This project is based on a comprehensive study that was conducted in order to learn about the efforts of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) to integrate linehaul and paratransit services in Metropolitan Detroit. SMART operates few types of paratransit services in the three counties of Metropolitan Detroit (Macomb, Oakland and Wayne). Each of which is integrated with a linehaul bus service. In this project we will focus on socio-demographic characteristics as well as on travel patterns of the SMART riders in three areas of above three counties. SMART operates three different types of paratransit service in these areas.
Oakland County: Traditional Paratransit Service
Passengers can request pickup and drop off by Community Transit services anywhere within the service area, including linehaul bus stops. Passengers traveling beyond the service area of a single Community Transit vehicle can request to be dropped off at linehaul stops and from there proceed to their destination on a linehaul bus. These requests have to be reserved at least two days in advance. The area surrounding Northland Center in Oakland County is one example of such integration.
Wayne County: Advanced Paratransit (Job express).
In this service, linehaul buses stop at a defined hub (such as a shopping or business center), from which a Job Express Community Transit vehicle transports passengers to work locations within the service area. Passengers can also book a return trip on Job Express to a linehaul stop. SMART operates this type of service in few areas within the three counties one of them is the Fairlane Fairlane Job Express in Wayne County. The service operates within a small but dense geographic area, with retail centers that include a variety of shops, as well as office buildings and restaurants.
Macomb County: Flexible Paratransit (point-line deviation).
With this service passengers can transfer to and from a Community Transit bus in one of two ways: (1) by boarding or deboarding at a fixed time point location, or (2) by request, at any point within roughly three quarters of a mile of the general route. In this second case, however, passengers must reserve up to two days in advance a specific pick up point prior to the trip. This service is provided in the Groesbeck corridor in Macomb County. The Groesbeck service caters mostly to industrial workers.