On-Demand Micro-transit for Better Transit Station and Job Accessibility

The purpose of this research is to examine on-demand microtransit as a means of connecting the first-last mile segments of travel by public transit in low-density areas. The research team also examines the extent to which reduced travel times of first-last miles by on-demand microtransit influence low-wage job accessibility. As a case study, the team compares the job accessibility outcomes across various modes of the first-last mile transit access and egress (walking, bicycle, car, and on-demand microtransit). Consisting of a large portion of total transit travel times, the first-last mile segments influence transit patronage. Decreasing travel times of the segments is more effective in improving job accessibility by public transit than improving transit services themselves (e.g., shorter wait time). Few studies have examined this linkage between the first-last mile segments and job accessibility. Further, no studies have examined on-demand microtransit, one of the shared mobility concepts, as a means of improving transit station access/egress and labor market outcomes. This research consists of three phases. First, the team examines various characteristics of the first-last mile travel by GoLink, app-based on-demand microtransit operated by DART, Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The team examines travel time of day, wait and in-vehicle travel times, locations of origin and destination, and connections to/from transit stations. Second, the team examines the first-last mile travel characteristics by walking, bicycle, and car. The team uses the 2017 National Household Travel Survey microdata in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX. The team compares the travel patterns across GoLink, walking, bicycle, and car. Third, the team examines the number of jobs and workers accessible in 30, 45, and 60 minutes by transit considering for various modes of first-last mile access. Findings of this research will offer the empirical basis for evaluating whether GoLink, as an on-demand microtransit service, is a means of travel that could positively influence first-last mile access to public transit stations as well as jobs and workers in low-density areas.