Individuals who use wheelchairs or who have other mobility challenges often are unable to access modern mobility systems "“ including application-based ride hailing and on-demand microtransit. Even designing a system targeted at these users is challenging, given the limited prior analysis of their travel behavior and activity patterns. Simulation tools are used by cities around the world to understand novel and complex transportation systems, yet few are including the needs of users with disabilities in these simulation studies. This thesis examines the travel patterns of wheelchair users from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey and presents a model of daily activity pattern choice of respondents who self-identify as using a wheelchair. This thesis discusses the application of a wheelchair status variable in the activity-based travel demand model ActivitySim and measures its effect on individual and household daily activity pattern choice. Wheelchair use is estimated to reduce the utility of a work daily activity pattern by 1.9 points relative to a home pattern for full time workers and 3.4 for part time workers. Including the effect of wheelchair use in a regional daily activity pattern model resulted in 21.9 percent of wheelchair users changing to a home activity pattern relative to a base scenario not including wheelchair use. Lastly, the thesis evaluates the performance of an on-demand, accessible mode for users with wheelchairs in the agent-based microsimulation BEAM. This simulation showed that demand for such a service increases linearly with fleet size and wait time remains constant, though further scenario refinement and research is necessary.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Civil and Environmental Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





wheelchairs, users with disabilities, activity-based models, National Household Travel Survey, daily activity patterns



Included in

Engineering Commons