The Metropolitan Transportation Commission this month received a $500,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration through the agency’s Enhancing Mobility Innovation (EMI) program to demonstrate a technology-driven regional solution to streamline data communication between different systems for booking paratransit trips. MTC will partner with Bay Area paratransit agencies in a demonstration project scheduled to begin in May 2023.
Paratransit trips are among the most difficult to coordinate for passengers and service providers alike. These trips require at least 24 hours of advance notice, eligibility verification, specialized vehicles, and often are available only at certain times of the day. If a passenger’s trip involves crossing county lines, the home-county service provider must coordinate with other service providers; and paratransit agencies must coordinate pick-up and drop-off points.
The proposed demonstration software development effort led by MTC aims to deliver paratransit operators more powerful tools for multi-county trip booking and to automate certain trip-booking processes through system-to-system data communication.