Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University

Validation Test for Using Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology in Special Transportation Service (STS)

  • Miami-Dade Transit (MDT)
  • Contact: Dr. Fabian Cevallos, (954) 234-4183, fabian.cevallos@fiu.edu

  • Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) is currently the largest transit agency in the state of Florida and is the 14th largest transit property in the United States. The agency operates four transit modes: Metrobus, Metrorail, Metromover, and Paratransit.

    Special Transportation Service (STS), the MDT paratransit service, is available for people with physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities who cannot ride Metrobus, Metrorail, or Metromover. With an average weekday ridership of 5,600, STS provides a very important service to seniors and people with disabilities in Miami-Dade County.

    To provide a better service to its customers, MDT is testing Long Range Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID). Radio-frequency identification uses communication through the use of radio waves to exchange data between a reader and an electronic tag attached to an object, for the purpose of identification and tracking. The RFID system can provide greater convenience for elderly riders and people with disabilities and faster boarding of the transit vehicles. With this system, MDT will also be able to keep an accurate count of the STS customers and have records of the transactions for fraud reduction and better management of no shows and complaints.

    The main objective of this study is to test the RFID system and data collected during the pilot project. To assist in this effort, the Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University (FIU) will conduct a series of tests to validate the reliability and accuracy of the system. The results from this test will help MDT assess the feasibility of implementing RFID on the whole STS fleet.