Stage 3 Setting Goals

Defining Goals

This stage defines a set of goals, ideally reaching consensus among the main stakeholders (including those who have the power to block a project). The goals will reflect the main interests of stakeholders. They should be clear and aspirational, and should focus on the desired outcome, rather than how they are to be achieved. It also helps to cluster goals under themes relevant to stakeholders.

Goals are preferably specific quantifiable objectives to be achieved in a given time frame. It should be understood that there is a hierarchy of goals and objectives and in the case of public transport these can be formulated as follows:

  • Macro-level Goals
  • Accessibility Related Goals.
  • Environmental Goals
  • Transport Related Goals
  • Internal Efficiency Related Goals.

Macro-Level Goals: These goals are at the societal level and could include:

  • To provide a legal and institutional framework to enable bus improvements
  • To provide bus services that help achieve the goals of the city development and mobility plans – allowing land use strategies such as core densification and peripheral development
  • To improve the quality and image of bus transport within the transport hierarchy
  • To contribute to improving transport safety by reducing road casualties

Public Transport Goals: These would include targets for some performance parameters which are of relevance for commuters.

  • To develop a regulated and financially sustainable bus system
  • To increase the modal share of public transport
  • To increase the bus fleet and carrying capacity
  • To increase daily bus passenger demand
  • To increase the average speed of buses
  • To reduce the average age of the bus fleet
  • To keep the fare increase below the inflation level
  • To convert a % of the fleet to modern low floor buses within a given time period

Internal Efficiency Goals: These pertain to the internal working of bus organizations.

  • To optimize service kms operated/vehicle owned
  • To optimize passengers carried/vehicle owned
  • To optimize passengers carried/staff member
  • To optimize staff/vehicle owned
  • To increase revenue/vehicle owned
  • To increase revenue/vehicle km (or revenue/passenger trip or revenue/ passenger-km)
  • To reduce cost/vehicle km (or cost/passenger trip or cost/passenger-km)
  • To optimize % of vehicle fleet operating in peak hours
  • To increase kilometres operated between breakdowns
  • To reduce fuel consumption/km
  • To reduce fare collection leakage
  • To reduce employees’ absenteeism

Accessibility Goals: These help in facilitating access to the public transport system.

  • To ensure that the maximum walking distance a bus stop is reduced to 500m
  • To provide safe sidewalks in the entire city
  • To provide a safe cycle path network of a specified total length
  • To keep the fare increase below the inflation level
  • To convert a specified % of fleet to modern low floor buses
  • To increase the carrying capacity of the public transport system
  • To Increase commercial speeds
  • To reduce congestion in buses
  • To reduce waiting time in peak hours

Environmental Goals: These goals are normally specified under law for emissions from each vehicle. However the total level of pollution is not specified. The total pollution load in a city may be reduced by encouraging public transport.

  • To reduce the gross emissions from public transport vehicles
  • To reduce public transport accident rates
  • To reduce public transport-related noise pollution

It is not within the scope of these guidelines to provide precise targets, as these should be developed by each city based on the Starting Point and determined policies among stakeholders. However, for comparison purposes, a list of indicators is presented in Annex 1.

Time spent in this phase is worthwhile. If goals are agreed, it provides a mandate and reference framework within which actions can be developed and prioritized. It however needs to be understood that the goals, especially operational ones, may have to be revised depending upon the strategies that are adopted. Thus, goal setting and strategy selection is an iterative process.

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