Committee on Public Transportation Planning and Development (A1E02)

1998 to 2002 Strategic Plan

Revised Draft -- January 14, 1998

Mission Statement
Environmental Scan
Previous Committee Approach and Objectives
Performance Assessment
Gap Analysis
Action Plan

Background and Context:

The proposed Strategic Plan was prepared by the Committee on Public Transportation Planning and Development (A1E02) within the framework of the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) adopted Strategic Plan and the adopted Work Program of the Public Transportation Section.

In furtherance of the TRB’s Strategic Plan, all TRB committees are required to periodically assess their membership and to establish and refine their overall mission, objectives, strengths, challenges, opportunities and activities within the context of present and future (five years) operating environments. This self-assessment is intended to be participatory and comprehensive, leading to preparation and adoption of a Committee Strategic Plan for TRB evaluation. In addition, the Strategic Plan will facilitate the Committee’s pending Triennial Review.

In fulfillment of this charge, the Committee on Public Transportation Planning and Development established a subcommittee at the 1997 TRB Annual Meeting to prepare a draft Strategic Plan and to conduct a survey of its membership. Follow-up discussion on the December 1997 Draft Strategic Plan was held at the 1998 TRB Annual Meeting. The Committee’s changes have been incorporated in the current Draft, which is being circulated for final review and comments. Following adoption, the Committee will present the Strategic Plan to pertinent TRB staff and committees, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss the contents.

I. Mission Statement:

The Committee adopts the following Mission Statement to guide its overall work program within the structure of the Transportation Research Board:

To examine, discuss and disseminate public transportation ideas and issues from planning, development and implementation perspectives.

II. Goals:

 The Committee will strive to accomplish the following goals in fulfillment of the adopted Mission Statement:

 III. Environmental Scan (The Climate for the Committee’s Activities)

As background and context for development of the Committee’s Strategic Plan, the following summary of the current climate for Committee activities is provided.

 The current environment for public transportation planning and development activities is somewhat "schizophrenic":

IV. Previous Committee Approach and Objectives 

In 1993, the Committee proposed (but never formally adopted) the following Approach and Objectives to guide its activities. This statement serves as the departure point for the 1998 to 2002 Strategic Plan. 

1. Assemble a committee of diverse, interested individuals who are willing to continually seek out and use a network of other professionals and academics across the country (and in other countries) to keep us current on innovations in public transportation options and institutional arrangements. 

2. Develop an on-going set of research ideas and topics for investigation that will lend themselves to development into calls for papers, conference sessions, Newsline articles, TCRP problem statements, special conferences and publications. Specific objectives would include: 

3. Increase intergroup liaison by: 

4. Increase Committee communication throughout the year by using technology -- fax, conference calls, teleconferencing -- as well as encouraging Committee attendance at the annual, mid-year conference of the Planning Committees. 

V. Performance Assessment 

Through a survey of its membership in October 1997 (see Attachment I) and discussion at the Committee’s meetings at the 1997 and 1998 TRB Annual Meetings, the following Strengths; Limitations; Challenges and Threats; and Opportunities were identified. 

a. Strengths 

b. Limitations 

c. Challenges and Threats  

d. Opportunities 

VI. Gap Analysis 

From the analysis of the 1997 Member Survey and the Strengths, Limitations, Challenges and Threats and Opportunities outlined above, the following gaps in Committee activities by various Constituencies and Service provision were identified. The intent of the Gap Analysis is to identify those constituencies of the Committee’s work who could be better served or more fully involved than at present and strategies for accomplishing improved involvement. Also, the Gap Analysis can identify current Committee services that could be improved, expanded, reduced or eliminated, as well as potential new services. 

a. Constituencies 

In the responses to the Member Survey, the Committee’s "customers" were defined as public transit agency practitioners and policy makers, the academic community, TRB, TCRP and planning and development agencies. 

b. Services 

In the responses to the Member Survey, expectations of the Committee’s customers were defined as:  

(1) information on trends and new ideas;  

(2) policy support and objective research with practical, easily implementable recommendations; and  

(3) papers, publications and panels at conferences.  

c. Accomplishments 

In furtherance of the Objectives proposed in 1993, the Committee has accomplished the following: 

d. Items Not Addressed 

Only one item was not specifically addressed by the Committee. Also, as noted in the proposed Action Plan, some items that were accomplished on an informal basis are now proposed for more formal action. 

VII. Action Plan 

The Action Plan that follows will enable the Committee to continue its traditional roles within the structure of the TRB, while endeavoring to accomplish a broader mission in response to the findings and opportunities revealed by the strategic planning process. 

a. Core Strategies: 

b. Actions 

1. Maintain and expand the diversity of the Committee’s membership to include at least one representative of planning and development agencies. 

2. Continue to develop a research agenda of both "state of the art" and practical topics of importance to the current operation and future development of public transportation. More specifically: 

3. Increase intergroup liaison: 

4. Continue to expand Committee communication throughout the year by using technology -- fax, conference calls, teleconferencing, E-mail -- as well as encouraging Committee attendance at the mid-year conference of the Planning Committees. 

VIII. Evaluation and Monitoring 

The following actions will be taken to ensure the timeliness and usefulness of the adopted Strategic Plan: 


The Committee believes that development of a Strategic Plan has been very helpful as a means to evaluate what it has accomplished and to discuss where it should be going over the next five years. However, it is recognized that an ambitious or even modest action agenda can only be accomplished with the dedicated and voluntary support of the Committee’s membership and friends.  

Questions about the proposed Strategic Plan and additional information about the Committee should be directed to the Chair. A copy of the current Committee roster is also attached (see Attachment II).