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Improving Quality-of-Service in Para Transit Operations – OU06-FTA

Sponsor:

Federal Transit Authority

Research Team:

Sridhar Radhakrishnan

Universities Involved:

University of Oklahoma

Start Date:

08/15/06

End Date:

08/14/07

Summary:

The Tulsa Transit Authority (TTA) provides curb-to-curb para transit service to low-income individuals with disabilities. Approximately, 17,000 pick-up and drop-off requests are served every month within the Tulsa metropolitan area using lift-equipped vans, dedicated vans, and taxis. This project involves developing optimization and information technologies for helping TTA improve (i) vehicle capacity utilization, and (ii) quality of service for the customers, within the current level of resources.
We achieve the former goal by increasing the total number of passengers serviced with the same number of vehicles and personnel, and the latter by (i) actively informing a rider of any delays in pick-up time, (ii) providing flexibility in scheduling and rescheduling rider pickup times, and (iii) providing the ability to accommodate scheduling requests during after hours.
The project produced a state-of-the-art real-time vehicle tracking and scheduling system that addresses the quality-of-service requirements, and improves the performance of the para transit system at TTA. In the resulting system, the vehicles are equipped with portable geographical positioning and communication devices that proactively send their current location to a central site. The capability to track service vehicles in real-time enables TTA to send feedback on pickup times to the riders and it enables the design of more accommodative schedules with the support of optimization algorithms.