ETA Gaps and Bridges

“Gaps and Bridges” is an outline of issues and needs that vulnerable populations face in accessing essential services. This document was informed by research on best practices for accessibility and feedback from stakeholders during the project outreach process.

Gaps are factors in the region that constrain access to transportation or mobility for vulnerable populations.

Bridges are potential solutions, based on case studies and expert opinion, aimed at developing more comprehensive and effective regional transit service and multi-modal infrastructure.

Gaps and Bridges are the priority needs and strategies for the ETA project and form the basis of the CHSTP.

2020 Gaps and Bridges Document


  • Some ADA-accessible transit vehicles and stops are hindered by inaccessible or nonexistent sidewalk networks, sometimes as a permanent condition, and sometimes temporarily if accessible pathways are not required to be maintained during construction. 
  • The cost of transportation can be a financial burden for vulnerable populations.
  • Lack of coordination between transit services and land development projects. Development patterns and working hours are changing, but transit is not always flexible enough to keep up—or new footprints are not transit supportive— resulting in transit deserts where people live, work, and shop.
  • There is inadequate funding to meet overall service demand among vulnerable populations. 
  • Human services transportation providers lack detailed, block-level data on the needs and associated destinations of local shuttle users. 


  • Develop a program for constructing and maintaining sidewalks that connect to transit.
  • Develop a greater number of discounted transit pass types for vulnerable communities, such as free full-week passes for public school students; discounted passes for low-income customers; fare capping; and new fare structures, such as family or group tickets that make transit more affordable and convenient for vulnerable groups.
  • Work with Transportation Management Associations to coordinate transportation services with employee shifts at large employment centers through deeper engagement with employers.
  • Identify nontraditional funding sources that can be used for transportation improvements (such as Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grants to subsidize the operation costs of a new transit service).
  • Encourage data sharing between transportation agencies to perform travel demand analysis to define potential changes to existing paratransit services.
Thom SteadAssistant Manager, Office of Mobility, Analysis, and Design
Air Quality Partnership

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Philadelphia, PA 19106-1520