Center Identification Number: NCTR 576-13
Project Title: Update Methodology for ADA Demand Estimates: Lessons Learned
Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
External Project Contact:
I. Project Objective
Many transit systems in Florida and across the country find themselves being overwhelmed by requests for ADA paratransit trips. As a result, they are being forced to reduce fixed route services in order to balance their budgets. The objective of this project is to develop an updated methodology for forecasting ADA demand, to document lessons learned from current/past ADA forecasting methods, and methods for dealing with an overwhelming need for ADA paratransit services. This will allow transit agencies to more accurately predict the need for ADA paratransit service and to budget appropriately.
II. Project Abstract
The current and accepted standard for determining local impacts of ADA is found in the ADA Paratransit Handbook published in September 1991 (UMTA-MA-06-0206-91-1). This methodology was developed from surveys taken in 1978 and 1987, along with 1980 U.S. Census data. The current methodology may represent the population that is potentially ADA-eligible; however, it does little to assist transit agencies in determining actual paratransit demand. Additionally, transit systems now have vehicles that can accommodate many disabilities, making it possible for many of the potential ADA-eligible population to ride the fixed route. Information regarding methodologies used to forecast ADA paratransit demand among transit agencies must be gathered in order to provide an understanding of certain practices and then to assess which methodologies to be considered best practices.
III. Task Descriptions
Several questions will be addressed, such as:
The tasks, as outlined below, support an effort to answer these questions.
Task 1: Data Collection
Information on the number of certified ADA users and the number of ADA paratransit trips per year would be gathered from all Florida transit agency databases, and from several transit agencies throughout the United States.
Information on users, trips, population, costs, and service hours will also help understand accurate methodologies for demand estimation.
Previous and current Census data demographic information will be collected to coincide with the above-referenced transit areas.
Task 2: Case Studies
CUTR will collect and review specific examples of local and national forecasting methodologies, if available, and determine their level of accuracy. Staff will also attempt to determine accepted and best practices for demand estimation.
Task 3: Final Report
A report of the findings will be generated along with a determination of best practices for demand estimation found during data collection and analysis. Associated costs determined by transit agencies for the provision of paratransit demand will be provided as well.
IV. Project Schedule
Start Date: Approximately February 1, 2003
V. Project Budget
Notes: This budget does not reflect any federal participation.
The project team will include faculty, students, and secretarial and other support staff who will work directly on the project and whose costs are reflected in the direct costs of the project as listed above.
VI. Student Involvement
Graduate students will be used to assist in data collection and the development of the model.
VII. Relationship to Other Research Projects
The ADA Paratransit Handbook published in September 1991 (UMTA-MA-06-0206-91-1) contains the accepted standard for estimating ADA paratransit demand. This methodology is outdated, and does not represent an accurate assessment of demand.
VIII. Technology Transfer Activities
The results of this analysis will be provided to the FDOT through a series of technical memoranda and a final report on CD, and will be made available on the NCTR website and through presentations at local and national conferences.
IX. Potential Benefits of the Project
The objective of this project is to develop a comprehensive report on methodologies employed at transit agencies for demand estimation, to document lessons learned from current/past ADA forecasting methods, and to determine best practices among methodologies included in the study. This will allow transit agencies to more accurately understand the need for ADA paratransit service, and to budget appropriately.
X. TRB Keywords
Public transit, paratransit, ADA, ridership estimation
National Center for Transit Research · at the Center For Urban Transportation Research · University of South Florida · 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 · Tampa, FL 33620-5375 · (813) 974-3120 · (813) 974-5168 · www.nctr.usf.edu · Comments: email@example.com