Title

POTENTIAL EFFECTS OF NEXT-DAY RESERVATION POLICIES ON USERS OF AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT PARATRANSIT SYSTEMS

Authors

C J. VENTER

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2001

Subject Area

policy - disability, mode - paratransit

Keywords

Windham (Connecticut), Travel behavior, San Francisco Bay Area, Reservations, Physically handicapped persons, People with disabilities, Paratransit services, Mobility, Lead time, Handicapped persons, Disabled persons, Dial a ride, Constraints, Americans with Disabilities Act

Abstract

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) significantly improved the mobility of physically disabled persons. However, one component of the ADA regulation has potentially adverse effects on users--namely, reservation policies. ADA allows operators to restrict paratransit trips to those reserved 1 day or more in advance. The effects of next-day reservation policies are addressed with regard to the number and types of potentially affected activities and users. The research sought a basic understanding of the fundamental behavior of activity planning, using qualitative and quantitative approaches. An exploratory study was conducted to identify the factors affecting the amount of advance planning--or planning lead time--people take before engaging in activities and travel. An empirical model was calibrated on a unique data set from Windham, Connecticut. The model confirmed that longer lead times are associated with certain activity types, as well as the travel needs and personal characteristics of the activity participant. The model was applied to a pre-ADA sample of disabled persons from the San Francisco Bay Area to estimate the effects of a next-day reservation policy on their current activity behavior. The results show that only a small fraction of activities and users are likely to be negatively affected, because of the tendency of this population to plan many activities long in advance for other reasons. However, the constraints imposed on those who are affected may be severe because these persons include the least mobile part of the population and have the greatest need for short-notice transport, for instance, in requiring urgent medical care.