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Users' Manual for Assessing Service-Delivery Systems for Rural Passenger Transportation
Users' Manual for Assessing Service-Delivery Systems for Rural Passenger Transportation
Report Number: R-006
Which rural transportation services are appropriate for particular types of rural communities? After many years of rural transit operations, this question remains unanswered. The need to make publicly sponsored rural passenger transportation services efficient and effective is even greater than before. Designing services that are closely tailored to the needs and resources of their specific communities can significantly increase efficiency and effectiveness. Service models and planning methods developed for urban transportation systems do not apply to rural areas. Differences between successful rural and small urban transportation systems and their counterparts in large urban areas are enormous, due in part to rural populations which still contain proportionally more persons who are aged, disabled, and low income than do urban populations. From the first days of publicly- funded rural transportation, successful rural transportation operations have applied hard work and common sense to four key areas: realistic financing, reasonable objectives, appropriate service, and broad-based service delivery and community support. Still, no detailed methodology has yet been produced to specify what services are appropriate for particular rural communities. This project rectifies that deficiency with a manual of recommended methods and a computer-based software package, incorporating demographic and transportation data, which allows local planners and operators to identify and analyze transportation operations in similar rural communities.

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