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Evaluation of Economic Feasibility and Innovative Payment Plans of the Independent Transportation Network (ITN)
Report Number: IDEA-18
This was a follow-up project for pilot testing and product transfer of the successful IDEA concept, Transit-9. The project tested innovative payment plans of the Independent Transportation Network (ITN) as an alternative transportation means for the elderly using nontraditional payment plans. A survey, designed to address differing populations with a differing role in the transportation service, was completed for five focus groups. The focus groups included seniors currently using the ITN, seniors not using the ITN, adult children whose parents use the ITN, businesses that serve the senior population, and volunteer drivers. Based on survey results, pilot test and operational evaluations for levels of service and innovative payment plans for the transportation of seniors were developed and discussed with a panel of regional experts. In the next stage, the application of ITS technology to ITN was explored. This used smart cards for electronic fare and data collection and record keeping, global positioning satellites (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) mapping. Pilot testing of the ITN operation was carried out under an FTA grant for ITN deployment. Based on test results, the economic and social benefits of the ITN system will be esvaluated, and guidelines for possible application in other representative communities, including rural areas, will be considered.

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