North American data are presented that indicate a small but rapidly growing market for demand-responsive transportation (DRT). Systems are proliferating at the rate of 2 to 3 per month and indications are that it will continue. It is shown that except for taxi operations, fleets usually have fewer than 10 vehicles and fares are typically 50 cents or lower. The size of area served by DRT is usually smaller than 13 sq. miles. The DRT services implemented to data differ from each other in 3 ways: technical design of the system; markets served by the service; and funding sources for the service. Tailoring the service offered to the market served is the most important consideration in implementing successful DRT services. The commuter market is a major market; DRT services have sometimes been substituted for unprofitable fixed routes, and sometimes serve as feeders to rail rapid systems. It is noted that commuting patterns have been changing during the past decade. Groups with special mobility needs (elderly, handicapped, and the economically disadvantaged) is a second market. Patrons needing local transportation within a particular area are a third market. A recent survey revealed that of 22 reporting systems, all but 3 required subsidy. Of more than 49 operating services, more than half were funded from a single source. Among the range of options for funding DRT services are: local taxes; fares; receipts from package delivery and sale of marketing space; federal subsidies (in Canada); and UMTA grants. In an effort to disseminate basic information to planners and operators, DOT has devised a method to synthesize the substantial array of available literature on DRT services into a state-of-the-art document and to validate the document (prior to its dissemination) at a workshop where experts and local transit operators and planners would comment on the accuracy and relevancy of the material.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the Fifth Annual International Conference on Demand-Responsive Transportation Systems conducted by the TRB, Nov. 11-13, 1974, Oakland, Calif.; and co-sponsored by American Public Transit Association, California DOT, Alameda-Contra Costa Transit, MIT, UMTA and Technology Sharing Program of U.S. DOT. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • O'Leary, Katherine
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 1975

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 14-20
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00126155
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 3 1981 12:00AM