Richmond Parkway Transit Center Study

Client: Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit)

(c) 2009, Wikimedia user "Wishfulanthony" / Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license.
(c) 2009, Wikimedia user “Wishfulanthony” / Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Richmond Parkway Transit Center is a park-and-ride facility owned by Caltrans, maintained by AC Transit, and utilized by multiple transit operators as well as private carpoolers in the I-80 corridor.  AC Transit asked a team led by ARUP to re-evaluate the feasibility of earlier plans to expand the facility by building a 600-space garage on the site.

Transportation Analytics conducted the financial analysis that synthesized the conclusions and assumptions of the engineering and technical work earlier in the study.  Our flexible spreadsheet model provided the ability to test multiple scenarios and conduct sensitivity analyses.  The model showed the impact of AC Transit policies such as the requirement to include the re-capitalization costs and demonstrated the implications of different inflation assumptions.  Testing a wide variety of options provided reassurance to decision-makers about the merits of a down-sized approach.

Coordinated SRTP & Corridor Study

Client: Solano Transportation Authority (STA)

(c) 2013, Wikimedia user "WikiLeon" /  Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license.
(c) 2013, Wikimedia user “WikiLeon” / Used with permission under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license.

As an outgrowth of the Bay Area’s regional Transit Sustainability Project, Solano County transportation officials sponsored a project to coordinate planning for the five transit operators in the County by aligning their Short Range Transportation Plans into a single composite effort.  The study also focused on comprehensive planning for the Solano Express intercity bus services jointly funded by multiple jurisdictions in Solano County.

Transportation Analytics prepared the bulk of the financial sections for each operator’s SRTP, including 10-year operating budget forecasts, year-by-year capital programs, and detailed fleet plans.  While each transit operator maintained responsibility for their own performance metrics and service planning, a significant effort was made to harmonize forecast assumptions and key inputs across jurisdictions.  In particular, the integrated financial model developed for this project that accounted for the evolving details of Solano Express service plan, fleet replacement, and financial contributions.  The model also showed the combined capital program for all five operators and identified the total unfunded capital need by project type, which will help STA advocate for funding more effectively in the future.

TIGER Grant Benefit-Cost Analysis

Client: Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA)

(c) 2013, Transportation Analytics

The TJPA is replacing the former Transbay Terminal with a new $4 billion dollar Transbay Transit Center that will ultimately house ten local and inter-city transit operators and be the northern terminus of the California High Speed Rail.  As part of its efforts to accelerate the construction schedule, TJPA  applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation for a TIGER grant to fund the AC Transit Bus Storage Facility.

Transportation Analytics was responsible for the Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA) for the grant application in both 2012 (TIGER IV) and 2013 (TIGER V).  The BCA quantified and monetized national-scope benefits in three areas: increased economic competitiveness due to operating cost savings, improvements in safety due to reduced need to dead-head buses in the off-peak, and the value of environmental benefits (primarily emissions reductions) from reduced bus VMT.  Although the TJPA has not yet been successful in receiving a funding award from this highly competitive program, DOT staff have confirmed that the Benefit-Cost Analysis clearly communicated the value of the project and satisfied their rigorous evaluation requirements.

Bayview Hunters Point Mobility Study

Client: San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA)


Numerous community-based organizations (CBOs) serve the residents of Bayview Hunters Point in San Francisco and provide transportation to their youth & senior program clients.  This project brought together neighborhood stakeholders with multiple city organizations to collaboratively develop a business plan for a shared van shuttle service that would offer improved mobility and connections within the community while maximizing use of scarce resources.

Transportation Analytics provided all of the financial analysis for the business plan.  Early tasks focused on a benchmarking evaluation of the CBOs’ current transportation costs, both individually and in terms of the total resources being spent on transportation services.  Based on the proposed operating plan for the shared service, Transportation Analytics created a   financial model that demonstrated estimated costs for prospective participants under multiple scenarios.  The business plan is now being used as the basis for development of formal MOUs in preparation for detailed service planning activities.

Marin Transit Service Delivery Evaluation

Client: Transportation Authority of Marin (TAM)

Image courtesy of papaija2008 /

Under a task order funded by MTC, Transportation Analytics joined Transportation Management & Design, Inc. in assessing the risks and benefits of potential changes in the structure of local transit service delivery in Marin County.  Specifically, proposals were being considered to transition some service hours currently provided by Golden Gate Transit to Marin Transit’s contract operator, and concerns had been raised about organizational capacity and service quality impacts related to the change.

The TMD team assessed the impacts of the transition on customers, employees, operations, functional responsibilities, and physical assets.  Transportation Analytics’ role included evaluating the provision of customer service functions and researching available vehicle fleets to validate service capacity under different service scenarios.

Caltrain Funding Plan

Client: Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG)

Caltrain is one of many transit operators in the Bay Area that continues to experience budget strain because of the instability of State and local funding sources.  Its present sustainability challenge is particularly acute due to its reliance on voluntary pass-through contributions from three other local operators, who are themselves grappling with unprecedented deficits.  A permanent source of dedicated funding for Caltrain must be found if this valuable and otherwise successful transportation service is to continue.

SVLG is a policy advocacy organization that has long championed improved public transit in the Silicon Valley area to support economic growth and quality of life in the region.  They launched a ‘Save Caltrain’ campaign to address the multiple areas that impact Caltrain’s financial health, and they requested support from a number of industry experts, including Transportation Analytics and our lead on this project, Nancy Whelan Consulting.  Our team analyzed over 20 potential funding sources to determine which options are most suitable in terms of factors such as technical feasibility, economic efficiency, and revenue yield.

