Title

FORECASTING PARATRANSIT RIDERSHIP USING DISCRETE CHOICE MODELS WITH EXPLICIT CONSIDERATION OF AVAILABILITY

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1998

Subject Area

ridership - mode choice, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, ridership - old people, policy - disability, mode - paratransit

Keywords

Winston-Salem (North Carolina), Supply, Senior citizens, Scenarios, Ridership, Projections, Policy analysis, Physically handicapped persons, People with disabilities, Patronage (Transit ridership), Paratransit services, Older people, Old people, Mode choice, Modal choice, Market share, Handicapped persons, Forecasting, Elderly persons, Discrete choice models, Disabled persons, Disabled people, Dial a ride, Choice of transportation, Choice models, Availability, Aged

Abstract

In most developed countries, the population of the elderly and disabled is growing rapidly. These individuals require transportation service suited to their needs. Such service may be provided by applying emerging technologies to dial-a-ride transit. This research develops a methodology to quantitatively evaluate the impact of paratransit services on a traveler's mode choice behavior. The mode choice model explicitly considers availability of alternative modes and includes latent factors to account for taste heterogeneity. Stated preferences are also used to elicit preferences for new paratransit services. The methodology is empirically tested with data collected in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The model system developed is applied to evaluate the effect of improving service attributes and the impact of the introduction of new cost-effective modes on modal shares. Results of the policy analysis indicate that (a) transit policy changes, such as fare reduction, would have little effect on automobile driver and automobile passenger shares; (b) an improved reservation system for dial-a-ride services would produce shifts in mode share; (c) the proposed new bus deviation service was favored; (d) free bus service reduces dial-a-ride share; and (e) an increase in awareness of a dial-a-ride system would significantly increase its share.