Committee Chair Pat McLaughlin opened the meeting at 2:00 p.m. with introductions of committee members and friends.
2. Membership List and Minutes
Pat circulated a copy of the current membership list. Members were asked to confirm addresses and, if appropriate, E-mail addresses. Minutes of the Committee meeting of January 1997 were approved without objection.
Note: Anyone who wants to be included on the e-mail reflector should send or e-mail a message to Ed Beimborn (firstname.lastname@example.org). The e-mail address to the committee is email@example.com.
3. TCRP Report
TCRP: Diane Schwager gave a report on TCRP. This year's annual report has been issued. Much of the information of the program is now available via e-mail. There is some slowdown this year because of the delay in ISTEA reauthorization. She urged people to volunteer to serve on project panels. Last year most project topics came from several workshops rather than from submitted topics. She stressed that TCRP is still very interested in project statements. They should be submitted this spring. Committee members indicated they would like to hear back of the outcome of their submissions.
4. Midyear Transit Caucus
Tara Bartee and Steve Githens gave a report on the midyear conference in Orlando. About 35 people attended. The theme of the conference was customer orientation through workshops and field trips. A report on the conference is in progress. Tara emphasized the need for a long lead time, more than six months, to give possible participants more time to commit to the meeting for future midyear meetings. The Orlando Transit system was complemented on the fine job they did in helping with the meeting.
5. Transit Task Force for Highway Capacity Manual Update
Dave Miller is serving as the representative to the Transit subcommittee for the HCM. Drafts of two chapters dealing with transit have been reviewed. They are working on multiple measures of level of service. Work is going forward but there is still considerable work to be done. TCRP project A-15 is supplying most of the information. There is a need to broker some of the work within the existing TRB subcommittee structure as well as through the task force.
6. Traveler Response Handbook
Dick Pratt: TCRP project B-12 will update this handbook (last done in 1981). The research team includes a number of organizations and the project is well underway. The first phase includes background information has been completed. A list of topics to be covered in the second phase was distributed. He asked for help in getting more current information on express bus service, scheduling changes and routing changes and urged members to provide reports to the project team. Examples, tools and techniques for estimating ridership changes in response to systems changes are needed, especially before and after studies using actual experience.
7. TRB Section News
Peter Shaw: New things this year are the preprint CD-ROM and the TRB home page on the Internet. He complemented the committee on the Orlando meeting and on Newsline. The new General Chair of TRB is a transit person and Pat McLaughlin has been appointed chair of the sections TRB will be asking for a committee self-evaluation this coming year for committee A1E02.
8. Subcommittee Reports
a) Paper Reviews: Ed Beimborn: The committee received 23 papers for review this fall. Fourteen papers were recommended for presentation and one was forwarded to a different committee. Three of the papers were given in a poster session which seemed to work very well. Members and friends of the committee were thanked for their help with the reviews under a very tight schedule. The need for a double blind review was discussed and the committee felt that it would be difficult to do and has some disadvantages.
b) Newsline: Four issues were completed this year and there is material for several more issues. George Smerk was thanked for his work with preparing the newsletters.
9. Liaison Committee Current Interests
a) Small and Medium Size Communities, Linda Wishusen. Their next meeting will be in Spokane, Washington. Anyone interested should call her at 408/460-3213.
b) Public Involvement, Sally Cooper: The committee now has a Web site and has a newsletter. They have a very active schedule at this year's meeting. The committee is also developing training modules and a directory of public involvement people.
10. FTA Agenda and Strategy
Ed Thomas: FTA has been working closely with industry to develop a research plan for the different areas of FTA. The goal is to connect the different programs of FTA together and to give them more focus. Areas of emphasis include: transit-oriented development and better tools for analysis; paradigm shifts to mobility management and institutional arrangements for mobility management; tools to evaluate intermodal strategies; improving the image and quality of the bus mode, better coordination of services, and look at how systems from elsewhere can be adapted to the U. S. There is a need for more good demonstrations and field tests and better tools for data collection, evaluation, and analysis. There is a need for transit agencies to make big changes in how they look at their services and it is a major challenge to the industry. Transit has received increases in its budget. There has been more earmarking of research monies and that is a concern. The support for research has not been as strong as the support for capital programs. There is a fixation on technology and that gets increased attention, and it is difficult to get funding for more general issues. There is increasing cooperation with FHWA on projects of joint interest. They are looking at how to put together the various programs and resources together in a logical way. It is important that research doesn't have the same level of support as capital projects and technology seem to have.
11. Transportation in Developing Countries
Murthy Bondada: There will be a need for better transit planning in developing countries, especially because of problems associated with increased automobile usage. There are major capacity problems and safety concerns.
12. Strategic Plan
Rich Bickel: The committee report and a summary were distributed. The process that was used was discussed, including a member survey. The survey results were provided. Six committee members responded. Respondents indicated a need to develop a research agenda, coordinate information, and focus on balanced transportation sustainability, new technologies, mobility management, intergovernment relationships, and serving new markets.
The draft strategic plan was also presented. It includes a review of committee mission and goals, previous efforts, committee strengths and weaknesses, challenges,, constraints and opportunities.
Specific discussion occurred on the action plan. There was general agreement on the items in the action plan. Some further suggestions were: To get TCRP research results into the TRB process in the form of TCRP results sessions at the annual meeting. There should be an effort to put the report on the Internet.
Note: The strategic plan has been put on the Internet at http://www.edu/Dept/cuts/trb/s-plan.htm. There is now a temporary home page for the committee at http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/cuts/trb/index.htm.
13. Discussioon of Research Topics and Proposals for 1998-99
General interests should be on customer-oriented service design, mobility management.
a) Synthesis of state DOT efforts to support transit and transit planning.
b) Better tools for transit planning and analysis especially. Simplified tools for short response transit planning, a transit planning tool box.
c) Planning tools as related to new technology -- both for planning for the technology and getting information from it to use in planning procedures.
d) Transit retrofit/land use question. What is the role of transit in redevelopment of existing areas?
14. Committee Actions
Following this discussion, the following actions items for the committee were developed:
Research Agenda and Calls for Papers:
Formulate areas of research for Committee and forward annually to TRB
Place classified ad for Call for Papers in Newsline
Include research areas/calls for papers on committee website
Potential Topics for Research Statements, Syntheses, Calls for Papers, Conference Session(s):
Summarize Canadian experience with evolution and reorganization of state (province-level) transit organizations and implications for the U.S. (potential conference session topic for 1999 Annual Meeting Brendon Hemily Potential joint effort with other committees (Transit Management and Performance, Strategic Management, Statewide Multimodal Planning or others)
Decentralized hubs and spokes successful application in upstate New York other examples of successful/unsuccessful demonstrations. (Dave Miller)
State DOT models for supporting public transit operations (Florida DOT demonstration, others) George Gray and Steve Githens
ITS - A solution in search of a problem (planning considerations for gizmos) Jim Bunch
Tool box of sketch planning/ quick-response transit planning and evaluation techniques Ed Beimborn and Jim Bunch
Analysis for land use actions that can be used to retrofit transit friendly land use patterns into existing areas
"Cost of Sprawl" revisited
Drafts by January 30
Send out to Reflector comments due back by 2/15:
Suggested venue (Call for Papers, Research Statement, Synthesis Topic or Conference Session)/other comments