Effects of basic rural paratransit characteristics on organizational culture

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - community transport, mode - paratransit, place - rural, place - north america, organisation - management, planning - education


rural, paratransit, organisation culture, community mobility


The purpose of this research is to determine if the basic characteristics of rural paratransit systems influence their organizational culture. "Organizational culture" is defined in this research as a pattern of shared basic assumptions for solving problems that is considered the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems. Eight categories of organizational culture specific to paratransit systems-including efficiency, customer focus, availability to the general public, dedication to human service agencies, growth, maintenance of the status quo, business, and charity-were explored. The survey was distributed to managers of paratransit agencies with similar funding sources and the same basic goal of providing community mobility. Respondents completed the survey by ranking the statements in each question in order of importance. Respondent rankings were analyzed with the use of basic characteristics of paratransit systems, including organization type, scheduling software, and system size. All organizational culture categories were influenced by at least one basic paratransit characteristic. The study concludes that organizational culture varies significantly according to the characteristics of a paratransit agency. The study recommends that funding sources develop clear expectations of organizational culture, effectively convey these expectations, and measure how successfully the expectations were fulfilled. The results also suggest that standard industry training is necessary to establish consistent organizational cultures among different paratransit systems. Finally, all plans to improve the performance of paratransit systems should include an assessment of organizational culture.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by TRB, copyright remains with them.