§ 65.01 – What method may I use to collect the sample data?

(a)    One common method involves one or more ride checkers observing and recording passenger activities while riding in a transit vehicle. 

(b)   An increasingly common method uses APCs to record passenger activities instead. 

(c)    You may use one of these or any other method to collect the data from each service unit of your random sample as long as your method meets these criteria:

(1)   it obtains data from direct measurement or direct observation without passenger intercept,

(2)   it provides data you must have to determine PMT for each service unit, and

(3)   it meets the requirements on measurement accuracy in the NTD Reporting Manual.

§ 65.03 – What approach may I use to determine PMT for each service unit of my sample?

(a)    You may use the load-based approach.  It determines PMT by multiplying the number of passengers onboard a transit vehicle between each pair of consecutive stops by the distance between these stops.

(b)   You may also use the distance-based approach.  It determines PMT by keeping track of the distance traveled by each passenger carried by a service unit of your random sample.

§ 65.05 – What data items must I collect to use the load-based approach for scheduled services?

(a)    You must collect the required data items separately for each one-way vehicle trip in your service unit. 

(1)   If your service unit is a round-trip bus trip, for example, it has two one-way vehicle trips. 

(2)   If a service unit is a one-way train trip with three passenger cars, for example, it has three one-way vehicle trips.

(b)   The following data items are required for each one-way vehicle trip:

(1)   the number of people who boarded at each stop,

(2)   the number of people who alighted at each stop,

(3)   the distance between any pair of consecutive stops at which boardings or alightings occurred,

(4)   the number of people onboard the vehicle between any pair of consecutive stops,

(5)   the number of people who stayed on from the previous one-way vehicle trip, and

(6)   the number of people who remained on the vehicle at the last stop.

§ 65.07 – What data must I collect to use the load-based approach for non-scheduled services?

(a)    For commuter vanpool, the following data items are required for each direction of commuting:

(1)   the number of people who boarded at each pick-up location,

(2)   the number of people who alighted at each drop-off location, and

(3)   the distance between any pair of consecutive stops at which pick-up or drop-off occurred.

(b)   For demand response (DR and DT), you must collect the required data items continuously during the entire vehicle day sampled:

(1)   the odometer reading at each pick-up location,

(2)   the number of people onboard between each pair of consecutive locations at which pick-up or drop-off occurred, and

(3)   the odometer reading at each drop-off location.

(c)    You should treat non-commuter vanpool as demand response for data collection. 

§ 65.09 – How should I determine between-stop distances for the load-based approach?

(a)    You should avoid using maps to estimate between-stop distances under all circumstances.

(b)   For services without designated stops, including demand response (DR and DT), jitney (JT), vanpool (VP), or fixed-route services without designated stops:

(1)   If available, you should always use the onboard odometer to determine the between-stop distances for each service unit in your random sample.  You should make sure that the vehicles for the sampled service unit have a working odometer onboard before they start for the sampled service unit.

(2)   If your vehicle does not have an onboard odometer, you should determine the distance by retracing the path and the stops by automobile.

(3)   You should record your odometer readings at least to one-tenth of a mile.

(c)    For ferryboat (FB), aerial tramway (TR) and all rail services, you may want to predetermine the between-station distances for all routes and directions.

(d)   For fixed-route services with designated stops, you should use one of two approaches:

(1)   predetermine the between-stop distances for all routes and directions, or

(2)   record the onboard odometer readings at individual stops.

(e)    You may use different methods to predetermine the between-stop distances:

(1)   use an up-to-date GIS of your network of routes and stops, or

(2)   record the odometer readings while you drive through all of your routes and related deviations and directions.

(f)    If you predetermine between-stop distances, you must keep them updated to reflect any changes in your services.

§ 65.11 – What additional data should I collect to identify each service unit of my sample?

 

(a)    You must record the date and the type of service days for all cases. 

