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Mobility Partnerships, Payment and Reporting Parameter Assessment


Outsourcing transit service plays an important and expanding role in urban and suburban mobility. As fixed route transit concentrates on offering frequent service linking higher-intensity land uses, the remaining service areas are being diverted to demand-response and other transit modes as well as contracted providers and privately subsidized shuttles. This trend has two results: increasing the number and proportion of multimodal and multi-provider linked trips and engaging the capabilities of new privately developed technologies in the provision of mobility. Microtransit partnerships with software platforms, dedicated operators and app-based ride providers (TNCs) are increasingly common. Because suburban mobility programs are less efficient than urban transit in terms of boardings per vehicle hour, the cost per ride provided may be substantially higher.

However, the regulatory landscape and limitations upon the ability of multimodal and multi-provider partnerships to provide and account for mobility have not been previously examined. How are partnership agreements and third-party contracts formulated? Do these arrangements provide for the participation of local or for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise subcontractors? What are the prevalent standard agreement terms and stipulations? What is the variance in agreement scope of services? What are the performance metrics, and how do transit agencies monitor and report on the services performed by contractors by type (private for-profit, private non-profit, and public sector)? How would riders discover, book and pay for rides on a multimodal multi-provider linked trip? Is the use of account-based payment programs increasing? Does the IRS Commuter Benefits Program and the 130 programs listed in the federal Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) Program Inventory subsidize multimodal multi-provider linked trips and obtain the necessary information on the subsidized rides? What are the best practices in multimodal multi-provider partnership agreements, reporting, information/booking and payment systems? The proposed synthesis could provide an overall picture of widespread contracting practices in transit services and help streamline future transit agreement formulations and reduce contracting costs.


This project will compile and categorize the experience of multi-provider partnerships and note trends in accommodating and facilitating multimodal multi-provider linked trips through operating agreement structures; performance metrics; reporting requirements; rider information/booking and fare payment practices; how the project partners are compensated for rides provided; and the ability of federal ride subsidy programs to participate in supporting these trips. The project results will be attentive to the information available and consequent agreement structures from partners by the perspective of the organization supplying the service procured by the transit system or agency (private for-profit, private non-profit, and public sector).


Increasing the number and proportion of multimodal and multi-provider linked trips and engaging the capabilities of new privately developed technologies in the provision of mobility

Sponsoring Committee:AP055, Rural, Intercity Bus, and Specialized Transportation
Research Period:6 - 12 months
Research Priority:High
RNS Developer:Steve Yaffe
Date Posted:04/30/2021
Date Modified:05/27/2021
Index Terms:Multimodal transportation, Public private partnerships, Contracting, Contracts, Payment,
Cosponsoring Committees: 
Public Transportation
Administration and Management
Data and Information Technology

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