Paratransit services represent a primary reliable transportation service for older adults and/or persons with disabilities in the U.S., but transformative services like micro-transit, in the form of ride-hailing and other shared services, may offer new mobility options. However, scant research exists on paratransit system riders’ barriers and opportunities to adopt on-demand micro-transit service as an alternative mobility option. This study focused on the identification of potential barriers and system benefits for switched users from paratransit to on-demand micro transit. Face to face and telephone interview surveys were conducted with 128 paratransit users in the city of Arlington, Texas to identify potential barriers towards accepting on-demand micro-transit. Secondary data analysis was performed on the city’s real-time paratransit database. The survey results showed that 15% of the respondents reported lack of spatial coverage, 13% indicated lack of walking access, and 18% specified difficulty in use as potential barriers in the path of adopting on-demand micro-transit. Although the overall adoption of Via by current paratransit users remains low, the secondary data analysis indicated that riders who are not disabled, without an assistive device, and older (age>54) who have frequent healthcare and discretionary trips are willing to adopt on-demand micro-transit (Via) service. This paper will provide transit authorities a better understanding of the needs of on-demand micro-transit users and the potential benefits of providing micro-transit service.

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