Before the first year's Section 15 data were released hopes were high among academics, researchers, and policy makers. It was believed that this wealth of new, detailed, consistent, and accurate information would help answer conclusively questions about transit productivity and performance and about whether subsidies contribute to better performance or are simply wasted in inefficiencies and wage increases. In addition, the data base was eagerly awaited as a tool that would assist in making "peer" comparisons among transit systems, determine the reasons for performance variations, and possibly help in shaping future federal and state subsidy allocation formulas. After 4 consecutive years of data collection, however, Section 15 proved to be far from what was originally envisioned. Although the quality of data has been improving, for all practical purposes, a uniform reporting system that includes all transit properties receiving federal assistance does not yet exist because of numerous problems that may be classified broadly into four categories: (a) access and structural problems, (b) erroneous and missing data, (c) inconsistencies and definitional ambiguities, and (d) exclusion of important data elements. The problems that were encountered in these areas when using the first 4 years' Section 15 data are presented. Suggestions are also made about how users may solve some of these problems and how future editions of Section 15 data may be improved.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 20-27
  • Monograph Title: Improving utilization of transit resources
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00453104
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309039029
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2004 9:59PM