Efficient Transportation

Goal 3: Provide accessible, reliable, convenient and safe public transit
Source: Public Works Department     ET Goal3     3/21/2013
About this measure:
Indicator based on past history. The usage of alternative fuels from year to year is based on weather conditions and the volatility of fuel prices. In 2011-12 less alternative fuels were used due to the higher prices compared to diesel fuel. Cold weather temperatures also impacts alternative fuels.
Why this is important:
The use and promotion of alternative fuels have been instrumental in reducing pollution. StarTran’s use of alternative fuels has reduced the amount of pollutants and greenhouse gases and decreased its reliance on imported fuels. Fuel costs comprise 11 % of the total StarTran budget. Since fuel prices are volatile it is imperative that StarTran continues its commitment to alternative fuels and look toward future fuel technologies.
What is being done:
Since the early 1990’s StarTran has been promoting public awareness and actively involved in protecting the environment through its use of alternative fuels. Currently, StarTran has been utilizing vehicles that run on biodiesel and hybrid-electricity. StarTran’s fleet of 58 buses run on biodiesel, which is comprised of 95% diesel and 5% soybean oil.
StarTran also uses 13 small hybrid electric vehicles which are used on a daily basis. These vehicles, called “Handi-Vans”, are powered by gasoline and electricity, are used for transporting persons with disabilities. These vehicles run on electrical power up to 35 mph, and then gasoline engines recharge the batteries. Further, these vehicles use up to 30 percent less fuel, cutting emissions by the same amount.



Source: Public Works Department     ET Goal3     3/21/2013
About this measure:
An “accident” is when a bus collides with a stationary or moving object (another vehicle or an object). The number of accidents is then compared to the number of miles driven by StarTran buses.
Why this is important:
Riding the bus should be a pleasant and safe riding environment for bus patrons. Accidents can cause injuries and disrupt patrons riding experience.
What is being done:
StarTran and its drivers emphasize passenger safety. StarTran bus drivers must have a Commercial Drivers License, complete 40 hours of classroom training on safety and have approximately 120 hours of supervised driving behind the wheel training before they are authorized to drive a bus on their own. They also receive continuing safe driving education. Accidents are assessed by the Accident Review Board which consists of StarTran staff, Bus Drivers and Lincoln Police Department. The Board determines if an accident was preventable or non-preventable as a basis for management to potentially assign disciplinary action. StarTran recognizes that vehicle accidents cannot be completely avoided but works to reduce their number and severity.



Source: Public Works Department     ET Goal3     3/1/2013
About this measure:
Ridership measures the number of annual passenger trips on Star Tran. A number of external and internal factors impact ridership. An example of an external factor is the price of gas. When gas prices are high, ridership increases. Internal factors include the fare cost, the number of service hours, and quality of service.
Why this is important:
Taxpayer costs are generally reduced when buses are full, as the fixed costs of routes do not change but additional ridership increases revenues at the fare box. Utilizing public transportation helps reduce greenhouse gases, our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, and traffic congestion. Those who take public transportation are more likely to meet exercise goals as every transit trip begins and ends with a walking trip.
What is being done:
In 2012 StarTran decreased the price of the monthly passport from $45 to $17 and maintained the cost of the low-income monthly passport at $8.00. Beginning in January 2013 StarTran has further increased its partnership with UNL to increase the hours on the #24 Holdrege route and create a new route #25 Vine, that will also serve the UNL City Campus and East Campus. These actions are estimated to increase ridership by 20% in 2013.



*Road call ratio is a measure of dependability and quality for the customer,as the fewer the road calls the fewer times customers are inconvenienced.
Source: Public Works Department     ET Goal3     3/1/2013
About this measure:
Road calls are necessary to deal with buses that have experienced a mechanical failure. Road calls measured against number of miles bus operated gives an indication of StarTran’s reliability. For Fiscal Year 2011-12 StarTran operated 1,808,420 miles and had 187 mechanical failures, resulting in a road call ratio of 9,671 miles per call. A “mechanical failure”, per National Transit Database reporting is defined as "a failure of some mechanical element of the revenue vehicle that prevents the vehicle from completing a scheduled revenue trip or from starting the next scheduled revenue trip because actual movement is limited or because of safety concerns." The indicator is derived from a peer review of transit agencies resultant from the 2007 Transit Development Plan.
Why this is important:
Road call ratio is a measure of dependability and quality for the customer, as the fewer number of road calls the fewer times customers are inconvenienced.
What is being done:
The major factor that influences the number of mechanical failures is the age of the bus. New buses have far less mechanical failures than older ones. Having a consistent bus fleet that has similar bus models and sizes reduces training needs, parts inventories and overall maintenance costs. Another factor is effective preventative maintenance that helps keep the buses in good working order. Star Tran attempts to address these issues by regularly replacing aging buses and continuous upkeep and maintenance by 12 bus mechanics. Technology improvements have been installed on the buses that alert maintenance staff before a potential mechanical failure occurs.



Source: Public Works Department     ET Goal3     3/1/2013
About this measure:
Revenue hours are the number of hours a bus is open to the general public, when the bus is “in service.” The measure compares the number of hours that bus service is available to the public in comparison to peer cities. The peer average is 177,118 revenue hours per year. StarTran operates 128,687 annual revenue hours. To be at a comparable level as its peers StarTran would need to increase number of hours by 37%.
Why this is important:
This indicator is shows level of service as the more hours a bus system provides a higher level of service is being provided to the public. StarTran currently operates between around 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with 30 minute service during peak periods and 60 minute service during mid-day period. A 2010 StarTran study revealed that over 90% of those bus patrons surveyed wanted more StarTran service, particularly in the evening and on weekends.
What is being done:
In January 2013 StarTran expanded agreements with UNL to increase the number of revenue hours on the current #24 Holdrege route and implemented a new route, the #25 Vine. Both these routes provide 10 minute service and operate till 9:00 p.m., weekdays.



Source: Public Works Department     ET Goal3     3/1/2013
About this measure:
Operating expense per revenue hour is a measure used to assess how efficiently a system delivers service. The cost of providing one hour of revenue service on StarTran’s fixed routes is $74.21, lower than the peer average of $80.90.
Why this is important:
Operational efficiency helps StarTran provide more service with fewer taxpayer dollars.
What is being done:
StarTran manages the factors that impact operational efficiency such as fuel consumption, assignment of work hours, technology and route efficiencies.