TRANSIT SOLUTIONS

Transit agencies generally have their hands full with the day-to-day duties of getting their services out on the street. Tindale Oliver’s Transit practice began with helping agencies deal with the myriad of requirements and issues critical to ensuring successful service but, difficult to adequately address with limited staff wearing many hats.

Throughout the evolution of our Transit Solutions practice, our primary goal has always been to develop practical, implementable solutions for transit operators and public agencies responsible for transit plans, comprehensive operations analyses, and special transit studies. As such, we prepare transit plans that are not only technically sound but also understood and, through various community outreach plans, supported by decision-makers, transit patrons, and citizens in the community, who are key constituents to making a transit plan become reality.

Tindale Oliver recognizes the importance of transit in both urban and rural communities throughout the U.S. and strongly believes in its benefits. The experience and knowledge of our Transit Solutions staff—individuals who have worked for transit agencies, the Florida Department of Transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and research institutions—ensure that our team understands all facets of the transit planning and operating environment. As a result, we are capable of—and committed to—providing clients with solutions that contribute to successful transit systems, both today and in the future.

Click on the plus sign below to see a full description of our services.

Tindale Oliver offers Transit Solutions in the following areas:

Transit Planning

Tindale Oliver offers unmatched experience in the completion of transit development plans, with more than 40 completed throughout the U.S. since 1999. These transit planning efforts have included the development of 5-year, 10-year, and longer-term vision plans that have helped establish service goals, ultimately resulting in greater transit support, more federal transit funding, expanded service, and/or increased ridership. In addition, our Transit Solutions staff have been involved in the development of both the original and updated Guidance for Producing a Transit Development Plan (August 2009), produced by FDOT. We also played a major role in the related FDOT training sessions that were hosted throughout Florida in 2010 and 2011.

Transit Operations

In addition to designing new services, it is important for transit agencies to monitor existing services to ensure that they continue to function as efficiently and effectively as possible. To do this, many agencies generate and analyze regular performance reports and/or establish performance metrics to track and measure how their routes are doing. We have worked with transit properties in the development of performance monitoring systems that include service analysis processes and also have completed a variety of operational analyses on routes and entire networks. Conducting these analyses involves a more intricate and detail-oriented examination of existing public transportation services. Such efforts, typically called a Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA), require a high level of examination and detailed service analysis for selected routes and/or service areas. Tindale Oliver has considerable experience in the operational analysis of various transit services, including both fixed-route and paratransit services.

Paratransit

Transit agencies that use federal monies to support the provision of fixed-route transit services must provide complementary paratransit services to support the needs of persons with disabilities who are unable to access fixed-route service. To help respond to these needs, transportation disadvantaged (TD) service planning, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit service planning, and other paratransit planning issues are areas in which Tindale Oliver provides expert support to our clients. This support has included paratransit operational analyses, paratransit service planning, eligibility criteria assessment, community transportation coordinator (CTC) evaluations, Title VI service evaluations and reporting, development of Transportation Disadvantaged Service Plans (TDSPs) and Locally Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plans (LCHSTPs).

Representative paratransit planning and service projects include:

  • Sarasota County Area Transit, Paratransit Operational Analysis
  • Pinellas County, CTC Evaluation
  • FDOT District One, Heartland Rural Mobility Plan
  • FDOT District Four, Regional Transit Efficiency Assessment
  • FDOT District Four/Martin County, Response Support for Triennial Audit
  • Hernando County, Paratransit Organizational Assessment
  • Martin County, Transit Efficiency Study

Transit Facilities Engineering

The key to efficient transit operations and low overhead is an equally effective operation and maintenance facility capable of achieving daily rollout with minimal staff time. Tindale Oliver offers experts in the planning and analysis of transit capital projects, including the planning, design, and accessibility assessment of back-office operations. Our staff also offers experience in planning for transit facility issues, including space needs for staff and equipment, maintenance needs and layout, employee parking, facility functionality, vehicle circulation and site access, among others. Tindale Oliver led a facility redesign effort for Hillsborough Transit Authority's (HART) 21st Avenue operations and maintenance facility and supported Collier Area Transit (CAT) on the development of a facility layout concept for its new Radio Road operations complex. This experience clearly highlights our understanding of the need for multiple transportation modes to interface efficiently to move people and goods—hence, the reason for a strong commitment to planning and designing infrastructure that fosters mobility.

Getting buses in and out quickly, allowing adequate functionality for layover opportunities—even driver comfort—can enhance operations and employee morale. Tindale Oliver brings its operational, technical, and planning knowledge together to provide centers that accommodate the needs of passengers and drivers while maintaining efficient and safe operations and enhancing the public right-of-way.

Grants Management and Compliance

Tindale Oliver's Transit Solutions team offers extensive experience with federal transit finance and grant programs, ADA and Civil Rights program compliance requirements, and other Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulatory requirements that apply specifically to transit agencies typically assessed as part of the Triennial Review process. We have the technical tools and analysis skills to analyze data to determine whether planned changes will disproportionately affect certain populations. Additionally, our Transit Solutions team is actively involved in assisting transit clients in their compliance with federal grant requirements.

