Developing a Model-based Decision Support System for Call-A- Ride Paratransit Service Problems

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Hokey Min
    Bowling Green State University

Project Dates:

09/01/2009 to 08/31/2010

Project year: Year 1

MIOH-UTC Project Identifier: TS 13; Project 1

Focus Area:

  • Research: Intelligent Transportation Systems


To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the Toledo Area Regional Paratransit Service (TARPS), which is a subdivision of Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA), has begun to reassess the way that it serves riders with special needs such as senior citizens with limited mobility and physically or mentally-handicapped individuals requiring door-to-door services with a fare scheme comparable to regular transit.  However, a MIOH UTC funded previous project (TS13) by this Principal Investigator reveals that there still exist a significant amount of service gaps between the riders' service expectations and the actual rendering of paratransit services by TARPS.  Some of these gaps include: (1) a lack of timely pick-ups and drop-offs of the riders; (2) frequent communication breakdowns between the riders and the TARPS drivers; (3) limited TARPS services for a certain region of the Toledo metropolitan area.  Despite the TARPS' recent efforts to reduce these service gaps, its efforts are often restrained by an ongoing budget shortfall and limited technological assistance.  To make matters more challenging, paratransit is more expensive to operate on a per-passenger basis due to its customized service requirement for user-specified origin/destination and time.  To help TARPS officials better cope with ever-demanding paratransit service requirements, this project proposes a model-based decision support system (DDS) that would aid TARPS officials in automating the time-dependent TARPS vehicle routing and scheduling decisions in such a way that riders can be picked up and dropped off on-time and TARPS can be utilized in a fuel-efficient manner.

Final Report:


Total Budget: $80,642


US DOT, Bowling Green State University, and TARPS/TARTA