Performance-Based Measures in Transit Fund Allocation

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - surveys, literature review - literature review


Economic efficiency, Financing, Fund allocations, Interviewing, Literature reviews, Performance, Productivity, Quality of service, State of the practice, Surveys, Transit operating agencies


This synthesis will be of interest to transit practitioners and transportation professionals, including technical and research staff, as well as those working with them, with regard to the use of performance measures for the allocation of financial assistance to local transit agencies. The synthesis explores current perspectives, practices, and experiences. It focuses primarily on the extent to which traditional measures of transit performance--internal measures of economic efficiency, service effectiveness, and productivity--are used in allocating funds to transit. The report summarizes the experiences of a variety of transit agencies. In addition, it sought to capture key perspectives of transit and transportation professionals on the relationship between system performance and funding decisions and to identify barriers to more extensive use of performance measures in the allocation of funds for public transportation. This report includes a literature review, supplemented by survey responses from 22 transit agencies and 9 metropolitan planning agencies, as well as interviews with 4 states to explore in greater detail current approaches to the use of performance measures in funding allocation, use of factors in the allocation of transit funds, barriers or issues involved in doing so, and changes that have been made in recent years in the use of transit performance measures and other factors in fund allocation.


Permission to link to report given by TRB