Society’s demands for public transportation are broadening. Personal vehicle ownership is on the decline. Seniors and people with disabilities are choosing to remain active and mobile. Traditional fixed-route transit services cannot meet the expanding and evolving needs of the public. Service providers and technology developers are being called upon to solve these emerging and future challenges that will come to define the next stage of the transit industry.
Demand Responsive Transportation (DRT) is a complex operational and financial challenge. Delivering quality DRT services efficiently and achieve even minimal productivity levels demand effective management, control, and automation. Growing ridership, expanding geographies, and shrinking budgets only intensify the need to operate at peak efficiency. The cost of inefficiency is the depletion of critical resources and financial drain, leading to inadequate performance levels and low rider satisfaction.
DRT services for seniors and people with disabilities are particularly important to the community because other forms of transportation may not be able to accommodate them. These passengers may be in a wheelchair, have a service animal, or have other uncommon needs. The service providers must plan and schedule trips appropriately to meet the requirements of all clients while maintaining schedules and consistently high on-time performance.
DDS’ ADEPT™ scheduling and dispatch system is designed to solve these specific problems with the greatest possible efficiency and performance. To recognize ADEPT’s benefits, we looked to “The Ride” paratransit operation at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) in Boston and compared the key system performance metrics of ADEPT with the previous system they used.
At MBTA, ADEPT replaced the incumbent paratransit scheduling system and instantly delivered gains in efficiency while maintaining MBTA’s preferred scheduling methods. ADEPT immediately decreased daily routes used, reducing driver and vehicle costs by over 13%. In addition, ADEPT reduced waitlisted trips by 92%. Not only did ADEPT greatly improve MBTA’s service to its clients but it also greatly diminished the amount of manual rework MBTA’s dispatchers had to do, further bolstering time & cost efficiencies. Miles per trip declined by 10% and trips per vehicle hour improved by over 20%, improving productivity, driving fuel usage down, and contributing to an overall operating cost reduction of 30%.