New Research Identifies a Decision-Making Framework for Public Microtransit Service Areas

Research on public microtransit service areas by former NCSG TRPG Director Dr. Sevgi Erdoğan and current NCSG PhD student Alibi Shokputov was recently published in the Transportation Research Record by the Transportation Research Board. Coauthors include UMD’s Dr. Amir Nohekhan and Kaveh Farokhi Sadabadi. The article, titled “Multi-Criteria Decision Making Framework for Determining Public Microtransit Service Zones,” studies Prince George’s County in Maryland.


The paper addresses a critical research gap in the literature by focusing on the identification of service areas for microtransit. It presents a framework for identifying areas that would have a higher potential for success. The primary objective is to assist agencies in their efforts to provide microtransit services by offering a robust and flexible decision-making framework. This framework serves as an intermediate step between an initial planning study that identifies candidate zones and a detailed feasibility study, which is currently missing in the literature. The framework is a multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) process that can be applicable to various contexts. Specifically, our approach utilizes a Lexicographic decision rule for ranking microtransit service priority measures for each census block of a selected region, e.g., a county. We employ two composite measures for ranking: Microtransit Propensity Index (MPI) and Weighted Accessibility Score (WAS). The latter combines transit access to work and eight Points of Interest (POIs). This framework can be adapted to identify zones suitable for microtransit service based on different objectives, such as connecting residents to transit centers, providing first/last mile connections, providing services in transit deserts, providing flexible transit service to low-income communities, or providing access to the point of interests within a zone. The effectiveness of the proposed framework is evaluated on the case of Prince George’s County in Maryland. The results reveal that our approach provides greater insights into the feasibility of an area for microtransit compared to relying solely on a single index such as MPI.

Citation: Erdoğan, S., Nohekhan, A., Shokputov, A., & Sadabadi, K. F. (2023). Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Framework for Determining Public Microtransit Service Zones. Transportation Research Record, 0(0).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *