Capital and operating budgets for transit agencies are inextricably linked, and our tools help keep the costs, revenues, and priorities in line so that our public clients can make wise choices, leveraging their limited funds to meet many competing objectives.

Transit Operating Cost Calculator

This tool calculates transit operating statistics (e.g., revenue hours, revenue miles, and peak vehicle requirement) and estimates the subsequent operating costs at the route level for new or modified routes in a transit service plan. The tool pulls from GTFS data for existing services to provide a baseline for route changes, incorporating both revenue service needs and layover time. The calculator is useful not only during major planning efforts but for smaller service changes over time. Example Applications: Foursquare ITP used this tool to calculate operating costs and statistics for the Clarksburg Bus Service Evaluation, which created implementation-ready recommendations for a fast-growing part of Montgomery County, MD and for the BaltimoreLink network redesign.

Example Application: The BaltimoreLink service planning calculator was a dynamic tool that grew as project goals and targets evolved (i.e., shifting revenue hour targets, operator staffing changes, and other transit operating statistics goal shifts). The tool, which relies on several data sources to provide the highest level of service analysis outputs, has served as a reliable source of service level, scheduling, and cost estimations; it has allowed for an immediate and unprecedented understanding of the impacts of proposed operating changes to project targets for MTA.

Cost Model

Utilizing a transit agency’s past operations and financial data, the Cost Model determines a per unit cost to add or retract one unit of transit service. The Cost Model tool can use one-variable or multiple variables to determine how adding or eliminating a bus route will impact the agency’s bottom-line. The Cost Model Tool is able to determine the impacts to service expansion or reduction to individual funding partners.

Example Application: The Blacksburg Transit Cost Model used three cost drivers: revenue hours, revenue miles, and peak vehicles to track unit costs over time, to estimate the incremental costs of new services, and to determine how to equitably split these costs across three regional funding partners.

Blacksburg Transit Cost Model

Blacksburg Transit Cost Model

Grant Management Database Tool

The Grant Management Database Tool allows federal, state, or local grant managers to easily track and summarize grant drawdowns and the status of projects. Using a Microsoft Access-powered database, grant managers input financial and project information and can output automated reports detailing expenditures, remaining budgets, and other relevant items.

Example Application: The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) uses a Foursquare ITP-developed Grant Management Database to manage its oversight of its mobility grants program, including JARC, New Freedom, and Enhanced Mobility.

Capital Project Prioritizer

Transit agencies operate in a funding environment where many capital needs compete for limited funding. Foursquare ITP developed its Capital Project Prioritization Prioritizer Tool to provide transit agencies a defensible and quantitative means to prioritizing capital investments. Based on the priorities of the client, criteria are defined and scored that automatically measure a proposed investment on factors such as service delivery, operating efficiency, state of repair, and risk management.

Example Application: Foursquare ITP developed a capital project prioritization methodology for Hampton Roads Transit that allows the agency to better balance investment needs across the agency. The tool, updated annually, has been used on for many years and helps the agency streamline and justify its capital investment decision-making.