New transportation technology that directly impacts consumers should be evaluated by the people who are affected. Automated dispatching has become standard practice for paratransit services. This article summarizes a study analyzing consumer response to the Mobility Manager at a demonstration site in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Mobility Manager was applied to the TransAID demand-responsive mini-bus service for people who are elderly or who have disabilities. Survey data from two questionnaires, before and after the implementation of the Mobility Manager for the same subjects, were used to examine travel behavior and perceived service quality. These travelers reported service improvements such as easier telephone access and shorter travel times. The respondents’ travel patterns after implementation of the Mobility Manager remained stable. This article also provides econometric estimates of the change in the number of trips as a function of the change in travel attributes affected by implementation of the Mobility Manager. Changes in the number of trips by survey respondents were treated as a Poisson random variable. Results from a Poisson regression show that the primary beneficiaries of the Mobility Manager were riders with disabilities. Perceived service attributes that significantly affected changes in trips were length of trip, number of stops picking up additional passengers, and physical comfort.
Benjamin, Julian M & Price, Gregory N.
A Study of the Impact of APTS on Service Quality Perceptions of Elderly and Disabled Riders.
Journal of Public Transportation, 9 (1): 53-70.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jpt/vol9/iss1/3