EBBP: Express Bus Business Plan

Client: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

Proposed Express Bus Network

This study was part of VTA’s Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA), a market-based effort to systematically review all transit services in the County, in this case highway-based commuter bus services.  Major employers in Silicon Valley have begun to offer high quality transportation options to help attract good employees, and VTA wanted to evaluate their own services with the goal of growing ridership and partnering with employers to offer a comprehensive transit network.  After the team completed the market analysis and strategic direction assessment, Transportation Analytics provided the financial analysis of operating costs and revenues that helped shape the proposed 2015 Operating Plan.  In particular, we developed an interactive planning tool that was used to identify a cost-neutral scenario, and we quantified the impact of multiple options for interim deployment of network improvements.  The first phase of route improvements launched in early 2012.

MAPS: Mobility, Access, & Pricing Study

Client: San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA)

Transportation Analytics was part of the PBS&J-led consultant team that conducted the preliminary feasibility evaluation of implementing congestion charging in the City of San Francisco.  The Study Team explored how different charging schemes might be able to mitigate traffic congestion, reduce air pollution, and develop a revenue stream to help improve local transit operations.  In December, 2010, the SFCTA Board accepted the initial study and recommended moving forward with the next stage of planning activities.  Transportation Analytics had a multi-faceted role on the project including:

  • financial analysis of potential pricing scenarios, including a revenue snapshot screening tool and a 30-year cash flow model
  • providing expertise in financing alternatives
  • modeling the financial impact and sensitivity of different pricing policies
  • supporting the analysis of transit system performance impacts
  • communicating the implications of various operating assumptions
  • preparing major portions of the final report

SR-4 Integrated Corridor Analysis

Client: Contra Costa County Transportation Authority (CCTA)

This project was a continuation of previous efforts to relieve traffic congestion on a regional highway that has become a major commuting corridor in the Bay Area.  Ms. Dorinson provided expertise in identifying and analyzing potential transit projects in the corridor to determine which improvements would be most effective in providing travel alternatives for local residents.  She also helped to facilitate close coordination with representatives of the sub-regional planning entities in Contra Costa County who have jurisdiction along the corridor.

TSP: Transit Sustainability Project

Client: Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

The Transit Sustainability Project was a major regional effort to conduct a systematic assessment of the 28 transit operators in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a particular focus on future cost-containment and strategies to make services more customer-oriented.  Multiple consulting teams were engaged to develop recommendations for financial, service, and institutional strategies, and to provide technical assistance to local agencies.  Transportation Analytics provided services on three separate consulting contracts.  First, Ms. Dorinson collaborated with Cambridge Systematics on the development and roll-out of their Transit Competitiveness Index tool.  This web-based application helps planners understand the demand factors that influence travel in local and regional origin-destination markets.  Ms. Dorinson provided all of the user training and support for the tool and developed the final report documenting its key capabilities.  With Parsons Brinckerhoff, Ms. Dorinson helped research institutional best practices at peer transit agencies.  In particular, she highlighted innovative mechanisms to foster collaboration between transit agencies in ways that leverage peer experience and help to reduce costs.  Finally, with Transportation Management & Design, Inc., Ms. Dorinson supported the Transportation Authority of Marin in assessing the potential risks and benefits of potential changes in the structure of transit service delivery in Marin County.  She evaluated the provision of customer service functions and helped research available vehicle fleets.

Light Rail Transit System Analysis

Client: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)

(c) 2010, WikiCommons user XAtsukex. Some rights reserved.

Santa Clara County is expected to experience considerable population and employment growth over the next 20 years, and travel patterns may be significantly altered with the much-anticipated arrival of BART.  This study was Phase 2 of VTA’s Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA), a market-based effort to systematically review all transit services in the County.  Transportation Analytics was a key part of the consulting team, facilitating the early technical workshops on conceptual alternatives and working with VTA staff to bring these alternatives through a three phase refinement process.  At each stage, the team worked together to analyze data on ridership, revenues, user benefits, required capital investments, and estimated operating costs.  Ms. Dorinson’s role on the project was to synthesize these results and help develop recommendations for near-term and long-term changes to the LRT network.  Once final scenarios were established, she conducted a cost-benefit analysis that measured the relative impact of each potential project scenario and prioritize capital projects for future implementation.  The initial recommendations for re-structuring the LRT network were approved by the VTA Board in May, 2010 and the Phase 1 service changes were implemented in October, 2010.

Flexible Carpooling Exploratory Study

Client: U.C. Davis Energy Efficiency Center

Flexible Carpooling is the use of an innovative set of technologies that supports the formation of ‘on-the-spot’ carpools, in an effort to better utilize existing road capacity.  Transportation Analytics contributed to a preliminary feasibility study that addresses the key implications of implementing such a system in the United States.  Using a case-study approach focused on five congested corridors in the San Francisco Bay Area, we developed a generalized cost model based on a data analysis of the key local drivers of transportation mode choice.  The model shows how existing and potential commuters would be impacted by alternative system deployment options, as well as major market forces and selected commuter characteristics.  The combined scenarios illustrate how different implementations of flexible carpooling result in varied impacts to the five case study corridors.

Sponsorship Program Feasibility Study

Client: Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District

Transportation Analytics worked closely with the firm Sponsorship Strategies to investigate the feasibility of creating an innovative philanthropic-style sponsorship program whereby individuals and corporations could contribute towards to the preservation and enhancement of the Bridge as a tourist attraction, as well as support educational and interpretive features for visitors.  Transportation Analytics developed a scenario model allowing for the comparison of different combinations of features, benefits, and public-private partnership structures.  The model was able to demonstrate the implications of different policy options for Board-level review and formally quantify the true revenue potential of this controversial proposal.