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Title:Classifying Rural and Small Urban Transit Agencies
Authors:David Ripplinger
Publication Date:Aug 2009
Report #:DP-212
TRID #:01863618
Keywords:classification, cluster analysis, performance measurement, rural areas, small cities, transit operating agencies
Type:Research Report – Department Publications



In this paper, rural and small urban transit agencies are classified into peer groups using hierarchical cluster analysis and data from the Rural National Transit Database (Rural NTD). The objective is to provide a basis for the comparison of individual agency to peer group performance as well as econometric analysis between and within peer groups. Rural and small urban transit agencies are first assigned to three groups by service provided: demand-response, fixed-route, and demand-response and fixed-route service. A fourth group is created to accommodate the large number of transit agencies providing demand-response service that did not report vehicle-hour data. The four groups are then clustered using vehicle-mile, vehicle-hour (where available), and fleet size variables. Operating statistics for each cluster by group are presented. The process for comparing individual agency performance to its respective cluster is described. The Rural NTD demonstrates its usefulness as a consistent, uniform national dataset. However, additional service area information would accommodate clustering based on exogenous as opposed to endogenous variables as is necessary with the current data set.

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