TRB’s International Conference on Demand Responsive and Innovative Transportation Services
TSS Paratransit was also a sponsor of TRB’s International Conference on Demand Responsive and Innovative Transportation Services, held April 15-17 in Baltimore. TSS’s Will Rodman attended the conference and was asked to speak on two different topics: New Paradigms in DRT /Shared Mobility On-Demand Metrics, and the Impact of Analytical Reports on Paratransit Service Planning. Both sessions attracted approximately 50-75 attendees and received quite a bit of attention (see below).
The conference exceeded the expectations of many of the 150 attendees. Emerging were several themes that straddled the different topical sections of the conference. One dominant theme focused on the customer experience and how that is driving new technology. For example, there was particular interest on innovative customer service functions, such as 5M’s state-of-the art customer self-servicing functions, and a renewed interest in front-end one call one click functions (such as service discovery and trip planning) that enable customers to better identify and understand their service options. Another dominant theme was how transit agencies are using TNC’s for alternative services and microtransit.
Will’s DRT Metrics presentation was extremely timely because the FTA had issued proposed revisions for National Transit Database (NTD) reporting in a Federal Register Notice just the week before the conference. Will discussed these proposed changes in his presentation and discussed what shortcomings continue to exist and would not be addressed by the proposed revisions. Will then urged the session attendees to comment on the proposed revisions via this link.
In his second presentation on Analytical Reporting, Will presented a case study on how simple and cost neutral changes to run structures can have a hug impact on productivity, unit cost, and on-time performance. Will also showed several applications of 5M’s Optimization Lab tool to help with run structure and service mix optimization, paratransit service performance analysis, trend and compliance analyses, and ”what-if” planning.