Arrival notification system reduces passenger wait time for paratransit services by 15 to 20 minutes.

Development and evaluation of a smartphone-based advanced arrival notification system for paratransit users.

January 2017
Essex County; New Jersey; United States

Summary Information

This project proposes an arrival notification system for paratransit passengers with disabilities to reduce the amount of time these passengers wait for service. Paratransit is a public transportation service offing flexible routes to accommodate, primarily, the elderly and disabled. Paratransit service is typically door-to-door and passengers are often given a time window in which to expect the vehicle, these windows commonly range between 20 and 40 minutes in duration.


The arrival notification system delivers an automated voice call or text message to a registered user once their paratransit vehicle is in proximity to the pickup location with the objective of shortening the amount of time the passenger must wait outdoors. This system works on consumer mobile devices (Android an iOS) and uses the Google Traffic API for vehicle arrival estimation. The system may also provide paratransit drivers with real-time route guidance. Evaluation compared the waiting times of passengers with and without the notification system.


Field testing and evaluation in Essex County, New Jersey (including the City of Newark) found a 15 to 20-minute reduction in waiting times for paratransit services to arrive. In almost every case the vehicle arrived one minute earlier than the proposed arrival time. The average passenger waiting time without the notification system was 20.3 minutes versus an average waiting time of 4.3 minutes using the arrival notification system.

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Smart Arrival Notification System for ADA Passenger Paratransit Service Using Consumer Mobile Device

Author: Gutesa, Slobodan,

Published By: Transportation Research Board

Source Date: January 2017


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Typical Deployment Locations



transit traveler information, transit vehicle tracking, paratransit, wait times

Benefit ID: 2018-01250