Encumbered Passengers on Fixed Route Buses: An Exploration

Although the presence of disabled passengers on fixed-route transit affects operations, their data are often ignored, aggregated into a broad “encumbered” category, or marked as outliers in analyses of service performance measures. This study examines boarding and alighting characteristics of passengers encumbered with mobility aids (wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, and canes) and accessories (bicycles, strollers, and trailers) on fixed route buses and compares them to ambulatory unencumbered passengers. Data from detailed task analysis of video recordings of boarding and alighting activity at 1,327 bus stops from a sample of 29 bus trips on two fixed routes in Ann Arbor were analyzed. Results indicate that encumbered passengers did not travel in the morning peak period, but with the exception of wheelchair users, did not avoid the p.m. peak period. Almost all passengers with mobility aids, about half of those with accessories, and about a third of ambulatory passengers exited through front doors. The overall average dwell time was 19 seconds and 15 seconds when no encumbered individuals were boarding and alighting, respectively. Average dwell times ranged from 28 to 137 seconds when encumbered individuals were among those getting on or off. Examination of dwell times by specific mobility aid and accessory suggest that grouping passengers into: ambulatory with no accessories, encumbered with no ramp needed, and ramp needed might be a simple practical approach to including the effects of the broad diversity of transit passengers, both with and without disabilities into dwell time analyses, and in turn into measures of transit operations.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ABE60 Standing Committee on Accessible Transportation and Mobility. Alternate title: An Exploratory Study of Encumbered Passengers on Fixed-Route Buses
  • Authors:
    • Kostyniuk, Lidia
    • D'Souza, Clive
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2018


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 6p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01662534
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 18-00633
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 12 2018 3:02PM