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Evaluation of the participation and satisfaction of on-demand transit service in Belleville, Canada

Authors: Yixue Zhang*, University of Toronto, Steven Farber, University of Toronto Scarborough, Mischa Young, University of Toronto
Topics: Transportation Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: on-demand transit, ODT, ride-hailing, transit satisfaction, participation
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

New mobility technologies are changing the transportation sector significantly. The City of Belleville in Canada has implemented an on-demand transit (ODT) service during its evening and night operations. Unlike the traditional fixed route night bus, the new ODT service allows users to schedule transit trips between any pair of bus stops in the city using a website, app, or call-in service. A ridership figures at first demonstrated a 300% increase in nighttime bus ridership since the ODT service had been introduced to the city. However, it remains uncertain whether riders are satisfied with the service, and more importantly what the impact of the service changes have been on accessibility and behaviour of the riders.
There are many studies focusing on ride hailing or ODT, but the existing knowledge regarding the user satisfaction is limited. And few studies paid attention to changes in activity participation after the implementation of ODT service. This study intends to bridge the research gap by investigating the participation and satisfaction of ODT service in Belleville, Canada. We collect primary data from interviews and a large sample survey of ODT users. The survey collects data on travel behaviour, perceptions in service quality, perceived impacts on activity participation, and a detailed assessment of satisfaction and broader impacts on wellbeing. We will provide initial descriptive and modelling results that help us better understand how the increased coverage provided by the ODT system has changed the behaviour and satisfaction of nighttime transit users.

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