AVL/MDT technologies on the buses. Now dispatchers can communicate more easily with drivers to get extra shifts assigned and they have to do less ad hoc route scheduling.

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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