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The disadvantaged population have barriers to a normal lifestyle. Mobility is one of these barriers. Approximately 15.4 percent of North Dakota’s population is disadvantaged. These individuals live in the metropolitan areas and in the rural, low-population-density counties, which have limited transportation. The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute (UGPTI) developed a survey to identify the transportation needs of the disadvantaged population and measure how those needs are being met. The UGPTI worked with four Centers for Independent Living that serve the state of North Dakota. Each of the centers selected a random sample of their clients and mailed the survey to them. The results of the study are based on a 21 percent response rate. Results showed that more people would use transit if it were available to them. Almost 60 percent of the disadvantaged use transit either daily or weekly, and the majority perceived they rode less than five miles per trip. Most respondents use transit for medical appointments and shopping. The respondents indicated they primarily use demand-response transit, which usually is provided by taxi, senior bus, and paratransit. Riders think the drivers are well-trained to accommodate their needs and times at bus stops are adequate. The weekend and holiday hours of services were the most inadequate followed by scheduling and number of trips provided. This study found that a higher percentage of North Dakota disadvantaged reported problems with transportation than the national average.


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