Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) First and Last Mile Solution Evaluation Report

Authors: Elliot Martin, PhD, Adam Stocker, Adam Cohen, Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: June 2021 Abstract: The Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration Program provides a venue through which integrated MOD concepts and strategies, supported through local partnerships, are demonstrated in real-world settings. For the 11 MOD Sandbox Demonstration projects, an independent evaluation was conducted that includes an analysis of project impacts from performance measures provided by the project partners and an assessment of the business models used. This document presents the results from the independent evaluation of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) First and Last Mile Solution MOD Sandbox Demonstration project. Evaluated were hypotheses that explored project impacts on travel behavior, user experiences, first and last mile to public transit accessibility, service quality for passengers with disabilities, and costs. The project improved first and last mile connectivity to DART transit, increased satisfaction among DART transit users, enhanced service for passengers with disabilities, and increased the geographic scope of DART transit service in the Plano area. In addition, wait and travel times for passengers with and without disabilities reflected similar distributions. The subsidy per rider of GoLink services was lower than the low-ridership fixed-route transit services that it replaced in Plano, but it was not lower than the subsidy for DART fixed-route transit in the overall Dallas region. DART project team members were interviewed to better understand challenges, barriers, successes, and broader lessons learned from the project, representing agency personnel from the offices of Innovation, Service Planning, Scheduling, Paratransit Operations, and Marketing. Lessons learned revealed the importance of having pre-planned, ready-to-go projects with committed partners, flexible contracting terms, metrics...

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Ventra–Divvy Integration Case Study

Authors: Adam Cohen, Susan Shaheen, Jacquelyn Broader, and Elliot Martin Date: June 2021 Abstract: The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Program provides a venue through which integrated MOD concepts and strategies, supported through local partnerships, are demonstrated in real-world settings. This case study documents lessons learned from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) MOD Sandbox Demonstration, called Ventra–Divvy Integration. The case study is a part of an independent evaluation of the MOD Sandbox Demonstrations sponsored by the USDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) and FTA. The case study includes background on CTA’s MOD Sandbox Demonstration, technical and institutional challenges encountered in the demonstration’s first phase, payment integration and unbanked access as part of the second phase of the demonstration, and discussion of lessons learned and recommended practices identified from this demonstration. View...

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Valley Metro Mobility Platform Evaluation Report

Authors: Elliot Martin, Ph.D., Ziad Yassine, Adam Cohen, Susan Shaheen, Ph.D., Les Brown Date: November 2020 Abstract: This report evaluates the Valley Metro Mobility Platform project, part of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox program. Valley Metro currently provides a Valley Metro RidekickTM mobile application for its users that features trip planning for light rail and buses. The Mobility Platform project aimed to develop new trip planning features and an integrated payment system for public and private transportation in an updated pilot app called Pass2Go, but integration with private transportation was not achieved and the app was discontinued, eventually to be replaced by another app. The evaluation of the project explored its effect on user travel and planning times, accessibility, and connectivity to different modes of transportation. Overall, the results showed that the Pass2Go app was an enhancement over the existing RidekickTM app. The evaluation supported hypotheses that wait and planning times were reduced, planning methods were improved, and that the platform enhanced accessibility and connectivity to different transportation options. Also, the project provided a platform for other public transportation agencies to exchange travel information and pro–duced lessons learned. Most hypotheses within this evaluation were supported and, overall, the project was found to perform very well. View...

Strategies to Overcome Transportation Barriers for Rent Burdened Oakland Residents

Authors: Alexandra Pan, Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: March 1, 2021 Abstract: Shared mobility is gaining traction in the transportation community as a potentially more environmentally friendly alternative to automobile travel and complement to public transit. However, adoption and use of shared mobility by low-income individuals lags behind other demographic groups. Additional research is needed to better understand the transportation needs of low-income travelers and how public agencies, community-based organizations, and shared mobility operators can work together to best serve those needs. This research fills gaps in understanding the potential policy strategies that could be effective at increasing the access, awareness, and use of shared mobility by low-income individuals. We employ Oakland, California as our primary study site (see Figure 1 and Table 1 for more detail). In this report, we present our findings on barriers to shared mobility from a review of existing shared mobility social equity initiatives, expert interviews (n=13) and focus groups with rent burdened residents of East Oakland (n=24). We further investigate barriers and implications for transportation use in an online survey (n=177), as well as longitudinal panel of phone and video interviews (n=31) with rent burdened Oakland residents. Rent burden refers to the percentage of income spent on rent and can more widely capture the population of Oakland residents who are struggling to keep up with rising housing costs. View...

Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) OpenTripPlanner

Authors: Elliot Martin, PhD, Aqshems Nichols, Adam Cohen, Susan Shaheen, PhD, Les Brown Date: February 2021 Abstract: This report documents the results of an independent evaluation of the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s (VTrans) OpenTripPlanner (OTP), called Go! Vermont, part of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration program. The project intended to serve as an alternative to other trip planners by including flexible transit options such as route deviation, dial-a-ride, and other demand-responsive alternatives and to analyze web traffic data to determine the level of user activity attracted by Go! Vermont since its launch. The evaluation compared the trip itineraries of Google Maps and the OTP and explored the inclusion of flexible transit options. Eight hypotheses were evaluated, and expert (stakeholder/project partner) interviews highlighted VTrans partnerships with employment services and vocational rehabilitation to leverage the trip planner for improving access to jobs, training, and healthcare for carless and carlite house-holds. Interviewees noted how the trip planner improved how telephone dispatchers and case workers provided transportation information. View...