This paper examines the feasibility of operating Demand Responsive Transit (DRT) as the primary mode of mass transit in Tacoma, WA. With the promise of door-to-door service anywhere within a region, DRT has the potential to attract new discretionary mass transit riders while serving demand more efficiently than fixed-route systems. We present an algorithm for generating realistic datasets of riders based on employment and demographic data at the census tract level, which are fed through a simulated dynamic DRT system in Tacoma (TacDRT). The TacDRT service is considered feasible if it can serve the same volume of demand that the extant local fixed-route system serves while remaining cost-comparable. Although the simulation results suggest that TacDRT is not feasible, other findings indicate that a) the cost or operating DRT significantly decreases as the system scales up, and b) the geographical distribution of demand significantly affects the efficiency of DRT.

First Advisor

Brad Richards

Second Advisor

Mike Spivey

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Date of Award

Spring 4-21-2014


Computer Science