(b)   For commuter rail (CR), heavy rail (HR), and light rail (LR), you must also record the weekday time period that you will be reporting to the NTD for weekdays.

(c)    If your sampling plan is based on the PPMT option, you must record route identification.

(d)   If your sampling plan is based on service grouping, you should also record information that is necessary to determine group membership of each service unit in the random sample.

§ 65.13 – When do I use the different approaches to determining PMT?

(a)    The load-based approach is applicable to all circumstances.  Under conditions of heavy loads or high boarding volumes, however, extra care must be taken to maintain the required level of measurement accuracy.

(b)   The distance-based approach is useful under several circumstances.  For examples:

(1)   All passengers board and alight at the same locations, such as inclined plane (IP), aerial tramway (TR), and most ferryboat (FB) operations.

(2)   Services with a small number of passengers who board and alight at a small number of stops, such as demand response (DR and DT).

(3)   Services with a small number of frequent passengers who board and alight at a small number of stops, such as commuter vanpool.

(4)   Any service with a ticketing system that keeps track of the origin and destination for every boarding with a known distance.

§ 65.15 – What instrument should I use to collect the data for the distance-based approach?

(a)    You may use any instrument that you have designed as long as you can use it to record the required data items correctly.

(b)   If you use human ride checkers, the instrument may be a piece of paper and a pencil or it may be a hand-held device.

(c)    Appendix 92 provides an example of both blank and filled-out paper instruments for the distance-based approach.

§ 65.17 – What instrument should I use to collect data for the load-based approach?

(a)    You may use any instrument that you have designed as long as you can record the required data items correctly.

(b)   If you use APCs, the instrument would be computer software and hardware that records the counts and other data items transmitted from the APCs.

(c)    If you use human ride checkers, the instrument may be a piece of paper and a pencil or it may be a hand-held device.

(d)   If you use a hand-held device, it is critical that the unit accepts counts of boardings and alightings that may not be equal for a one-way vehicle trip.

(e)    The instrument you design may take slightly different formats for different services.  Three examples of blank and filled-out instruments are shown as appendices:

(1)   demand response – Appendix 93.

(2)   commuter vanpool – Appendix 94.

(3)   fixed-route services – Appendix 95.

(f)    If you are going to use one of these example instruments, you should study it carefully before reading the following guidance.

§ 65.19 – What pre-survey procedures should I follow if I use a paper instrument and human ride checkers?

(a)    You should use an appropriate survey sheet for each service unit selected in the sample.  This survey sheet may be one of those from the appendices or one that you have designed, but it is important that you select a survey sheet that is designed for the service to be surveyed.

(b)   For non-scheduled services, including demand response (DR and DT) and vanpool (VP), a survey sheet should be used for each driver of the survey vehicle during an entire day.

(c)    For scheduled services, a survey sheet should be used for each one-way vehicle trip of your service unit that you have chosen for your sampling plan.

(d)   The ride checker(s) should carry several extra survey sheets in the event that extra sheets are needed.

(e)    You should learn about the likely load and boarding volumes for each service unit to be surveyed. 

(1)   You may need to use more than one ride checker under conditions of high loads and high boarding volumes. 

(2)   If more than one ride checker is used, the separate survey sheets should also be labeled with the door(s) that each ride checker is responsible for.

(f)    If you rely on the onboard odometer to determine the between-stop distances, make sure that it works properly.  If you cannot fix a malfunctioning odometer in time for a ride check, use a different vehicle with a working odometer. 

(g)   Before going into the field, the survey supervisor should fill in the data items that identify the service unit to be surveyed.  If your service unit has more than one one-way vehicle trip, identify each one-way vehicle trip separately.

(h)   If you rely on predetermined between-stop distances, the survey supervisor should also use the survey sheet(s) in Appendix 95 to:

(1)   Fill in the stop numbers in column (7) and stop descriptions in column (8) for all stops.

(2)   Cross out column (9) to avoid confusion in the field.

