Transportation planning in general and planning/or intelligent transportation systems (ITS) in particular are notable both for multiple goals and for multiple constituencies. In response to complex policy environments such as this, multicriteria decision analysis often was utilized to assist in the evaluation of alternative investments or policy directions. This approach is extended here to assess stakeholder valuation of broad goals of an ITS planning process, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) operational field test in the metropolitan Detroit area. Two levels of goals were considered: broad system-wide goals (e.g., energy savings, interagency coordination, congestion reduction) and specific service characteristics, such as advance reservations, scheduling, and reliability. Using a modified Analytical Hierarchy Process, implicit preference weights for transportation planning goals were derived, and inter- and intragroup comparisons were made. Overall, there was less variation between groups in preferences than might be expected, indicating a fair degree of common ground in desired outcomes of transit planning. The ability to provide for the trips that people request, referring both to the accommodation of trips and the match between requested and scheduled times, were important goals across various stakeholder groups. Similarly, the provision of reliable service was generally valued highly. Information provision appears to be a lower priority. Thus, to the extent that automatic scheduling and dispatch assists improved scheduling, trip reservation, and routing, it is likely to meet stakeholders 'preferences. The study characterizes the various groups 'preferences for transit service along a continuum ranging from "expansive" to "incremental." The expansive vision seeks to develop new forms of service for transit and paratransit customers better, while under the incremental view, consolidation of and improvements to existing service are a higher priority. The expansive position appears most clearly among citizens 'groups, social service agencies, and business people. The business community is particularly interested in expansion of the hours of service, presumably to facilitate travel by customers or employees during evenings and weekends. The more incremental view is held by transportation professionals and SMART employees who are aware of the constraints under which they work.
Levine, Jonathan, et al.
Stakeholder Preferences in Advanced Public Transportation System Planning.
Journal of Public Transportation, 2 (2): 25-45.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jpt/vol2/iss2/2