The Benchmarking Group of North American Light Rail Systems (GOAL) was established on January, 2016 to provide a confidential forum for light rail agencies in the United States and Canada to learn from each other by comparing performance, sharing experiences, and identifying best practices.
Benchmarking is defined as: A systematic process of continuously measuring, comparing and understanding organizations’ performance and changes in performance of a diversity of key business processes against comparable peers to gain information which will help the participating organizations to improve their performance.
The objectives of GOAL Benchmarking are:
- To develop a concise, well-balanced and comparable Key Performance Indicator system for performance measurement for use by North American light rail agencies that will: determine strengths and weaknesses, prioritize areas for improvement and support dialogue with stakeholders (e.g. senior management, board, government)
- To provide benefits to all members by understanding the reasons for performance levels and trends and by identifying best practices.
- To facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best or otherwise interesting practices in a confidential environment.
- To establish an ongoing benchmarking process that considers the financial and labor resources available to participating mid-sized agencies.
Cooperation, independence, speed, depth and confidentiality are the guiding principles of the group and are central to its success.
The group is administered and facilitated by the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) at Imperial College London, a world leader in public transit benchmarking. The RTSC was set up in 1992 as a center of excellence serving the transport industry on strategic, technology, economic and policy issues and as a research and teaching unit within the Centre for Transport Studies.
GOAL Benchmarking builds upon the years of experience in the CoMET and Nova metro benchmarking groups, the International Bus Benchmarking Group, the International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group and the American Bus Benchmarking Group facilitated by RTSC since 1994, 2004, 2010 and 2011 respectively.