(a) You must have a set of sample data collected recently from your service for the mode and type of service for which you would like to have a new template sampling plan.
(1) The sample data must be at the unit of sampling and measurement you have chosen for your sampling plan. For example, if your sampling plan is in one-way bus trips, the sample data should show the UPT and PMT and other identification information for each one-way bus trip in your sample.
(2) Follow the instructions in the template for details on data items and format required and how they should be entered into the template.
(b) You should use your NTD sample if it is available and you have not made major changes to your service since the data were collected.
(c) Otherwise, you may use data that have been collected for non-NTD purposes:
(1) One good source of non-NTD sample data for scheduled services is a comprehensive operational analysis (COA). Typically, all trips or a large portion of all trips on your schedule are checked by ride-checkers or by APCs during a concentrated period.
(2) Make sure that the non-NTD source of sample data has the required information for using this template. For example, between-stop distances often are not collected during COA ride checks, and the resulting ride check data would not be useful if you do not have predetermined between-stop distances for your entire service.
(d) The sample size of the sample data from any source must be 50 or more service units.
(e) If you do not have a set of sample data recently collected from your service for the mode and type of service, then you should use one of the other types of sampling plans, such as ready-to-use sampling plans.