Update Methodology for ADA Demand Estimates: Lessons Learned

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - route design, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, ridership - demand, mode - paratransit


Americans with Disabilities Act, Best practices, Demand, Estimates, Fixed routes, Forecasting, Lessons learned, Methodology, Paratransit services, Physically handicapped persons, Public transit, Ridership


The current and accepted standard for determining local impacts of the Americans with Disabilities Act (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 potentially ADA-eligible population to ride the fixed route. Information regarding methodologies used to forecast ADA paratransit demand among transit agencies has been gathered in order to provide an understanding of certain practices, and an assessment as to which methodologies are to be considered best practices has been completed.