Mid-size transit agencies share and compare

Imperial College facilitates the American Bus Benchmarking Group
By Bill Carpente

The 12-member agencies in ABBG include Utah Transit Authority (UTA).

Now firmly established after one year, the American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG) is a first-of-its-kind consortium of mid-size transit agencies with international representation. The premise is to provide its members a confidential member forum to exchange ideas, compare performance, share information and experiences to identify and implement best practices in their respective organizations.

Launched in May 2011 at Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA), Rochester, NY, the consortium currently represents 12 mid-sized transit agencies. ABBG provides an outstanding opportunity for like-sized member organizations to compare best practices and gain valuable information from one another.

ABBG members benefit from learning from one another as well as from Imperial College, which shares its depth of experience from facilitating the world’s largest benchmark transit groups that include CoMET, NOVA and IBBG.

ABBG is firmly rooted in the time-tested benchmarking principles of the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) at Imperial College Centre for Transport Studies, London, UK, which administers and facilitates this new organization.

The methods and infrastructure Imperial College has developed in its years of experience managing CoMET, NOVA and IBBG provide a proven formula for success that will ensure positive outcomes for members of the newly formed benchmarking group. This is a tremendous learning opportunity for member agencies to share and compare with peers in the industry.

Imperial College defines benchmarking as a systematic process of continuously measuring, comparing and understanding the processes and performance against comparable peers to gain information that will help the participating organizations to improve.

Using a concise, well-balanced key performance indicator system (KPI), ABBG members are able to identify their strengths and weaknesses and understand the reasons for particular performance levels and trends. The group says its benchmarking process takes in consideration the financial and labor resources available to participating mid-sized agencies.

ABBG reconvened in February in Fort Worth, TX to review its KPIs created to begin the benchmarking process. The group will meet again in September, and then convene on an annual basis.
ABBG member agencies currently include:
Capital District Transportation Authority CDTA), Albany, NY
Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro), Austin, TX
Clark County Public Transportation Benefit Area (C-TRAN), Vancouver, WA
Greater Dayton Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Dayton, OH
Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART), Des Moines, IA
Lane Transit District (LTD), Eugene, OR
The T Fort Worth Transportation Authority, Ft. Worth, TX
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA),  St. Petersburg, FL
Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), Providence, RI
Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA), Rochester, NY
San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), Stockton, CA
Utah Transit Authority (UTA), Salt Lake City, UT
For more information on ABBG, including membership, please contact Bill Carpenter, RGRTA, Rochester, NY, or the RTSC at Imperial College London, www.rtsc.org.uk. BR

Bill Carpenter, president and CEO, Rochester Genesee  Regional Transit Authority, serves as president, American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG).