Throughout the country, the costs to run ADA paratransit services are skyrocketing, even as riders and caregivers continue to contend with antiquated booking systems and limited visibility into vehicle location and arrival times. With 1 in 4 Americans currently living with a disability, operational and technological advances are sorely needed if agencies are to provide high-quality, truly equitable service to all who need it.
Thankfully, innovative paratransit providers across the country are implementing field-tested technological solutions to the persistent challenges of operating accessible transit. Replacing legacy software with modern TransitTech has provided agencies benefits like dynamic routing, consistent and reliable reporting, smartphone app- and web-based booking options, and more.
One option for the modern paratransit provider utilizing new technology comes in the form of ‘commingling’ — or the operations of paratransit in conjunction with other demand-responsive transit modes, such as microtransit. Commingling comes in many forms and, while it may not be right for every agency, it can have tremendous benefits for administrators, operators, and riders — bringing paratransit into the mainstream of public transportation.
In this guide, we’ll review what commingling is, take you through a few examples of commingling in practice across North America, and then show you how to get started. Read on for the latest in accessible transit innovation.