Rural transportation programs usually have an agreed-upon set of evaluation measures that help to keep the project team working toward the same goals. Baseline and interval measures can help document changes over the course of the program and measure program outcomes. The measures used to evaluate a transportation program will vary depending on the type of program model. For general information about evaluation measures, visit the Evaluation Measures section of the Rural Community Health Toolkit.
Process measures focus on measuring how services are provided. The Guidebook for Rural Demand-Response Transportation has identified six key measures, including:
- The number of passenger trips
- Mileage cost
- Operational cost per vehicle
- Operational cost per passenger
- Safety incidents
Outcome measures focus on measuring the results or overall achievements of the program. Examples include:
- Change in accessibility of health and social services in the community (for example, fewer missed appointments due to lack of transportation or fewer reports of inability to fill prescriptions because of lack of transportation)
- Change in awareness of transit service availability
- Change in policies and legislation as a result of the transportation service (for example, land use and safety regulations)
- Return on investment (ROI), examining the program's social and healthcare cost savings
Resources to Learn More
Guidebook for Rural Demand-Response
Transportation: Measuring, Assessing, and Improving Performance
Reviews performance measures for evaluating rural demand-response transportation programs. The guide covers important elements to review, performance measures, and methods for improving performance.
Organization(s): Transportation Research Board
Performance Measures for Rural
Transportation Systems Guidebook
Provides step-by-step assistance on measuring safety, accessibility, and return on investment in rural transit programs.
Organization(s): California Department of Transportation
Transit Performance Measurement
Discusses major differences between rural and urban transit performance measurement, including nontraditional measures and sources of data.
Author(s): Radow, L. J. & Winters, C.
Organization(s): Community Transportation Association of America