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The National Academies

TCRP B-05 [Completed]

Attracting Paratransit Patrons to Fixed-Route Services

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Research Agency: The Bionetics Corp., KETRON Division
Principal Investigator: John N. Balog
Effective Date: 2/22/1994
Completion Date: 3/21/1996

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) public entities that provide fixed-route public transportation service also must offer complementary paratransit service to people with disabilities who are unable to use the fixed-route system.

A major concern of transit and paratransit providers is the high cost to provide ADA paratransit. To reduce the cost of paratransit and to serve the most people in a cost-effective manner, there is a need to shift riders from paratransit to fixed-route transit where there may be underutilized capacity.

The strict eligibility determination process under ADA will eliminate paratransit service eligibility for some people with disabilities as well as those who currently do not know how to use or may not be comfortable with fixed-route service. In addition, there are others (e.g., the elderly, clients of human service agencies, etc.) who do not ride fixed-route services because of various barriers. These groups are potential fixed-route transit markets.

Research was needed to identify (1) the characteristics of potential transit riders with disabilities and others who can be transferred or introduced to fixed-route service and (2) the barriers (both physical and institutional) that need removal if these efforts are to be successful. Moreover, research is needed to determine what additional training, outreach, marketing, and other support techniques will help to make fixed-route transportation more attractive and usable for people with disabilities and others who currently use paratransit. Current and emerging technical solutions, policies and practices, and support systems need to be identified and evaluated for transferability to a variety of settings (e.g., socioeconomic, rural/urban, system size).

The objectives of this research were (1) to identify the characteristics and relative sizes of four market segments: people with disabilities who use fixed-route transit, people with disabilities who use paratransit, others who currently use paratransit, and people with disabilities who normally do not use transit; and (2) to develop strategies and methodologies that will shift these people from paratransit to fixed-route transit, or introduce them to such service. The findings will be presented in a guidebook to assist policy makers, transit providers, and planners in attracting people with disabilities and others to fixed-route transit.

Status: The findings have been published as TCRP Report 24, "Guidebook for Attracting Paratransit Patrons to Fixed-Route Services." This report is available also in portable document format (PDF). (A free copy of adobe Acrobat Reader is available at http://www.adobe.com). Double-click on the links below to access the report.

TCRP Report 24 Part A

TCRP Report 24 Part B

TCRP Report 24 Part C

TCRP Report 24 Part D

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