ADA paratransit services are a very large and ever-growing industry providing door-to-door transportation services for people with disability and elderly customers. Paratransit system, however, just like all other public transportation systems, suffers from travel time variability due to various factors and as a result gives its customers unreliable services. Although service reliability is a very important aspect in transportation study, it has not received much attention in the paratransit research community. A quantitative study evaluating the paratransit service reliability under different zoning strategies is yet to be found. This research filled this gap. Statistical models were proposed to represent travel time variability. Simulation experiments based on real demand data from Houston, Los Angeles and Boston were performed to quantitatively compare the reliability performance of centralized and decentralized operating strategies under different travel time variability levels. Results showed that the decentralized strategy, compared to the centralized no-zoning strategy, substantially improves the reliability of paratransit in terms of on-time performance. This research provides a framework for paratransit agencies to evaluate the service reliability of different organizational strategies through the simulation method.
Lu, W., Quadrifoglio, L., Petrelli, M. (2017). Reliability analysis of centralized versus decentralized zoning strategies for paratransit services. TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PROCEDIA, 25, 4100-4113 [10.1016/j.trpro.2017.05.340].