Paratransit systems cause traffic and environmental issues but they also serve as a personalized and flexible public transport mode in response to passenger demand, especially in Asian developing countries. Given the lack of an adequate mass transit system, the paratransit service is indispensable, while a harmonized public transport system has also recently attracted considerable interest. This paper reviews the paratransit literature and summarizes the existing fields of studies, establishes a common terminology for paratransit services, provides a more comprehensive classification scheme for the paratransit system, and discusses potential issues in relation to its sustainability. In the existing literature, we identify four key factors necessary to sustain the paratransit system such as improvements in the quality of service, integration with mass transit systems, promotion of electric paratransit modes, and government support. This information provides insights into strategic planning for increased harmonization of public transport systems in Asian developing countries.
2016 Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies