The recent debates over the federal transit budget have obscured the intent and nature of UMTA's major investment rating approach. The rating approach is the logical conclusion of a project development process that has evolved over the last 15 years, was enunciated in UMTA's May 1984 notice of major investment policy, and responds to the mandate of Section 303 of the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (STURAA). The development process is, therefore, well known and is only briefly discussed. The rating system, on the other hand, is covered in some detail. A number of case studies are presented to illustrate how the investment rating system developed by UMTA has worked. These case studies are divided into two groups: those projects that were highly rated as potential federal transit investments and those that did not fare well. There are features common to each type of project that tend to be the cause of their respective good or bad ratings, and these are highlighted in the paper's conclusion. One common feature of the highly rated projects is that they are generally a critical piece of a much larger system, meaning that a relatively modest investment can be leveraged to produce tremendous benefits. Another feature is that nowhere near the same level of benefits could be produced by a more modest investment. A final positive feature of the highly rated projects is that they are backed by a strong local financial commitment to transit, not only in terms of the proposed project's initial capital costs, but also in terms of long-term operations and maintenance for the transit system as a whole. The common features of the poorly rated projects are their inability to generate significant new transit ridership despite large incremental investments and the precarious financial condition of transit in the respective communities.

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 32-36
  • Monograph Title: Transit administration and planning research
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00491224
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309048052
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 28 1990 12:00AM