Measuring Demand Management Impacts in a Sustainable Compliance Environment for the Americans with Disabilities Act: Orange County, California

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - travel demand management, planning - travel demand management, land use - impacts, land use - planning, ridership - demand, policy - equity, policy - disability, policy - environment, policy - sustainable, organisation - management, mode - paratransit


Trip reduction, Travel demand management, Transportation demand management, TDM measures, Sustainable transportation, Strategies, Strategic planning, SAFETEA-LU, Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Ridership, Productivity, Production rate, Priorities, Physically handicapped persons, People with disabilities, Patronage (Transit ridership), Paratransit services, Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County (California), Objectives, Handicapped persons, Goals, Funding, Financing, Disabled persons, Dial a ride, Costs, Compliance, Community-based transit, Americans with Disabilities Act


This paper considers the hypothesis that growth management of specialized transportation demand can effectively influence growth in paratransit services complementary to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), contributing to financially sustainable ADA compliance. Federal policies to implement the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users and documented field experiences of ADA complementary paratransit services speak to the challenges of balancing compliance with consumers’ needs. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Orange County, California, is creating sustainable strategies that comply with the law and provide mechanisms deep within the community to create alternative services to meet specialized transportation needs. This paper reports on implementation of an ADA demand management plan, tracking the impact of its strategies. Focus areas include (a) paratransit service policies, (b) fixed-route service policies, and (c) coordination with community-based providers. Interventions affect the three levers on costs of total trips, efficiency of those trips, and unit costs of service. Eleven specific strategies and measures of these are presented. Longitudinal data are examined to identify impacts on OCTA’s Access paratransit program in relation to trip bookings, productivity, and unit and total costs. Actual ridership and revenue-hour data are contrasted with projections of OCTA’s ADA demand estimation tool, its 99% confidence level anticipating significant, continuing trip growth. The paper concludes that it is possible to achieve a growth in the program that is less than the growth in available funds—in measurable ways—through multiple strategies. These include partial funding by the transit authority of community-based transportation alternatives.