in the population of frail elderly who are ambulatory but are eligible to use
paratransit, has directly increased the demand for paratransit service delivery.
This increase has, in turn, led some transit agencies to move away from
standard one-vehicle type fleets in favor of a mixed fleet incorporating smaller
accessible vehicles and non-accessible (generally sedans) vehicles. Some transit agencies will still need larger
vehicles for group trips. Determining the fleet mix is further complicated by
mandates issued by a few states to move away from gasoline and diesel and
towards electric powertrains.
wave of fleet configuration changes has sometimes provided some of the expected
benefits of lower operating costs and service delivery flexibility due to
incorporating smaller vehicles into the fleet mix. Still, these changes have
also brought forward a new set of service delivery issues with related
questions. These include, among others:
·More vehicle types can lead to increased
driver/maintenance training and redesigned facilities, which in turn increase
·Have these new costs been offset by lower-cost
parts, fuel savings, reduced maintenance and quicker vehicle maintenance
turnaround on smaller vehicles?
·Vehicle operators and passengers may display a
preference for specific vehicle types, leading to increased complaints,
scheduling constraints and employee performance issues.
·The vehicle type changes increase the
permutations and combinations of ambulatory/non-ambulatory passengers on
vehicles, increasing demand on the service ride management systems to keep the
vehicle on schedule.
·A mixed fleet complicates reassignment of rides,
if a vehicle runs late or goes out of service.
·Service policies require a re-write to include
the change in vehicles.
·Should performance metrics be adjusted? For
example, passenger loads on sedans may decrease overall productivity.