In-Cabin Fine Particulate Matter Exposure during Paratransit Transport

The effects of fine particulate matter (PM) exposure on human health depend on age as well as preexisting heart or lung diseases, and older adults are at greater risk for developing these diseases. Many older individuals have limited transportation options and may rely on mobility services, such as paratransit transport, to meet their mobility needs. Paratransit transport typically provides transportation options for older adults and individuals that cannot access the fixed-route bus or rail system. However, PM exposure during the use of paratransit services is understudied. Paratransit transport has different operating characteristics than typical fixed-route bus service. Specifically, paratransit bus transport has longer ingress and egress times, which leads to longer idling times. This project sought to characterize typical PM exposure for urban paratransit riders. To achieve the objective, the research team measured PM concentrations inside the cabin of paratransit buses for two paratransit operators in the southeast region of the United States. These field measurements included collection of the in-cabin PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations during typical daily routes. To collect these data, the research team used a GRIMM 1.109 aerosol spectrometer with isokinetic sampling pipe inside the cabin of several paratransit buses propelled by both gasoline and diesel engines. In addition to the PM measurements, the research team also analyzed anonymized data on preexisting conditions (i.e., prevalence of heart and/or lung disease) among the paratransit riders and origin-destination data to specify most likely pickup and drop-off locations. These analyses found that PM exposure for paratransit riders was dominated by exposure during pickup and drop-off operations rather than while the vehicles were in motion. These results suggest that facilities that receive paratransit passengers should be aware of potential PM sources located in the vicinity of their receiving locations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 22p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01759559
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GT-01-08
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747128
  • Created Date: Nov 18 2020 11:33AM