Have We Outgrown Paratransit?

By operating paratransit service in its current form, we are preserving a 1990s artifact that offers only a half-portion of what is available today, such as only “next day service” instead of the “just-in-time” service being enjoyed by customers of transportation network companies (TNCs); shared rides that are typically not commingled with riders of other (mainstream) services, which often result in longer ride times due to scheduling being dependent on the placement of the trip with respect to other customers’ trips, as well as trip time negotiation, which is the notion that eligibility for the service can be restricted on a trip-by-trip basis when the practical application of such vetting is difficult to implement – not to mention that restricting transit use should not be our objective. Efforts to perfect this version of service also fall short – now we have technology that more precisely informs the customer of how late the ride will be.