A Guidebook for Developing a Transit Performance-Measurement System

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

organisation - management


Case studies, Customer satisfaction, Data collection, Data management, Data sources, Guidelines, Measurement, Performance, Public transit, Transit operating agencies


This report is a guidebook for transit managers and others interested in developing or improving performance-measurement systems for transit agencies or incorporating transit performance measures into regional decision-making processes. The guidebook provides a step-by-step process for developing a performance-measurement program that includes both traditional and non-traditional performance indicators that address customer-oriented and community issues. The guidebook begins with a discussion of the need for performance-measurement programs, discusses the importance of customer satisfaction, describes the characteristics of an effective performance-measurement system, and shows how performance measures are used by service industries in the private sector. Twelve case-study examples of successful performance-measurement programs are provided. The guidebook also provides an eight-step process for implementing or updating a performance-measurement program. Each step includes a list of agency "things to do," describes how to complete those action items, and provides examples of different approaches used by transit agencies in accomplishing that step. The guidebook discusses categories of performance measures that agencies may wish to consider, different types of measures that can be used, data sources and data collection and management techniques that can be employed, and methods of reporting results. Detailed summaries are presented for over 400 performance measures. To help agencies quickly find measures appropriate to their goals, objectives, and resources, selection menus guide users through a series of questions that lead to specific measures or families of measures. Finally, the guidebook provides a core set of suggested performance measures and offers a hypothetical application of the guidebook. The guidebook contains an accompanying CD-ROM (CRP-CD-25) that includes an electronic version of the guidebook that is extensively hyperlinked, allowing users to jump immediately to related material and to navigate the performance measure selection menus.


Permission to link to this report given by TRB.