Journal of Transportation Management


In the wake of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) of 1990, paratransit services were offered to improve mobility, employment opportunities, and access to community services for individuals who are mentally or physically handicapped. Due to the complexity involved in ADA rules and transportation regulations as well as the customized, on-demand service requirements, paratransit services are far more costly to render than fixed-route based mass transit services. In times of ongoing budget crisis among public entities, many public transit authorities cope with a dilemma of meeting the growing demand and complex service requirements, while controlling rising paratransit costs. Considering this dilemma, this paper proposes a decision support system (DSS) that can aid the mass transit authority in evaluating paratransit service performance, while continually improving performance over time. To validate the usefulness of the proposed DSS, it has been applied to the actual case of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA).