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Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services (2023)

Chapter: Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix - Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26907.
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77   A P P E N D I X Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36 Project Purpose The Transportation Research Board, through its Transit Cooperative Research Program, has commissioned the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) to conduct a research study on the impact of continuous dynamic optimization on ADA paratransit services. Continuous dynamic optimization is an automated capability of paratransit scheduling/dispatching software that re-optimizes the scheduling of trips throughout the day of service in consideration of changes that occur after the scheduling process has been completed. Continuous dynamic optimization considers all the changes that have occurred in the interval between the process runs (e.g., holes that opened up from newly canceled trips or late- running vehicles) and reassigns trips in an optimal fashion. The process may also consider the assignment of trips to non-dedicated vehicles if available. These systems generally have configurable intervals regulating how often this process is executed and also provide configurable safeguards against modifying a rider’s pickup time or interrupting what a driver is doing at the moment. Project Objectives The objectives of this research are to identify and document the following: • The different ways that traditional paratransit scheduling/dispatching technologies and newer on-demand technologies supporting ADA paratransit services are incorporating continuous dynamic optimization. • The particular ADA paratransit service models/operating environment where continuous dynamic optimization technology is being used. • How transit agency or contractor policies or practices (e.g., the scheduler and dispatcher divisions of labor) have changed with the implementation of continuous dynamic optimization. • The benefits associated with incorporating continuous dynamic optimization for ADA paratransit and how those benefits are measured. • How resulting cost reduction benefits are impacted by contractor payment structures. • Challenges and issues associated with tailoring, deploying, and using continuous dynamic optimization, and how transit agencies have addressed these challenges. • Actions taken based on the results and experience and lessons learned. Guidance for Completing This Survey If your transit agency is responsible for multiple jurisdictions for which you have separate ADA paratransit services, please choose the largest one for which continuous dynamic optimization is used.

78 Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services Your answers will be saved whenever you advance to the next page of the survey. You can finish the survey later by accessing it again from the same device and browser within a two-week period. If you accessed this survey through a unique survey link emailed to you, you can pause taking the survey and return to complete it at any time using the same link. This survey should take 20–25 minutes to complete online. Questions should be addressed to Will Rodman. Please complete the survey by April 15, 2022. Thank you! By clicking the button below, you are agreeing to participate in the survey. There is no penalty for not participating in the survey or not completing it. Agency/Organization: Agency/Organization: ________________________________________________ ADA Paratransit Service Name: ________________________________________________ City: ________________________________________________ State: ________________________________________________ ZIP: ________________________________________________ Contact Name: ________________________________________________ Title: ________________________________________________ Email: ________________________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________________ How is your ADA paratransit service operated? Operated with dedicated vehicles only Operated with non-dedicated vehicles only Operated with dedicated and non-dedicated vehicles We recommend that before starting the survey, you get ridership data for dedicated and non-dedicated service for October 2019 and October 2021. You might also need to have at hand before-and-after information about trips per revenue vehicle hour, operating costs, on-time performance, dispatcher staffing numbers, dispatcher labor costs, and customer complaints. (“Before-and-after” refers to conditions before and after implementation of continuous dynamic optimization.)

Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36 79   Who provides the dedicated vehicles? Transit agency Operations contractor(s) Both Who provides the non-dedicated vehicles? Taxi companies Transportation network companies (TNCs) Both Other: ________________________________________________ ADA Paratransit Service Size Please provide the information requested in the table below. In the table, “co-mingled” refers to non-ADA paratransit trips that are served along with ADA paratransit trips in the same vehicles. October 2019 October 2021 Ridership—ADA paratransit trips Ridership—other co-mingled trips Ridership—total Percentage of ridership on dedicated vehicles Percentage of ridership on non-dedicated vehicles

80 Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services What entity is responsible for the following functions for your ADA paratransit service? Select one entity in each row. Transit agency Operations contractor(s) Broker Call center manager Reservations: Scheduling: Dispatching: ETA calls: Operations: Further explanation (if needed): ________________________________________________________________ Reservations/Booking Policies for Your ADA Paratransit Service Select all that apply. Next-day reservations Advance reservations Subscription trip/standing order requests Same-day service (if space available) How many days in advance must advance reservations be made? ________________________________________________________________

Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36 81   Other Trip Booking Methods Select all that apply. Next-day trip Advance trip Subscription trip Same-day trip Riders may use an app or a web-based platform to book a(n) ___. Riders may send in their trip request via email to book a(n) ___. Other: Scheduling Practices for Next-Day and Advance Reservation Bookings Describe your scheduling practices for next-day and advance reservation bookings. Select one. Real-time scheduling (i.e., a reservation agent uses your scheduling software to schedule a trip onto a vehicle run immediately after the trip is booked while the customer is still on the telephone; schedulers using your scheduling software may later reassign trips, re-optimize trips, or assign trips to other runs or providers) Delayed scheduling (i.e., a reservation agent books the trip request for a specific date and time but does not schedule the trip onto a vehicle run; this is done later by schedulers using your scheduling software) Other: ________________________________________________ What is the largest number of dispatchers (including dispatcher assistants) that you have on duty at the same time? ________________________________________________________________

82 Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services Dispatching Practices for Your ADA Paratransit Service Which of the following statements describe the dispatching division of labor? Select all that apply. Your dispatchers communicate with drivers only, while riders communicate only with reservation agents/customer service agents for service-day (ETA/Where’s My Ride?) calls. All rider service-day calls are called into the call center line where reservation agents/customer service representatives handle most of the service-day issues and transfer calls that they cannot handle to dispatch. You have certain dispatchers communicating with drivers and other dispatchers communicating with riders for service-day issues. All dispatchers communicate with both drivers and with riders (for service-day issues). Your dispatchers for a specific shift are assigned to certain zones or areas or to certain sets of drivers/vehicles. You have a designated dispatcher per shift or dispatcher group who is responsible for “proactive” dispatching (i.e., identifying upcoming problems [e.g., beyond 2 hours] and solving them before they become real-time problems). Booking/Scheduling/Dispatching Technology What is the (brand of) technology that you currently use to support the booking/scheduling/dispatching functions of your ADA paratransit service? ________________________________________________________________

Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36 83   Expanded Use of Technology Does the technology that is used to support your ADA paratransit service support any other services you provide? Select all that apply. No, just our ADA paratransit service Yes, we also use it for our on-demand, general public microtransit service(s) Yes, we also use it for:________________________________________________ Dispatcher-Driver Technology How does your technology provide for dispatcher-driver communication and service data collection? Select one. In-vehicle mobile data terminals, supplemented by voice radio In-vehicle tablets, supplemented by voice radio Voice radio only, with printed manifests (on which service data are collected) Drivers contact dispatchers by cell phone, with printed manifests (on which service data are collected) There is no routine communication between drivers and dispatchers; drivers interact with the dispatch system via an app, and dispatchers are contacted by phone only in the event of an emergency Other: ________________________________________________

84 Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services Continuous Dynamic Optimization Availability and Use Does your technology include a continuous dynamic optimization capability as a standard capability of your licensed software or as a module for a specific additional license fee? Select one. Yes, as a standard feature, and we use it Yes, as an available module (for an additional license fee), and we use it Yes, as a standard feature, but we do not use it (or did use it but no longer do) Yes, as an available module (for an additional license fee), but we did not get it (or did get it but do not use it) No Not sure When did you first start using the continuous dynamic optimization function? ________________________________________________________________

Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36 85   Non-use of Continuous Dynamic Optimization The reason we do not use—or did not get—the continuous dynamic optimization function is... Select all that apply. The module was too expensive. We did not believe the value matched the benefits that would have resulted. We did not believe it could “out-dispatch” our dispatchers. It was too confusing to set up and/or use. We tried it, and it did not produce the desired results. Other: ________________________________________________ Extensive or Incidental Use of Continuous Dynamic Optimization Which statement better describes the extent to which you use continuous dynamic optimization on a daily basis? We use the continuous dynamic optimization function after the scheduling process has been completed the day before and throughout the service day. We use the continuous dynamic optimization function only occasionally, when needed.

86 Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services Flexibility to Identify and Solve Specific Solutions Does your continuous dynamic optimization technology give you the flexibility to identify and solve specific problems? Select all that apply. To schedule unscheduled trips To reassign trips that are projected to be picked up late To reassign trips that trigger vehicle capacity violations (e.g., if a different vehicle type was swapped in at pull-out) To reassign trips that trigger a maximum onboard travel time To generally optimize productivity by filling holes created by cancellations or no-shows Other: ________________________________________________ Configurability What parameters for your technology are configurable? Select all that apply. We can set how frequently a process is initiated (e.g., every N minutes). We can set the time frame for the search (e.g., two hours from now through the end of the service day). We can “anchor” the confirmed pickup time. We can weight the balance of service efficiency versus service quality. Other configurable parameters: ________________________________________________

Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36 87   Motivations/Goals Why did you choose to get, deploy, and use the continuous dynamic optimization function? Select all that apply. To improve the productivity of the dedicated fleet and reduce overall costs To improve on-time performance Our dispatch staff was consumed with responding to real-time problems and was unable (or did not have the time) to identify and solve upcoming problems before they manifested themselves in real time None of our dispatchers had the requisite skill set for proactive dispatching We saw it as an opportunity to improve the quality of dispatching Other: ________________________________________________ Implementation/Deployment Challenges and Issues What, if any, challenges or issues arose when the continuous dynamic optimization function was implemented and deployed? ________________________________________________________________ How were those challenges resolved? ________________________________________________________________

88 Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services Benefits Please indicate if you agree or disagree with the following statements about the benefits achieved by deploying continuous dynamic optimization. Agree Disagree Unknown/Not Sure The number of real-time service-day issues requiring immediate dispatcher action was significantly reduced. Productivity (trips per revenue vehicle hour) improved. Operating costs were reduced. On-time performance improved. We were able to reduce the number of dispatchers. We were able to reduce the number of schedulers. We were able to reduce dispatcher/scheduler labor costs. We were able to achieve a reduction in customer complaints. System performance has remained basically the same since it was deployed. System performance has been worse since it was deployed.

Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36 89   Please provide the before-and-after data requested in the table below. (This could be before-and-after monthly costs or annual costs.) If specific before-and-after data values are not available, please estimate the percent change. Before-and-After Data OR Percent Change Before After % Productivity (trips per revenue vehicle hour) Operating costs On-time performance Number of dispatchers Number of schedulers Dispatcher/scheduler labor costs Customer complaints Please describe any other benefits of deploying continuous dynamic optimization that were not listed above. ________________________________________________________________ Did the continuous dynamic optimization function meet your expectations? Yes No Only for: ________________________________________________

90 Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services How satisfied are you with the continuous dynamic optimization function? Very satisfied Satisfied Neutral Dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Do you have the data available to evidence those improvements (or the decrease in performance)? Yes No Only for: ________________________________________________ Actions Taken In conjunction with or as a result of deploying continuous dynamic optimization, what other changes did you make with respect to staffing, processes in the scheduling or dispatching function, operations, or the way your contractors (if any) were paid? ________________________________________________________________ Lessons Learned As a result of your experience, what other lessons learned can you offer to other transit agencies that are considering a change to continuous dynamic optimization? ________________________________________________________________

Survey Instrument: TCRP Synthesis Project J-07/Topic SB-36 91   Case Example Participation Would you be willing to participate further as a detailed case example if selected by the TCRP panel for this project? This will involve a remote interview going into further detail on your agency’s experience. Yes No Maybe

Abbreviations and acronyms used without de nitions in TRB publications: A4A Airlines for America AAAE American Association of Airport Executives AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ACI–NA Airports Council International–North America ACRP Airport Cooperative Research Program ADA Americans with Disabilities Act APTA American Public Transportation Association ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials ATA American Trucking Associations CTAA Community Transportation Association of America CTBSSP Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program DHS Department of Homeland Security DOE Department of Energy EPA Environmental Protection Agency FAA Federal Aviation Administration FAST Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (2015) FHWA Federal Highway Administration FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FRA Federal Railroad Administration FTA Federal Transit Administration GHSA Governors Highway Safety Association HMCRP Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers MAP-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (2012) NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials NCFRP National Cooperative Freight Research Program NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NTSB National Transportation Safety Board PHMSA Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration RITA Research and Innovative Technology Administration SAE Society of Automotive Engineers SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (2005) TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998) TRB Transportation Research Board TSA Transportation Security Administration U.S. DOT United States Department of Transportation

Transportation Research Board 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED ISBN 978-0-309-68776-8 9 7 8 0 3 0 9 6 8 7 7 6 8 9 0 0 0 0

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Continuous dynamic optimization (CDO), as applied to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services, is an automated process by which a scheduling and dispatching technology continuously or frequently considers additional trips just booked, changes to booked trips, cancellations, and day-of-service events to solve problems or to take advantage of opportunities. In view of those changes, the CDO process then re-optimizes the assignment of trips to achieve the transit agency’s desired balance of service/cost efficiency and service quality.

The TRB Transit Cooperative Research Program's TCRP Synthesis 168: Continuous Dynamic Optimization: Impacts on ADA Paratransit Services documents the current use of CDO for ADA paratransit where optimization results in improving the efficiency of the route schedule and the overall productivity of the on-demand service without affecting the customer’s confirmed pickup time window.

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