Special Needs Transportation

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 3,500 special needs transportation providers in the US offer transport services to the infirm, elderly, or handicapped. Organizations generally receive funding from a combination of fares, government programs, Medicaid NEMT, and service contracts. The industry excludes firms that focus on school or employee bus transportation for special needs individuals or ambulance services.

Dependence On Government Funding

Special needs transportation providers often rely on multiple sources of government funding, including the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Health Administration.

Specialized Vehicle Requirements

Riders with special needs often require specially-equipped vehicles.

Industry size & Structure

The average special needs transportation provider employs about 23 workers, and generates $1-2 million in annual revenue.

    • The special needs transportation industry consists of about 3,500 establishments that employ over 75,000 workers and generate around $5.5 billion annually.
    • The top 50 organizations account for 45% of industry revenue.
    • Most special needs transportation providers operate within a limited geographical market or metropolitan area and may work in conjunction with public transportation systems.
    • Access Services of Los Angeles, CA is one of the largest public operators of paratransit services in the US.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Special Needs Transportation Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  Nov 2, 2022 - Supreme Court Lets Mask Mandate Stand
                                  • The US Supreme Court let stand a federal appeals court ruling allowing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to require mask use in airports and on planes, trains, intercity buses, and other forms of transportation. Masking requirements may be brought back if the number of COVID-19 cases increases again during the winter months. The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruling said TSA has broad authority to maintain security and safety during national emergencies. TSA scrapped its mask mandate in April after a federal judge in a different case said the requirement exceeded the agency’s power.
                                  • About 96% of transit agencies surveyed by the American Public Transportation Association reported a workforce shortage, and 84% of those reporting a shortage said that it is affecting their ability to provide service. Shortages are most acute at agencies serving large, urbanized areas and agencies with greater ridership, but agencies across the country report that the shortage has forced service reductions regardless of the size of an agency’s ridership, service area population, or fleet. Shortages of operators and mechanics are particularly acute.
                                  • The Inflation Reduction Act signed into law in August could cut crude oil prices by about 5% over the next decade by reducing fossil fuel use, according to the REPEAT Project. Special needs transportation services, which may need time to transition to electric fleets or may choose to continue using fossil fuel powered vehicles, are likely to benefit from lower fuel costs. The law directs about $370 billion over 10 years toward promoting clean energy and climate resilience, with about two-thirds of the money coming in the form of tax credits for producing electricity from clean energy sources; allocations targeting climate change reduction through carbon sequestration, renewable fuel production, and clean energy manufacturing; and investments in renewable energy technologies; according to Moody’s Analytics.
                                  • Officials at Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD) continue experimenting to address transportation challenges for people with disabilities. Service innovations include grocery delivery and on-demand rides. The grocery program, which has provided over 2,000 deliveries, saves resources and staff time by reducing the number of round-trip rides to take people to the store. Pandemic-related challenges also continue, however. Demand dropped during the pandemic and 100 drivers were laid off. RTD is struggling with reliability as ridership rebounds. “Runs are getting shut down due to a lack of drivers, and that is really difficult for us and our customers,” acknowledged Paul Hamilton, senior manager of RTD’s paratransit services. He says it has been a “challenge” to meet their on-time goals during peak demand.
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