(i)     You should write the page numbers in the box in the lower right-hand corner of each survey sheet if you use more than one survey sheet for a given one-way vehicle trip.

§ 65.21 – What manual survey procedures should I follow for demand response (DR and DT) with the distance-based approach?

(a)    You may use the survey sheet for the distance-based approach in Appendix 92.

(b)   You must record individual trips by each pair of origin and destination.  The filled-out form in Appendix 92 illustrates three cases of pick-up and drop-off patterns:

(1)   The first pick-up illustrates the “one origin-many destinations” case.  The driver picked up 16 passengers at 1020 J Street.  He immediately distributed these passengers according to their three drop-off destinations under item (8). 

(2)   The second pick-up illustrates the “one origin-one destination” case.  At the next pick-up address, 506 10th Street, 17 passengers boarded and all were driven to the same destination.  Here, a single line records all the necessary information.

(3)   The last two pick-ups illustrate a “many origins-one destination” case.  Here, the driver records the pick-up addresses and repeats the destinations; that is, he handles each as an individual trip.

(c)    You must record the odometer readings for each pick-up and drop-off.

(1)   Item (7), “Pick-Up Odometer Reading,” should be recorded immediately upon picking up the passenger(s). 

(2)   Item (8), “Drop-Off Odometer Reading,” should be recorded immediately upon dropping off the passengers. 

(3)   You should also record the odometer readings to at least one-tenth of a mile when the odometer allows.

(d)   You should use additional pages if a service unit involves more stops than are given on a page.  You should write the page numbers in the box in the lower right-hand corner.

(e)    As an alternative to data recording by the driver, the driver can call in the information to the dispatcher if you have two-way radio communications on all vehicles.

(1)   When the driver arrives at a pick-up point, he can call in items (5)-(8).

(2)   When he arrives at each destination, he can call in item (9) and verify how many passengers were dropped off at that destination.

§ 65.23 – What manual survey procedures should I follow for demand response (DR and DT) with the load-based approach?

(a)    You may use the survey sheet for the load-based approach for demand response in Appendix 93.

(b)   For each pick-up or drop-off, you must record the following:

(1)   whether it is a pick-up or drop-off in column (5),

(2)   a description of the location in column (6),

(3)   the odometer reading in column (7), and

(4)   the leaving load in column (8).

(c)    The filled-out form in Appendix 93 shows the recorded information for the example shown in Appendix 92.  The leaving load at the last drop-off location should be 0.

(d)   You should record the odometer readings to at least one-tenth of a mile.

(e)    You should use additional pages if a service unit involves more stops than are given on a page.  You should write the page numbers in the box in the lower right-hand corner.

(f)    As an alternative to data recording by the driver, the driver can call in the information to the dispatcher if you have two-way radio communications on all vehicles.  Before leaving each pick-up or drop-off location, the driver can call in items (5)-(8).

§ 65.25 – What manual survey procedures should I follow for commuter vanpool with the load-based approach?

(a)    Suppose that you have chosen to sample on a monthly basis.

(b)   Before a new month starts, you should communicate with the driver of each sampled vanpool about the days on which he must collect sample data during the new month.

(c)    For each sampled vanpool day, the driver should fill in the identification data before he leaves home, including the date, the day of week, and the vanpool number. 

(d)   The driver is required to record the travel data, including the van odometer reading whenever any rider gets on or off the van along with the number of riders who get on the van and the number of riders who get off the van.  This recording is to be done separately for travel to work and travel from work.  The filled-out form in Appendix 94 shows the travel data for a vanpool of 6 riders with a round-trip-distance of 78 miles.  The driver picks up all 5 riders at a single location but drops them off at three different locations in the morning.  In the afternoon, the process reverses itself. 

(1)   Once the driver gets on the van in the morning, he should enter 1 in the ON column (6) and record the odometer reading at 29,366.0 in column (8). 

