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Best Practices in Technology and Enforcement to Implement an Effective Accessible Taxicab Program

Best Practices in Technology and Enforcement to Implement an Effective Accessible Taxicab Program

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Best Practices in Technology and Enforcement to Implement an Effective Accessible Taxicab Program

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  1. Best Practices in Technology and Enforcement to Implement an Effective Accessible Taxicab Program Ray Mundy, Ph.D. Center for Transportation Studies University of Missouri, Saint Louis

  2. Abstract • Effect of ADA on the taxicab industry • ADA supported trips provided by public transit agencies and non-profit firms • Local regulatory authorities mandating ADA • Taxicab companies being requested to bear the increased costs of providing these services • Practical Difficulties • Case examples of successful integration of ADA services • The need for Full Service Taxicab Companies • Technology of the Full Service Taxicab Company

  3. Practical difficulties: Cost Issue • Extra cost involved in buying special vehicles • Installation cost of special equipment • Higher operating costs due to increase in gasoline consumption and weight • Insufficient financial incentives and offsetting additional costs • Question of willingness of independent contract drivers for accepting dispatch calls for such service

  4. Practical Difficulties: Competition • Competition faced by traditional taxicab service from Public Transit, Dial-a-Ride and other Paratransit services • Pressure on traditional taxicab industry to improve their service for the mobility impaired • Very limited market for truly wheelchair accessible taxicabs outside of ADA provided services • An obvious decrease in wheelchair accessible taxicab trips with an implementation of a free or relatively free ADA compliant transportation services mandated for public transit systems

  5. Practical Difficulties : Trip Length • Comparatively shorter length of the trip required by the disabled user = low revenue per trip • Difficulty faced by taxi company management to convince independent contractors to provide the service for trips that require accessibility • Making it easier to own a wheelchair accessible taxi does not guarantee it will be used for the purpose of transporting disabled individuals

  6. Practical difficulties : Integration • Need to integrate accessible trips with normal trips to lessen economic hardships of wheelchair accessible trips • Trade-off between the taxicab drivers attempting to maximize the use of their taxicab and the disabled community not wanting to wait excessive amount of time

  7. Practical Difficulties : Training • Adequate training - a must • Requirement of the knowledge of using the equipment efficiently • Ability/willingness to assist the wheelchair users • Care of the mobility impaired , compassion and an attitude of service – not found in all drivers

  8. Need for Full Service Taxi companies • Ability to provide sufficient vehicles to service a wide geographic area efficiently • Provide training, modern GPS dispatch, wheelchair accessibility, corporate vouchers, school trips, special event services, centralized dispatch system etc • Ability to monitor, invoice, and report electronically • Ability to view wheelchair accessible taxicabs as a part of their community effort and as a long term market

  9. TTLF Coachella Valley Project The Taxicab Service Continuum #1 Full Service Taxi Firm #2 Full Service Firm/ Vehicle Lessor Taxi Company Orientation #3 Authority/Insurance and Vehicle-Only Lessor #4 Authority/Insurance Only Lessor #5 Authority - Owner/Operator Independent Individual Driver Orientation

  10. Level of demand for Accessible Taxicabs at North American Airports • Airports compiling the number of accessible trips found little demand • Accessible taxi trips representing one trip or less per day at airports dispatching over1000 taxicab trips per day or a utilization level of .001.

  11. Implementation Strategies • City of Houston • Service taken over by Houston yellow Cabs. Trips are subsidized at $20 on average providing a viable market for taxi drivers • Represents a substantial savings for City • Recipient receives substantially better service • Program is very popular

  12. Implementation strategies • City of San-Francisco • Luxor Taxicab specializes in wheelchair accessible trips Thirty seven (37) out of its 100 vehicles are wheelchair accessible • Demand is higher than in other cities (3 trips per day per vehicle) but in order for these vans to be profitable they must perform standard trips as well • Maintenance costs are more expensive than on normal vehicles but no premium may be charged

  13. Technologies Required(Eventual Integration) • Appropriate Vehicle • GPS monitoring & route directions • Electronic (closest cab) dispatching & tracking • Electronic invoicing & audit trail • Electronic credit card (agency) processing • On board event camera

  14. Regulatory Rules Required • No trip refusals • Ordinance revision: treat electronic dispatch same as street hails. • Minimum number of trips per vehicle • Regular • Assisted – Wheelchair accessible • Limit airport accessibility – force IC to serve community

  15. Regulatory Rules Required • Reporting requirements • Trips by vehicle per shift • Origin-Destination data • Time data • Cost data • Service time • Stored route information

  16. Technology Examples

  17. Technology Examples

  18. Technology Examples

  19. Technology Examples

  20. Technologies Now Available • www.digital-dispatch.com • www.mobile-knowledge.com • www.TranWare.com • Verifone Chapter 5, “The Role of Technology in Taxi Operations,” Taxi! Urban Economies and the Social and Transport Impacts of the Taxicab James Cooper, Napier University, UK, Ray Mundy, University of Missouri, USA and John Nelson, University of Aberdeen, UK, ashgatepublishing.com, forthcoming January, 2010

  21. Conclusion • Accessible taxicab service faces a number of practical difficulties. • Need for full service taxicab companies • Requires modern dispatching & tracking technologies • Requires strengthening of regulatory/reporting requirements • Actual demand is not present but potential long term demand capabilities • May require subsidy & long term view