Demand-response transit service is a major source of mobility for older adults and people with disabilities in urban and rural areas. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant programs under sections 5307, 5310, and 5311 all have components designed to increase the availability of paratransit or demand-response service. However, there is little information in the National Transit Database (NTD) or elsewhere about the extent of demand-response coverage across the country. Therefore, it is challenging to know the gaps in service coverage and to understand unmet needs.
The primary objective of the study is to fill the gaps in the data available from the NTD database to determine the demand-response transit level of service. Also, this study aims to develop a standard method for determining the demand-response service level of coverage so that geographic areas/locations that do not have sufficient demand-response transit service can be identified. A survey questionnaire was developed to gather important information such as service span, service area, service type, and service eligibility from demand-response operators to determine the demand-response transit level of service. The survey was tested in two states, North Dakota and Florida, for its applicability in the rest of the country, and recommendations were provided for gathering additional service details for determining the national demand-response transit level of service.
Based on the results from the study, recommendations were provided regarding data needs, an appropriate method for collecting those data, and a framework for understanding the communities/locations where demand-response service improvements are needed. The recommended framework will provide useful information to transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, and state departments of transportation for identifying deficiencies in service while minimizing the reporting burden for transit providers. Download final report. Contact Ranjit Godavarthy for further information.