Comparing Fixed-Route and Demand-Responsive Feeder Transit Systems in Real-World Settings

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - operating costs, mode - demand responsive transit, operations - scheduling, planning - service improvement, planning - surveys, ridership - demand, place - north america


fixed-route, demand-responsive, passenger survey, transit schedules, optimal routing techniques


This research presents a method for comparing fixed-route transportation systems and demand-responsive feeder transit systems by using passenger survey data, published transit schedules, and optimal routing techniques. Demand-responsive transportation can be used to improve transit service levels in low-demand areas. Because demand in cities can vary significantly across the region and by time of day, an effective means of determining when demand-responsive services can outperform fixed-route services, and vice versa, is needed. This research builds on existing comparison techniques that focus on gridded street systems and expands the techniques to include all types of street networks, transit schedules, and passenger demand levels. The generic techniques are presented and a case study is given for Atlanta, Georgia, to determine where demand-responsive feeder systems could be implemented to improve customer satisfaction and reduce operating costs.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.