MCA is a team participant on the consortium of Cubic-John Laing for the design, integration, and implementation of a new Automated Fare Collection (AFC) system for the MBTA. AFC 2.0, the new system is the first public-private partnership for the MBTA. The MCA is tasked to provide accessibility guidance and oversight.
The MCA role, which will be similar to prior work with the Cubic team in the development of the proposal, is to interact with the disability community and ensure that all components of the new system are fully functional and in concert with the system goal:
Accessibility improvements: The entire system will be designed for a broad range of accessibility needs, by user experience specialists. And the website and mobile app will be compliant with digital accessibility guidelines.
MCA will continue prior working relationships with the community and also work in conjunction with the MBTA’s System Wide Accessibility Group. Phased implementation of the system is anticipated in late in 2019. Full implementation will occur by mid-2020 followed by a retirement of the existing system in 2021.
Marlene Connor Associates was selected by CityBus to review and evaluate the operational criteria and reporting processes used to submit data for potential funding under the Federal Transit Administration Small Transit Intensive Cities program that provides additional funding for agencies in areas with populations over 50,000 and less than 250,000 that exceed the national average for six operational criteria. Historically, CityBus had been successful in attaining funding under four of the criteria, the purpose of the study was to determine whether additional planning or policy decisions could influence the opportunity to meet the remaining two criteria.
The initial phase of the work was focused on fully understanding all attributes of the system, including the impact of the riders associated with Purdue University and the overall route structure and system framework within the service area. Since the STIC evaluation process is directly connected to National Transit Database reporting, MCA also interviewed CityBus staff responsible for sampling ridership and discussed potential options and modifications with respect to sampling alternatives and techniques.
The second phase of the study included developing a short survey to be discussed with a sample of peer agencies. Survey questions included comparative demographic data, understanding of system structure, influences of college and university populations and an overview of sampling processes used, including any addition of ancillary services.
The results of the first phases were then discussed with CityBus staff at a planning meeting, which included a number of issues as well as the STIC related evaluation. In general, the short distance of most system trips, made by persons proximate to the Purdue campus, limits the ability to compete with other locales that have a number of longer distance trips, especially those associated with colleges and universities. There does appear, however, to be some potential through minor system redesign to exceed the fifth criteria. But CityBus must ensure that modifications do not affect the existing criteria.
The final results were presented to the Board and discussed with senior staff. There was consensus that the STIC process was more than an external funding opportunity, but rather should be incorporated into the activities of the agency, including operational, funding, policy and planning.
Martn B. Sennett
PO Box 588
The greater New Bern portion of Craven County NC was designated as an urban area in the 2010 census, which required a restructuring of funding and operations for the three county CARTS transportation system, and provided the impetus for the TDP study, which was awarded to the team led by Marlene Connor Associates. Historically, Craven County had provided the leadership for a three-county rural transportation service, including Jones and Pamlico counties. That service, CARTS, had effectively used a variety of NCDOT and agency funds to offer both connections to needed services, such as medical and nutrition. As well as the only means of rural public transportation in the three-county area. In downtown New Bern, which was the core of activity in the region, a circulator service had developed over the years connecting a number of facilities in a broad area.
The TDP indicated that a number of issues had to be addressed as a result of the urban area designation, but also that this change afforded CARTS the opportunity to update and upgrade a number of internal and external processes and programs. Although CARTS as a sub-recipient of FTA funds was responsible for adhering to FTA standards, that adherence would be significantly affected by becoming a designated recipient and participating in all the programs evaluated by the Triennial Performance Audit. As a result, the MCA team developed a number of suggestions for becoming prepared for that FTA review.
In addition, we reviewed fare and finance activities from several perspectives, including what modifications were likely based on the change to FTA funding and the withdrawal of NCDOT funding in the urban area to the customers, to the partnering agencies and to Craven County. Recommendations specifically addressed the goal of the County to minimize impacts on existing riders during year one before considering additional activities in subsequent years.
The work included interacting with other studies by the City of New Bern and the MPO as well as the use of scheduling software to estimate the impact of fare and service options for those both inside and outside the urban area. The final report included a phased implementation plan to precede with increased interaction with the FTA and options to address the goal of minimizing disruption to existing riders.
Assistant County Manager‐Operaons
Craven County Government
406 Craven Street
New Bern, NC 28560
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