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5 Demand-Responsive Service is the market upon which most public and public-private partnerships focus. However, it is worth noting that other Demand-responsive service, also called "dial-a-ride," subscription services exist for markets such as childcare, schedules vehicles to pick up and drop off passengers sporting events, and travel to airports. The most common throughout a service area, providing high-quality, curb-to- examples of public subscription services are commuter buses curb service for the general public and persons with disabili- and vanpools. Although some ADA trips are called "subscrip- ties. These services are particularly effective in areas with tion" trips because they involve a standing reservation for a low-density development and/or widely dispersed trip gener- particular trip made by a specific passenger, they are not ators that are hard to serve with a fixed route or full-size included in this discussion. Rather, these trips are classified as coach. All of these trips require a call-in request. Advance being part of demand-responsive service. Examples include notice requirements vary from days in advance to the actual time of the desired trip. Demand-responsive services use Subscription commute buses and smaller vehicles--small buses, large vans, or taxis--which can Vanpools. navigate residential neighborhoods and narrow streets. Because of smaller passenger loads, vehicles can follow Innovative Suburban Transit Service more direct routes between origins and destinations, thereby reducing trip travel times. Technological advances, including Innovations in technology have also led to innovations in improved dispatching capabilities and real-time information, various aspects of suburban transit services. These include should allow transit systems to significantly reduce advance the availability of real-time information to assist both cus- reservation requirements. tomers and service providers with schedule adherence, oper- Similar to the deviated fixed-route service described above, ating conditions, and so forth. In demand-responsive demand-responsive service is generally provided as shuttle, services, real-time scheduling and dispatch programs can feeder, or circulator service. Demand-responsive service is improve efficiency and effectiveness. Some systems have probably most commonly associated with social service trans- employed the use of cell phones to ensure more direct com- portation and is also used to meet the paratransit requirements munication between customers and operators. Smartcards of ADA. In the private sector, airport shuttles are probably the have become another means of improving transfers between most common application of demand-responsive service. In systems and services while reinforcing the goal of seamless the overall network of suburban transit services, demand- travel. In addition, vehicle design features, such as low-floor responsive service plays a critical role in serving niche markets buses, have made accessing the vehicles easier for all age that are not well served by fixed-route service and appears to be groups, and automated stop announcements have assisted in positioned to increase its relative profile in coming years. the consistent availability of this information for people with disabilities. Examples include the following: Subscription Service Technology and infrastructure improvements, Real-time information, Subscription service offers a tailored transit service to spe- Transit preferential treatment, cific individuals when they have paid a subscription fee. Many Vehicle modifications, and subscription services originated as private enterprises and Fare technology. have transitioned to public operation, although they may also be the result of a public-private partnership. Subscription vehicles, whether they be coaches or smaller vehicles, collect Transit Services and the Activity Space passengers at predetermined times and locations. Trips are scheduled to best meet the needs of a particular trip's passen- The previously described activity surface provides the basis gers in terms of the origin, destination, and pick-up and for relating the spatial distribution of travel demand and the drop-off times. Subscription services tend to operate from optimal arrangement of transit centers, line-haul routes, and residential areas that have low average densities but have con- other transit services. All transit services can be organized centrations of residents who have similar work locations. around the topographical features on the activity surface, as Subscription services often experience farebox recovery ratios shown below: much higher than other transit services because the demand for service is known in advance and because such a premium Peaks are generally the best locations for transit hubs service demands higher fares. because the concentration of routes serves travel demand For the purposes of this document, the discussion of sub- from all directions and because the concentration of trip scription services is limited to commute service because this ends minimizes the need to transfer. Peaks are the largest