April 3, 2012

San Diego transit receives 100% compliance score from FTA

For the second consecutive time, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) found no deficiencies in its assessment of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit (MTS) system’s compliance with federal requirements. In its Triennial Review, the FTA examined 24 areas of grant management practices and program implementation.

Further substantiating the FTA’s findings, the TransNet Independent Taxpayers Oversight Committee compared MTS to other transit systems in the U.S. and found that it is the most efficiently operated transit agency among nine peer systems.

MTS also received a perfect score in its 2009 Triennial Review, meaning the FTA review has found no deficiencies at MTS for the last six years of operation.

Areas examined are: legal, financial, technical, satisfactory continuing control, maintenance, procurement, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Buy America, debarment and suspension, lobbying, planning/program of projects, Title VI, public comment of fare and service changes, half fare, ADA, charter bus, school bus, National Transit Database, safety and security, drug-free workplace, drug and alcohol program, Equal Employment Opportunity, ITS architectures, and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Independent Taxpayers Oversight Committee (ITOC) for TransNet, found that MTS’s system-wide performance outperformed the nine-peer average in all categories, which included operating cost per boarding, subsidy per boarding, operating cost per revenue mile  and farebox recovery ratio (the percentage of operating costs paid by riders’ fares). The comparisons were made for both light rail and fixed-route bus operations.

ITOC also cited findings by the State of California’s triennial Transportation Development Act audit, including:

•    MTS reduced its operating cost per passenger by 4% from the previous audit.

•    MTS experienced an 11% increase in ridership despite service reductions, resulting in an increase in passengers per service hour and service miles of 13% and 18%, respectively.

•    The MTS farebox recovery ration increased from 37% to more than 43%, which is significantly higher than the 31.9% required by TDA.

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