One of the most consistent public frustrations with bus systems is their perceived, and frequently actual, lack of schedule reliability. For travelers who must transfer between buses the potential for missing a connection becomes a major point of concern. While annoying to any passenger, a missed connection can be critical for a disabled passenger, especially in adverse weather conditions. When the required transfers are between different types of travel modes or different types of transportation services, a precise transfer becomes even more difficult. This, however, is required if a transit operation is to institute the type of feeder service envisioned in the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) legislation. The concept is for a paratransit vehicle (demand-responsive service) to pick up eligible passengers at a point of origin within three-quarters of a mile of a fixed bus route and transport them to the nearest accessible bus stop. One promising approach to facilitating the critical transfer is the use of Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) systems. The study reported here is intended to contribute to this investigation in two areas: first, focusing on the potential for using AVL to affect transfers between fixed route and paratransit vehicles and second, focusing on the application of AVL to a smaller transit operation. The test site is Des Moines, Iowa, where the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) operates a fleet of about one hundred vehicles along twelve fixed routes and a fleet of seventeen paratransit vehicles which offer complementary door-to-door demand-responsive service. The contents of the report are organized in the following sections: Introduction; AVL Technologies - The Signpost Approach, Loran-C, and GPS (Global Positioning System); The Des Moines MTA; Issues Involved in GPS Application; Frequency; System Components; Equipment Assessment; System Integrators; and Year Two Outlook.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This project was funded by the University Transportation Centers Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Midwest Transportation Center

    Iowa State University, 2521 Elwood Drive, Suite 125
    Ames, IA  United States  50010
  • Authors:
    • Kihl, M
    • Shinn, D
    • Das, B C
    • Eltinay, N
  • Publication Date: 1993-8


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 43 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00667710
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 19 1994 12:00AM