The National Academies

TCRP Synthesis J-07/Topic SB-38 [Active (Synthesis)]

Paratransit Fleet Configurations

  Project Data
Funds: $55,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/29/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Mariela Garcia-Colberg
Research Agency: Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI)
Principal Investigator: Will Rodman
Effective Date: 12/20/2022
Completion Date: 6/20/2024
Fiscal Year: 2022

Tentative Scope



The increase in the population of frail elderly who are ambulatory but are eligible to use paratransit has increased the demand for paratransit service delivery. This increase has, in turn, led some transit agencies to move away from standard one-vehicle type fleets in favor of a mixed fleet incorporating smaller accessible vehicles and non-accessible (generally sedans) vehicles.

The first wave of fleet configuration changes has provided some expected benefits of lower operating costs and service delivery flexibility due to incorporating smaller vehicles into the fleet mix. These changes have also brought forward a set of service delivery issues including increase costs, maintenace concerns, a complication of reassignmnet of riders, etc.


Synthesis Objective:


This synthesis will document the different configurations of accessible vehicle fleets own by transit systems in North America.


Information to be Gathered (Not an exhaustive list):


       What factors do transit agencies consider in reconfiguring the fleet mix for accessible vehicles?

       What are the previous range of fleet mixes, and how are they changing?

       Have the fleet mix changes yielded the expected benefits?

       What unexpected outcomes have arisen from adjusting fleet mix?

       Are transit agencies adjusting vehicle performance metrics to account for the fleet mix?

       What may be affecting their decisions in future operations?


How the Information Will Be Gathered:


       a literature review (e.g. agency reports, peer reviewed journal articles, web articles, agency websites);

       a survey on a broad range of North American transit agencies (diverse in terms of geography, socioeconomics, size (small, medium, and large);

       at least five case examples from agencies with different types of vehicles fleets that will gather information on the practices, challenges and successes; and,

       identification of knowledge gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps.



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

Meeting Dates
First Panel: TBD
Teleconference with Consultant: TBD
Second Panel: TBD

Topic Panel 



Status: Research in Progress.




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