(2)   He then leaves for picking-up 5 fellow vanpoolers at another location.  Once they get on the van, he should enter 5 in (6), and record the odometer reading at 369.1 in (8) before departing that location.

(3)   At the first drop-off location, 3 vanpoolers get off.  Before leaving, the driver should enter 3 in the OFF column (7), and record the odometer reading at 395.3 in (8).

(4)   One vanpooler gets of the van at each of the next two drop-off locations.  Before leaving these locations, the driver should enter 1 in the OFF column, and record the odometer reading at 396.8 and 397.5, respectively. 

(5)   Finally, the driver arrives at his own destination.  Before he leaves the van, he should record the odometer reading again at 405.0.

(e)    The day after each sample day, you should communicate with each driver involved in collecting sample data to determine if he actually recorded the sample data.  Sample data may be not recorded for a variety of reasons. 

(1)   If the data were collected, the driver should send the filled-out survey sheet immediately,

(2)   If the driver forgot to collect the data, he should be asked to collect the data next day,

(3)   If the driver refused to collect the data or the vanpool has been terminated, a replacement vanpool day should be selected at random.

§ 65.27 – What instructions should I give my ride checkers if I do not use predetermined between-stop distances for fixed-route services?

(a)    Take enough copies of the survey sheet in Appendix 95 or an alternative sheet.

(b)   Use separate survey sheets for separate one-way vehicle trips if your service unit has more than one one-way vehicle trip.

(c)    Use additional survey sheets if needed for a given one-way trip.

(d)   Board the transit vehicle at the beginning point of the service unit and position yourself so that you can observe the doors for which you are responsible. 

(e)    Before the vehicle leaves the beginning point, record:

(1)   Stop #1 in column (7),

(2)   stop description of the beginning point in column (8),

(3)   odometer reading to at least one-tenth of a mile in column (9),

(4)   number of passengers who have stayed onboard from the last trip (13), and

(5)   number of passengers boarded in (10), including the passengers who have stayed onboard from the last trip in (e)(4).

(f)    When the vehicle leaves the beginning point, record the number of passengers onboard in column (12), including any passengers who have stayed onboard from the last trip.

(g)   Only at points where the vehicle stops during the service unit, record:

(1)   stop number in (7),

(2)   stop description in (8),

(3)   odometer reading (from the driver) in (9),

(4)   passengers boarded in (10), and

(5)   passengers alighted in (11).

(h)   Between stops, count the number of passengers on board (12).  You should record this number as the leaving load.  For example, between stops 2 and 3 you should record this number in the row for stop 2 rather than in the row for stop 3.

(i)     At the end point of each one-way trip, record the number of passengers who will stay on board to the next trip in column (14) and in column (11) as passengers alighted.

§ 65.29 – What steps should I take if I fail to collect the sample data from a particular unit?

(a)    You may fail to collect the required sample data from any particular unit in your sample:

(1)   The unit may be canceled for a variety of operational reasons.

(2)   The ride checker(s) may fail to show up for the unit.

(3)   The ride checker(s) may fail to collect the data.

(b)   You must replace the missed unit as soon as possible on the same type of service days.

(c)    For period-based sampling:

(1)   If the rest of the sampling period (a week, a month, or a quarter) has at least one service day of the same type as the missed service unit, select one service unit from the next service day of the same type.  For example, if the missed service unit is on the second Monday of a month and your sampling is monthly, you should get a replacement unit from the third Monday of the month.

(2)   If the rest of the sampling period does not have any service day of the same type left, select one service unit from the first service day of the same type during the next sampling period.  For example, if the missed service unit is on a Monday and your sampling is weekly, you should get a replacement unit from the next Monday. 

(d)   For interval-based sampling:

(1)   If the rest of the report year has at least one service day of the same type as the missed service unit, select one service unit from the next service day of the same type.

(2)   If the rest of the report year does not have any service day of the same type left, select one service unit from the next day of service.

(e)    The replacement unit must be selected at random in all cases.