Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University

Using Data from an Electronic Fare Collection System to Identify the Travel Behavior of Seniors and the Disabled Community

  • Sponsor: Federal Transit Administration
  • Contact: Dr. Fabian Cevallos, (954) 234-4183, fabian.cevallos@fiu.edu
    or Dr. David Shen, (305) 348-1869, shenl@fiu.edu

  • Most transit agencies in the U.S. collect data from electronic farebox systems. The data usually contain critical information about seniors and the disabled population. Yet, there are no available tools that allow the extraction of this type of information efficiently. Therefore, research is needed to identify computerized mechanisms to take full advantage of the data to determine the travel characteristics and behavior of this very important segment of the population. It is expected that the results from this research be used by transit planners to help providing a transit service that is fair and equitable and takes into consideration all population groups.

    The elderly and disable community has particular characteristics that need to be understood to be able to provide transit service that is sensitive to its needs. The ability to access and use public transportation may be limited by a series of physical, cognitive, visual, mental, or other disabilities. Further, direct access to public transportation is often restricted due to the lack of adequate infrastructure and the transit service provided is often inadequate. This makes the mobility of seniors and disabled persons a serious challenge. Therefore transit providers need to be aware of these limitations when planning and providing transit service, so that this group of the population can become an active and productive element of society.

    This research will concentrate on using existing data at the transit agencies to assess the travel behavior and patterns of seniors and disabled persons. Knowing what their travel patterns and preferences will provide transit planners with the necessary information to plan ahead. Expected use of this information may include the prioritization of transit amenities, the assessment of and needs for surrounding infrastructure, the provision of services at particular time of day and at particular locations, the type of vehicles needed to provide transit services, compliance with the federal regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), thus, help to improve the overall mobility of seniors and people with disabilities.