Over the past two decades, regional public transportation organizations have been created throughout the United States to coordinate and improve transportation services. Many of these organizations have done much to improve declining transit service quality, modernize capital plants, expand local and regional fixed route transit services, and introduce specialized services for commuters and the transportation disadvantaged. Our research indicates that there are essentially two types of regional public transportation organizations: those that operate public transportation services and those that do not. The former were generally established in the 1970s during a period of consolidation and expansion of public transportation funding and service. In many areas fixed rail services were being initiated or expanded, fixed route bus services were being extended in particular to suburban communities, and paratransit services were being introduced to serve the specialized travel needs of mobility-restricted persons. Regional public transportation organizations that do not operate transit services are, by and large, more likely to have been established in the 1980s. Such organizations administer, guide, fund, and oversee diverse transportation services operated by other public or private organizations. They were formed to serve the following purposes: tailor services to jurisdictional needs and priorities; increase authority and decision making by suburban communities; increase competition through contracting for services; reduce operating costs for transit by providing different levels of services in different areas; and redistribute public support for public transportation within regions. Our research does not suggest that any particular type of organization performs better or worse than another. Factors other than organizational structure (such as management ability, organizational staility, community--public and private--support, and solvency) are more likely to determine the effectiveness of a regional public transportation organization.

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 1-9
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00488743
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0-309-04763-3
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1989 12:00AM