Our new report, Intelligent Paratransit, is available for download here.
As Americans aged 65 or older increase from fifteen to twenty percent of the population by 2030, cities across the United States will face a transportation crisis. Urban residents who are physically unable to use public transportation, including the disabled and mobility-impaired elderly, are offered paratransit services. These paratransit systems, as required by an unfunded 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act mandate, are enormous, and growing annually in new applications and budget requirements.
Paratransit demand is growing nationwide and costs continually increase (now $5.2 billion nationwide); the user experience is often reported as poor. To address efficiency and user experience, this report assesses the state of paratransit, analyzes innovative solutions in three cities and recommends potential technological solutions. The Intelligent Paratransit Technological Upgrade Framework includes improvements in the areas of Onboarding, Reservations, Dispatch & Routing and User Experience. Key technological recommendations include:
Ride reservations should be available through multiple channels: phone, apps, SMS messaging, physical infrastructure on the street and wearable technology for riders.
Paratransit agencies must collaborate with taxis and app-based car services, including Uber, Lyft, Via and SilverRide, to integrate efficient services.
Services connecting riders to transit should feature real-time, in-vehicle data integration with transit services to optimize accessibility of trips.
As cities grow in language diversity, paratransit vehicles should feature on-board translation apps and call-in numbers to better service all riders.
By applying new technological systems to a 26 year-old mandate, paratransit services can be made more efficient and provide a better customer experience. In New York City, these upgrades could save the agency up to $133 million per year. Improving mobility solutions for the elderly and disabled is possible, necessary and urgent.
NYU Rudin Center Assistant Director Sarah Kaufman spoke with Popular Mechanics on Facebook Live yesterday. The conversation covered gridlock, bikes and driverless cars while sitting in traffic. Check out the video here:
The NYU Rudin Center’s current work surrounds “Intelligent Paratransit,” a project to re-frame mobility for the elderly and disabled using modern ridesharing technologies.
Through this work, the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation aims to find technological solutions to making paratransit across the country more cost- and time-efficient, and a better experience for its customers. We are analyzing paratransit systems worldwide, evaluating potential improvements for reservations, dispatch and routing, and recommending strategies for incorporating new technology into existing systems.
The NYU Rudin Center hosted advisory group sessions to discuss the implications of changes and advances in policy, technology, and operations as they apply to paratransit in the US and collaborate on potential solutions. The project advisory group consists of stakeholders from the public, private, non-profit and advocacy sectors.
The Intelligent Paratransit report will be released in the summer of 2016.
We love transportation! And, we hope you enjoy this week’s reading list. This week, we’re reading about new attempts to marry shopping and dining experiences here in NYC with TurnStyle at the Columbus Circle subway station, impending L train repairs, and fun facts about floating concrete. What we’re reading this week:
In case you you missed it, our assistant director for technology programming, Sarah Kaufman, recently guest posted to the Second Avenue Sagas blog. We highly recommend you read her piece, “Transit: The Gender Difference” here.
This week, we’ve also been reading–and thinking–about the following transportation news items:
The Rudin Center analyzes transportation policy and management in New York City and beyond. The results of our analysis is often published as a report or publication on the Rudin Center site.
Just last month, the Rudin Center hosted the first ever NYC Bus Hackathon in partnership with the MTA and supported by TransitCenter. A full review of the event can be read here.
Rudin Center reports and publications are often cited in news articles. Additionally, Rudin Center staff are frequently asked for comment on transportation issues. Included below are some examples of press coverage:
Sarah Kaufman in Wired, “Google and the Feds Team Up to Build the City of the Future” (Link)
Mitchell Moss in AMNY, “L train could face Manhattan-Brooklyn shutdowns in 2017” (Link)
NYU Rudin Report in Politico New York, “NYU urban planners counter pope-visit gridlock predictions” (Link)
We’re excited to meet prospective students next Friday at NYU Wagner’s Admitted Students Day! NYU Rudin Center Director Mitchell Moss will deliver a faculty WagTalk. If you want to learn about Wagner School admissions, please check out the site. In the meantime, we’ve been busy reading up on this week’s transportation news:
The Staten Island Bus Hackathon, organized by the NYU Rudin Center, TransitCenter and the MTA was a resounding success and an unprecedented event. Held on Saturday, March 5th, It was highly attended and produced many implementable solutions.
Approximately 150 participants – coders, planners and other interested attendees – joined the event held at LMHQ in Lower Manhattan. Fifteen proposals for reforming Staten Island Bus service were submitted and presented.
Three prizes were awarded:
Grand Prize: “How to Optimize Express Bus Routes in Staten Island,” by Sri Kanajan (link)
Best Solution for Express Bus Service: “Better Than The Subway,” by Colin Foley, Maria Carey, Raymond Cha, Larry Gould and David McCreery (link)
Best Solution for Local Bus Service: “Buses in SI,” by Austin Krauza, Jenny Ye, Adam Davidson, Sunny Zheng and Steve Bauman (link)