The Application of Advanced Technologies in an Emergency Paratransit Start-Up: The Baltimore Experience

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is a state agency as well as the transit operator for the Baltimore area. The MTA operates fixed-route, light and heavy rail, commuter rail, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit. In July 2004, the MTA was faced with an emergency startup for its ADA paratransit service (Mobility) that required a new service model that included many new vehicle operators and dispatchers. Confronted with an implementation time frame of 2.5 months, it was evident that there would be start-up issues. Acknowledging these facts convinced the MTA that the best option was to go with its greatest strength - the successful implementation of technology. MTA had mastered the use of mobile data terminals (MDT), automatic vehicle locator system (AVL) and paratransit software over the past three years. These and other technologies were applied to the implementation for the following objectives: (1) Making the vehicle operator and the dispatcher’s jobs easier with new tools - ultimately improving productivity. This is especially important for “rookie” drivers; (2) Enhancing communication on a limited radio network; and (3) Tracking/monitoring performance through enhanced real time data and after the fact information to research problems. This paper will look at how technology assisted the MTA in the implementation of a new service design. The lessons learned will be shared and problems and successes will be reviewed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: 6p
  • Monograph Title: 2005 Bus & Paratransit Conference

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01001938
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 1931594163
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 11 2005 10:39AM