Emphasize Enhanced Data Standardization for Improved Compatibility Across Various Agency Databases.

Expert Interviews for an On-Demand Service Aiding Travelers with Disabilities in Pinellas County, Florida, Produced Important Lessons Learned on Data Standards and Public-Private Mobility Partnerships.

Date Posted
11/30/2023
TwitterLinkedInFacebook
Identifier
2023-L01204

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Public-Private-Partnership for Paratransit, Evaluation Report

Summary Information

This study presented the results of an independent evaluation of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Public-Private-Partnership for Paratransit Demonstration project, part of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox program, over the June 2019-September 2020 evaluation period. In order to increase the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of paratransit services while improving customer mobility and accessibility throughout Pinellas County, Florida, this paratransit demonstration project developed an integrated platform that provided on-demand curb-to-curb paratransit service through partnerships with shared ride companies, shared ride for users with disabilities, and a software suit enabling demand responsive ride requests through apps. The evaluation of the PSTA Public-Private-Partnership for Paratransit project assessed its effect on user wait times, travel times, accessibility, and mobility and its impact on system operating cost and payment methods. The evaluation was informed by 13 hypotheses analyzed using activity data collected during the evaluation period, expert (stakeholder/project partner) interview data providing key lessons, as well as ‘before’ and ‘after’ surveys. The ‘before’ survey included 68 participants while the ‘after’ survey received 153 respondents. 

  • Emphasize enhanced data standardization for improved compatibility across various agency databases. Interviewees highlighted that the absence of national data standards creates fundamental technical issues. Differences in database formats among transit providers make even basic data sharing problematic. These challenges can lead to delays and sometimes prevent the establishment of public-private mobility partnerships. 
  • Help expedite project implementation with timely and top-down negotiations. When negotiating public-private private partnerships, it is important to be in contact with the chief officers of agencies/companies to avoid organizational delays, such as mergers, acquisitions, organizational restructuring, and personnel changes. 
  • Be aware that obtaining insurance for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) could be challenging. The partners interviewed in this study explained that WAV insurance is quite high and difficult to get. They urged the FTA to explore establishing a national WAV insurance program, similar to Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) national flood insurance program, to help increase access to insurance at lower costs. 
  • Properly document all project records. Interviewees in this study noted that service provider and vendor integration process need to be properly documented at the outset, so all partners understand capabilities and limitations and are held accountable with respect to project timelines and deliverables.

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) Public-Private-Partnership for Paratransit, Evaluation Report

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
(PSTA) Public-Private-Partnership for Paratransit, Evaluation Report
Source Publication Date
04/01/2022
Author
Martin, Elliot; Ziad Yassine; Adam Cohen; Susan Shaheen; and Les Brown
Publisher
Prepared by University of California, Berkeley and ICF for FTA

Keywords Taxonomy: