A Methodology for Performance Measurement and Peer Comparison in the Public Transportation Industry

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - subway/metro, organisation - performance, economics - appraisal/evaluation, planning - service improvement


Benchmarks, Bus transit, Light rail transit, Methodology, Performance measurement, Public transit, Railroad commuter service, Rapid transit


This report is an important resource that will be of interest to transit managers, decision-makers, and others interested in using performance measurement and benchmarking as tools to (1) identify the strengths and weaknesses of their organization, (2) set goals or performance targets, and (3) identify best practices to improve performance. The research developed and tested a methodology for performance measurement and peer comparison for (a) all fixed-route components of a public transit system, (b) the motorbus mode specifically, and (c) major rail modes specifically (i.e., light rail, heavy rail, and commuter rail). This report complements TCRP Report 88: "A Guidebook for Developing a Transit Performance-Measurement System," which describes how to implement and use performance measurement on an ongoing basis at a transit agency. This report describes the eight steps for conducting a benchmarking effort.