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The Nexus between Infrastructure & Accessibility: Case Study Support


(Center Identification Number: 79060-19)

Principal Investigator

Kristine Williams, Program Director
Planning and Corridor Management
Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, CUT 100
Tampa, Florida 33620-5375

This project was led by San Jose State University (SJSU), with research and financial contributions made by NCTR.

Project Scope

The Mineta National Transit Research Consortium is engaging in a project to identify and explore, through case study analysis, successful strategies being employed by transit agencies in the United States to address infrastructure barriers impeding access to transit facilities by persons with disability. The result of this effort will be a detailed report documenting the strategies identified through the case study analysis. The report will be written to provide guidance and recommendations to transit agencies seeking to address this significant concern that is limiting transit access to a specific transportation disadvantaged population – namely, persons with disability.

The National Center for Transit Research at the University of South Florida proposes to assist the Mineta team by providing additional resources and faculty to support two additional case studies for this research project.


This study proposes to perform case study analysis to explore contemporary best practice models related to addressing infrastructure barriers limiting or preventing access to transit facilities by persons with disability. Anticipated results include detailed information and guidance on successful strategies being employed to address said infrastructure barriers.

Task l – Perform case study analysis

Two best practice examples will be identified through the Mineta literature search and selected for case study analysis based on a multitude of factors including type of infrastructure issues addressed; role of transit agency in addressing the infrastructure issue; and other factors to be determined following the literature review. It is anticipated that the CUTR case studies will be in the in the Southeast region of the United States.

Task la – Conduct case study pre-site visit interviews

Once the two case studies are identified and their willingness to participate in the study is confirmed, the research team will begin preparing for a site visit to each site. To prepare for this critical task, the team will conduct a brief pre-site visit interview for each of the case study transit agencies selected. The intent of this task is to learn more detail regarding the infrastructure issues(s) that were impacting transit access by persons with disability; an overview of the type of strategy(s) implemented to address said issues; and identification of the community partners who helped pursue these strategies. The pre-site visit interview will also permit the researchers to plan the site visit to ensure the team can meet with all relevant stakeholders involved in addressing the identified infrastructure issues.

Task lb – Conduct case study site visits

Site visits will be conducted over a one-to-two day period at each of the selected case study sites. In-depth, in-person listening sessions with stakeholders identified through task 2a will be undertaken, as will visits to the site of the infrastructure improvements. The listening sessions will afford the research team the opportunity to learn more detail on the infrastructure problem(s) addressed and the strategies that were considered to address the identified problem(s). The team will seek to understand the factors that contributed to the rejection of certain amelioration strategies and the challenges encountered in pursuing the strategy(s) that were ultimately selected. Information will also be sought on community and local partnerships that contributed to successful project completion, as well as plans to address other identified infrastructure barriers that inhibit access to the agency’s transit facilities by persons with disability. Any pre/post data and/or other quantitative information gathered by the agency on usage of the transit facilities near where the infrastructure improvement(s) were made will be requested.

Task 2c – Analyze case study findings

The research team will assess and analyze the qualitative and quantitative data collected through the literature review, the case study pre-site visit interviews, and the site visit listening sessions to determine concluding recommendations. These recommendations will be presented in a manner so they can best serve as useful guidelines to transit agencies nationwide seeking to address infrastructure issues that hinder the usage of their transit systems by persons with disability.

Technology Transfer

The results of this research will be documented for inclusion in a final written report to be prepared by the Mineta research team, with input from CUTR. The documentation will be targeted to an audience of transportation agency professionals and stakeholders in the disability community. Dissemination will also include presentations at relevant conferences, including the Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board.

Project Schedule

The project will begin in September 2013 and the project duration will be 12 months from the notice to proceed.



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National Center for Transit Research c/o Center for Urban Transportation Research 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 Tampa, FL 33620-5375