The National Academies

TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SG-19 [Active (Synthesis)]

Paratransit Service Delivery Models for Small Systems
[ TCRP J-07 (Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/1/2020 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Research Agency: Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Will Rodman
Effective Date: 10/8/2020
Fiscal Year: 2020

Final Scope


Demand for demand response services including ADA complementary paratransit continues to grow while resources are dwindling. Because of this, transit agencies continue to explore models to more effectively meet growing demand. Small agencies in particular may be finding unique and better ways to adopt “hybrid” service models (such as brokerage service, TNCs or mobility managers) and community-based operations using non-traditional operators.

The objective of this synthesis is to document, for a comprehensive set of service models, the way various elements of the service and contracts are structured to enhance the likelihood of achieving certain results related to cost efficiency, service quality, or the balance of the two. The synthesis will provide examples from the industry of what is currently being implemented.

In particular, this synthesis will explore delivery models for small systems (a total fleet of no more than 50 vehicles).  It will document the way various service and contract models are structured to enhance the knowledgebase of small agencies. The document should examine intended and unintended outcomes, advantages and disadvantages, and the balance of cost efficiency and service quality of the delivery models.

Information to be gathered will include (not an exhaustive list):


Service Delivery Models


·    In-house

o   All operations in-house


·    Outsourced

o   Turnkey (all services contracted, to include eligibility, call center, and vehicle operations);

o   Various combination of operations, maintenance and vehicle ownership

o   Non-dedicated service providers used for ADA paratransit service;

o   Management contract

o   User-Side Subsidies


·    Combination of in-house and outsourced

·    Other


Vehicle configuration

·                  Combination of fixed route and demand response

·                  Vehicle types

·                  Internal vehicle capacity

Agency Configuration:

·                  Governance structure

·                  Funding stream

·                  Ridership

·                Service Area Characteristics (e.g. population density, major trip generators)   and Service Statistics

·                  Who has responsibility collecting data and how often is it reported?

·                  Technology


Contract/operating agreement structure:

·                Use of assets (who owns, maintains, replaces)

·                Number and function of staff dedicated to management of the contract

·                Who has responsibility collecting data and how often is it reported?


Partnership agreements


This synthesis should include a literature review, practice overview of existing service delivery models, and survey of transit agencies which are geographically and structurally diverse, with service delivery models for demand response services.  A minimum of ten case examples of different transit systems and different service delivery models for different type of demand response services including ADA complementary paratransit should be studied.



TCRP Synthesis of Transit Practice, Issue 31, 1998, Paratransit Contracting and Service Delivery Methods

TCRP Report, Issue 121, 2007, Toolkit for Integrating Non-Dedicated Vehicles in Paratransit Service

TCRP Report Issue 144, 2011, Sharing the Costs of Human Services Transportation

FTA Report No. 0081. 2014, Accessible Transit Services for All

National Transit Database (NTD)

Mobility Management and Coordination of Services Literature (TCRP#?)

TCRP Synthesis on Taxis

TRB Staff 
Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Phone: 202-334-2361
Email: mgarciacolberg@nas.edu

Meeting Dates
First Panel: October 18, 2020

Teleconference with Consultant: November 10, 2020
Second Panel: June 22, 2020

Topic Panel

             John Christian Andoh, III, Central Midlands Regional

             Transit Authority

             Mallory Avis, Battle Creek Transit

             Elizabeth Carter, Rio Metro Regional Transit District

             Ryan Daniel, St. Cloud Metro Bus

             Tina Dubost, San Mateo County Transit District (SamTRANS)

             Karl Johanson, Magnus Mobiliity Management

             Angela Wynes, City of High Point

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