In the Winter, 2000, the StarTran Task Force was initiated to evaluate the responsiveness of StarTran services, and the effectiveness and efficiency provided. The purpose of the review was to insure that:
- StarTran is providing service to locations where people wish to travel, and
- StarTran is providing the most possible service in the most efficient and effective manner.
The StarTran Task Force emphasized the importance of StarTran as an essential service to those patrons who are transit-dependent (i.e., low-income, persons with disabilities, persons with no vehicle or no driver's license, etc). Such transit dependent patrons comprise approximately 60% of the total StarTran ridership. StarTran accommodates the transportation needs of approximately 3000 persons, both transit-dependent and discretionary riders, each day.
During the 5 month review the Task Force examined various aspects of the StarTran system including its past performance, the evolution of routes in Lincoln, financial data, ridership patterns and rider surveys, and potential areas to add or discontinue service.
Task Force Proceedings
The following describe the proceedings of the StarTran Task Force by meeting date, with reference to the information reviewed:
Chapter 1- January 11th, 2000
The first meeting of the StarTran Task Force began with an introduction of Task Force members and an orientation of StarTran services. Determining goals and objectives was also addressed by the Task Force. Two agreed upon goals of the Task Force were:
- Is StarTran providing service to locations where people wish to travel?
- Is StarTran providing the most possible service in the most efficient and effective manner?
In order to familiarize the Task Force with the StarTran system an initial general overview of StarTran's services were presented. Discussion focused on StarTran's special event programs and marketing programs. Numerous questions were provided by Task Force members which afforded focus for StarTran staff to provide specific background information on StarTran services and operations at the next meeting.
Chapter 2- February 3, 2000
The second meeting focused on background information regarding all aspects of StarTran services and operations. StarTran staff described the following areas of operations:
- Ridership and Performance Analysis
- Financial Resources and Fares
- Routes and Route Extensions
- Bus Fleet Profile and Maintenance Operations
- Marketing Program
Chapter 3- March 2, 2000
At the third meeting of the StarTran Task Force meeting StarTran staff presented a series of "Mass Transit" issues for the Task Force to review and prioritize . The "Mass Transit" issues were collected from patron requests and recommendations. Examination of the issues was a means to address the two goals of the StarTran Task Force.
Several other issues were discussed such expanding bus routes, funding services, downtown parking problems and increasing ridership.
Chapter 4- March 16th, 2000
The fourth meeting of the StarTran Task Force addressed the efficiency of StarTran services. The Task Force explored different options for improving the level of efficiency. The purpose of looking at efficiency was to examine alternatives that would increase the level of efficiency by reallocating the cost of unproductive routes and decrease the cost per passenger trip.
As requested, StarTran staff presented the resulting service decreases if 2%, 4%, 6-8% and 10% increase in efficiency were realized. These efficiency measures result in decreasing the cost/passenger by eliminating those routes with high cost/passenger. The Task Force agreed to further explore the 4% and the 10% efficiency as well as the effects of implementing such efficiencies.
Chapter 5- April 20th, 2000
The fifth meeting addressed the recommendations from the March 16th meeting. StarTran staff presented the effects of resource distribution for the 4% and 10% Increase in Efficiency. Based on a 4% Increase in Efficiency, 6 routes would be eliminated and a 10% Increase in Efficiency would cause 11 routes to be eliminated. The pros and cons of the previously recommended options were presented as well. The options addressed were: Modified Grid, "Fill in the Gaps", and Grid System. The Task Force was also presented a number of "Options", such as increased Saturday services, Free/lower fares and Haymarket service that could also be considered. The Task Force agreed on the Modified Grid System, 4% Increase in Efficiency resource distribution, 5% budget increase and an extension of service into the Haymarket area.
Chapter 6- May 4th, 2000
The sixth meeting focused on background information regarding Special Transportation services. StarTran staff described the following areas of Special Transportation services:
- Handi-Van, Brokerage and Taxi Program
- Eligibility for special services
- Other Private and Semi-private Special Transportation Service Providers
- ADA Regulations/Requirements
- Special Transportation Service Issues
The Task Force agreed that while no special transportation service changes were recommended, the coordination of special transportation services should be maximized. The Task Force also reaffirmed their agreement to recommend the implementation of the Modified Grid System, a 4% increase in efficiency resource distribution, a 5% budget increase, and extension of transit services to the Haymarket. The Task Force also agreed that Chairperson, Ralph Johnson would submit a letter to the Mayor describing those recommendations of the Task Force (see May 25, 2000 letter to Mayor Wesely).
For more information please call Brian Praeuner at 441-7673.