Challenge / Goal
Persons with reduced mobility (PRMs) often experience unique challenges as compared to their able-bodied counterparts, including barriers to accessing traditional transport services. With regular fixed appointments to keep —work, social services, etc. — PRMs often rely on adapted, more individualized transport services, sometimes referred to as paratransit. Unfortunately, however, scheduling complex transport requests and respecting pick-up and drop-off times of PRMs within a traditional transport scheme largely aimed toward able-bodied riders introduces complexities that can be also challenging for bus operators.
We designed an algorithm and system that considers this balance of timing and duration appropriately, taking into considerations that more many PRMs respecting their pick-up and drop-off times must take precedence over travel time. We also enabled bulk pre-programming of repeat rides. This saves time and improves efficiency for operators and ensures a more reliable service for passengers.
Before the start of any operation we always have focus groups with the municipalities and end users. In this case, we worked as follows: (1) Initial meetings with relevant staff of the Town Hall, (2) Calls with local experts, (3) Focus group with potential customers, (4) Interviews with end users, and (5) Visit the city to obtain direct knowledge of the area.
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