Dial-a-ride is a door-to-door public transportation concept similar to taxi service except that passengers share the vehicle (usually a 12 to 20-passenger bus) with other riders. This paper examines energy consumption of dial-a-ride systems in three small Michigan cities. Fuel consumption per effective passenger kilometer (shortest distance between a passenger's origin and destination) is derived from aggregate fuel and ridership data and average trip-length data in the test cities. The analysis also predicts dial-a-ride user behavior and energy consumption in the absence of dial-a-ride. Results show that the introduction of dial-a-ride into test communities in Michigan has caused a net increase in transportation-related fuel consumption. Inducement of new trips, low vehicle occupancies, circuitous routing, poor vehicle fuel economy, and diversion of passengers from more energy-efficient modes are seen to be principal reasons for the significant energy costs of dial-a-ride. The future potential of dial-a-ride is discussed in the context of increasing energy prices, and several methods of reducing its energy intensiveness are presented. Despite the pessimistic estimates presented, energy consumption is only one of many factors that must be considered in determining the feasibility and desirability of dial-a-ride for a particular site. /Author/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 14-18
  • Monograph Title: Paratransit services
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00184194
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 29 1981 12:00AM