Assessing the Comparative Efficiency of Urban Mass Transit Systems in Ohio: Longitudinal Analysis


A mass transit system not only improves passenger mobility, it also affects the level of economic activities (e.g., working and shopping). Thus, changes wrought by mass transit service planning can heavily influence regional economic growth. This planning requires a careful consideration of conflicting goals (e.g., better utilization of fleets vs. transit services, improved passenger services vs. increased operating expenses, revenue increases vs. tax or fare hikes), which poses a number of problems for policy decision makers. In particular, given the public’s growing concerns over government budget deficits, the continuous underutilization of a mass transit system can increase public scrutiny of additional investments in mass transit services. To find ways to better utilize mass transit systems across the state of Ohio and thus make best use of state/federal/municipal government funds and taxpayers’ monies, this paper aims to evaluate the operational efficiency of the current mass transit system relative to benchmark standards and then identify the leading causes of mass transit inefficiencies. To meet these goals, window data envelopment analysis (DEA) was conducted on the past three years of time-series data for 24 (out of 27) of Ohio’s urban mass transit agencies.



Dr. Hokey Min is James R. Good Chair in Global Supply Chain Strategy in the College of Business Administration at the Bowling Green State University. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Management Sciences and Logistics from the Ohio State University. His research interests include health care management, green supply chains, global logistics strategy, benchmarking, mass transit systems, and supply chain modeling. He has published more than 155 articles in various scholarly journals including Journal of Business Logistics, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Transportation Journal, and Transportation Research. He is currently serving as the Editor of International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications and is serving on the editorial review board of Journal of Business Logistics, International Journal of Integrated Supply Management and International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management. He can be contacted at College of Business, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403, US. E-mail:


December 2013


Mass transit systems
Data envelopment analysis
Longitudinal study