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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 encouraged public transit authorities to reassess the way they serve aging populations and physically handicapped individuals requiring door-to-door services. As the demand for paratransit services rose dramatically the last few years due to a growing number of aging baby-boomers and injured Iraq-Afghanistan War veterans, many public transit authorities have been faced with the dilemma of meeting the growing demand while controlling costs in times of ongoing budget crises. To help public transit authorities better cope with such a dilemma, this paper evaluates the comparative operating efficiency of 75 selected paratransit agencies in the United States using data envelopment analysis (DEA) and then identifies the best-practice paratransit systems. Lagging paratransit agencies can use such systems as benchmark reference points to evaluate their performance against other systems. Finally, this paper develops a profile of both efficient and inefficient paratransit agencies to discern a host of factors influencing the operating efficiency of paratransit systems.


This article was originally published in the open access journal, Journal of Transportation Management, in 2010, volume 21, issue 2A.

Original Publication Information

Min, Hokey, & Lambert, Thomas E. (2010). "Benchmarking and evaluating the comparative efficiency of urban paratransit systems in the United States: A data envelopment analysis approach." Journal of Transportation Management, 21(2A), 48-62.