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The transportation disadvantaged, including older adults, persons with disabilities and individuals with lower incomes, often have limited or no access to transportation. These populations need flexible yet dependable routes and schedules, easily understood traveler information, simple-to-use fare payment options, and transportation that is safe and secure. ITS technologies, such as automatic vehicle location, computer aided dispatch, mobile data terminals, mobile data computers and coordination and integration software, can improve the operations and coordination of agencies, resulting in greater efficiencies and service delivery improvements that benefit the transportation disadvantaged. In addition, advanced traveler information systems, electronic fare payment and surveillance and security systems, are passenger-related ITS technologies that can improve the mobility of the transportation disadvantaged.

A Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) report, ITS Applications for Coordinating and Improving Human Services Transportation, has profiled six diverse sites that have successfully deployed ITS technologies to improve transportation options for the transportation disadvantaged. The case studies examined include: Wheels of Wellness (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Flint Mass Transportation Authority (MTA), Cape Code Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA), Tri-Met (Portland, Oregon), Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) and Client Referral, Ridership and Financial Tracking (CRRAFT, New Mexico). While these agencies have used different approaches, based on their needs and in-house capabilities, all have emphasized the importance of coordination and flexibility in providing service.

The FHWA report provides an overview of ITS technologies that improve human services transportation, describes examples of useful practices and cross-cutting findings for the six sites, and presents a set of lessons learned.
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FHWA ITS Joint Program Office
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ITS Applications for Coordinating and Improving Human Services Transportation
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