Accessibility and ADA Compliance

Tindale Oliver provides assistance to federal, state, and local agencies in implementing the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). We have participated in a variety of research projects concerning accessible transportation systems and innovative service designs, and we offer expertise in ADA facilities and equipment accessibility solutions as well as other paratransit service planning and evaluation, ADA paratransit eligibility, technical assistance with ADA facilities, services, training, and transit operations compliance, including:

  • Design and construction review
  • Facilities and services assessments
  • Remediation and solutions reports
  • Vehicle and system access assessments
  • ADA training
  • Legal assistance and expert witness services
  • Paratransit service planning and eligibility evaluation and solutions
  • Vertical transportation systems and equipment ADA compliance reviews
  • FTA and FHWA relationship for ADA program compliance efforts

Tindale Oliver has extensive experience with disability communities and organized group involvement, including community outreach and focus group testing, public transportation service surveys, and evaluation activities. Based on an agency's desired level of inclusion, we can include individuals and organized groups with disabilities as advocates of the transit agency during the performance of its obligation to provide accessible transportation services to ensure compliance with all appropriate federal, state and local accessibility regulations.

Transit-Oriented Development

TOD is a fast-growing trend in creating vibrant, livable communities in which occupants enjoy access to their communities via transit. TOD includes the creation of compact, walkable communities centered around premium transit systems, often including heavy investments in infrastructure such as light rail. They also provide stable access for investors and prospective residents. TOD communities make it possible to enjoy a higher quality of life without complete dependence on a car for mobility and survival. Often, the time saved by not having to drive is either used productively or in relaxation, leading to other economic or health benefits. These communities have broad appeal but are especially popular with busy professionals, young families, and older adults looking for an option that will allow them to age in place.

GIS and Technology Services

Tindale Oliver’s GIS and technology services include data collection, data management, spatial analysis, and applications development. Key focus areas include the following:

  • Data management consulting services and needs assessments
  • Web-based GIS/data management solutions
  • Mobile application development and integration
  • Enterprise and desktop application development
  • Microsoft SharePoint development
  • Training and support
  • Traffic engineering and transportation planning data management:
    • Traffic crash data
    • Traffic count data
    • Roadway level of service
  • Project/program management tools:
    • Study/project tracking GIS
    • User group program implementation tracking
  • Implementation of mobile data collection and monitoring for transit and ADA
  • Website development and hosting
    • General informational websites
    • Interactive public involvement websites, including surveys, automated mail lists, and public and project management document review and comment features

Community Outreach and Visioning

Tindale Oliver’s design team includes professionals experienced in authoring and managing Community Awareness Plans (CAPs) that inform and engage, solicit public opinion, and create the brand of unified community consensus that fosters project adoption and implementation. These plans are individually tailored to each community and structured in a manner that encourages communication, collaboration, and cooperation, resulting in successful consensus and project implementation, even in difficult geographic, political, and socio-economic environments. Our design team uses community engagement techniques that include focus groups, stakeholder interviews, whole community outreach (directed at a specific demographic such as minorities, older adults, and youth), Art-4-Planning, best practices and user manuals, charrettes, citizen surveys, education programs, keypad polling, media relations, project websites, virtual whiteboards, training programs, and communication materials. Tindale Oliver Design’s community outreach expertise includes:

  • Innovative outreach and techniques, state-of-the-art polling techniques
  • Design charrettes, focus groups, meeting and workshops facilitation
  • Stakeholders/special interest group interviews
  • Effective community surveys, e-mail and mail campaigns
  • Positive media relations
  • Graphics and conceptual visualization
  • Creative and effective graphic technical support services and coordination
  • Consistent website management
  • Attractive, informative flyers, newsletters, presentations, websites, and support materials
  • Construction information services

Our Strengths in Transit Solutions
  • One of the largest transit planning teams in the U.S., with 20+ transit planners and engineers
  • Practical, implementable solutions to increase the efficiency of public transportation operations
  • Strong understanding of transit markets
  • Ability to integrate transit into the development review process
  • Expertise in GIS for more effective identification/presentation of Transit Solutions
  • Proven methods for obtaining political/community support for transit expansion
  • Experience in transit finance and maximizing state/federal transit grant funding
Selected Transit Clients and Projects

Florida Experience

  • Broward County Transit, Transit Development Plan
  • Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, various projects as General Planning Consultant
  • Pinellas County MPO, Clearwater Beach to Downtown Clearwater Alternatives Analysis
  • FDOT Central Office, Accessing Transit, Version III and associated training seminars
  • FDOT District One, SMART Connect: Sarasota/Manatee Area Regional Transit Corridor Evaluation
  • Lee County Transit/LeeTran, Comprehensive Operations Analysis
  • LYNX (Central Florida Transit), 2030 Vision
  • South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA), Transit Development Plan
  • FDOT District Four, Districtwide Modal Development Services
  • FDOT District Seven, Districtwide Pedestrian Access to Transit
  • FDOT District One, Commuter Services Program
  • Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART), Bus Stop and Facility Accessibility Study and Transition Plan
  • HART, Bus Stop and Facility Accessibility Study

National Experience

  • Cobb County, Georgia, Transit Bus Route 10X Implementation Plan
  • Concord-Kannapolis Area Transit, North Carolina, Transit Development Plan
  • Clayton County, Georgia, Transit Feasibility Study
  • Pierce Transit (Seattle, WA) Transit Fare Study
  • Maryland Transit Administration, ADA Technical Consulting Services