GDOT On-Call General Transit Consulting Services

CLIENT: Georgia Department of Transportation

Purpose of Project

The Georgia Department of Transportation’s Intermodal Division has an On-Call Transit Planning contract to provide planning support services.

Our Role on the Project

As part of a team, Modern Mobility Partners (MMP) led an Intercity Bus Whitepaper outlining how other states utilize the 5311(f) set-aside for intercity bus service and best practices for reducing the set-aside where the full amount is not needed for adequate service. Further, the whitepaper provided guidance on how to evaluate intercity bus projects to prioritize the 5311(f) funding.

 

As the next phase, MMP is now supporting the evaluation of intercity bus projects to allocate 5311(f) funding as part of the Intercity Bus Analysis Study.  MMP is leading the evaluation of existing conditions and service routes across the state.  Specifically, we are examining existing transit services across the state to create a profile of potential connecting services and an intercity bus services operational context. We are evaluating available data on operating characteristics, schedules and routing, operational performance, ridership, fares and fare policies, fleets, transfer policies and locations, and existing park-and-ride locations. MMP is also leading the evaluation of cost, benefits, and impacts.  Specifically, we are evaluating operational and management considerations, estimating the capital needs for each alternative, along with associated operating and capital costs. Projected revenues including those from passenger fares will also be estimated. MMP will also identify any areas where there could be impacts to populations protected by Title VI and/or the Executive Order on Environmental Justice.

 

Currently, MMP is assisting with the development of an updated five-year Rural and Human Services Transportation (RHST) Plan. The Plan will provide a framework for coordination among Georgia’s agencies interested in delivering mobility services.  MMP is supporting stakeholder coordination and public outreach, statewide evaluation of services and a needs assessment, alternatives analysis, and documentation of the final report.

 

In addition, MMP will be leading or assisting with the implementation of several of the recommendations from the 2050 Statewide Transit Plan completed in 2020.  These will likely include the development of a transit technologies guidance document for transit operators across the state, as well as guidance for areas transitioning from rural to urban areas and the resulting funding implications.

Problem Solvers

One challenge with this project was finding publicly available information from peer states the offered insight into the decision-making process behind those states’ decision either to utilize the required 15 percent 5311(f) set-aside for intercity bus service or provide a certification letter indicating that the state was meeting its intercity bus needs and, therefore, did not need to set aside the 15 percent. To address this challenge, MMP combed DOT websites and academic research on transit funding to find all relevant information. This was an intensive research effort that resulted in a white paper that was highly informative and useful to GDOT.

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What Our Clients Say About Us

“The Intercity Bus Whitepaper is a well-researched document that will inform decision making in the GDOT Transit Program. It offers a range of national best practices for managing FTA Section 5311(f) programs, including implementable approaches for the short and long range.” 

- Kaycee Mertz, AICP, Transit Program Manager, Georgia Department of Transportation