CPS Travel Training Evaluation Project

Public transportation and public educational programs are mandated to provide transportation services for mentally and physically disabled individuals. While programs to transport members of disabled populations are important to ensure access to and participation in important educational and work related activities, they are often highly expensive to operate. Moreover, they do not necessarily increase the independence of disabled clients. For these reasons, transit agencies, employers and educational institutions have begun to develop training programs to teach qualified clients how to use the fixed public transit system. Movement of disabled riders to fixed public transit systems reduces demand of costly paratransit programs, increases the ability of disabled clients to function independently, and may have a multitude of other benefits.

Travel training programs (TTP), particularly those offered by public school systems, are in their infancy. Chicago Public School’s (CPS) TTP is one of the oldest in existence. While there is ad hoc evidence that these programs are beneficial in many respects, to date there has been little effort to develop a theoretically informed TTP evaluation framework or to formally assess the costs and benefits of these programs. Due in part to this lack of attention, constant fiscal constraints on public agencies make travel training programs vulnerable to underfunding or closure

Principal Investigator(s):

Eric W. Welch, PhD
P.S. Sriraj, PhD


Eric W. Welch, PhD
P.S. Sriraj, PhD
Chul Hyun Park
Brian Tomkins




In response, this project undertook a systematic effort to place TTP evaluation on a more professionally recognizable and practically implementable footing.  The project was conducted as a two track design in which the first track provided a framework for evaluation while the second undertook basic analysis of existing CPS TTP data.


The project was conducted in two tracks: design of an evaluation framework for any TTP that can be applied to any TTP in existence and a basic analysis of an existing TTP to demonstrate current application and opportunities for improvement. The first track creates an evaluation plan, logic model and a set of possible metrics for evaluation while the second track explores how the CPS TTP evaluation effort addresses some key evaluation questions and suggests revisions in line with the framework.

Expected Results or Products:

In this study, the authors aimed to build an integrative theory-driven framework for evaluating travel training programs on the basis of the findings from the travel training literature, evaluation research on human resources training, and learning and training theories.


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P.S. Sriraj
Urban Transportation Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
412 South Peoria Street, Suite 340
Chicago, IL 60607
Voice: (312) 413-7568
Fax: (312) 413-0006
Email: sriraj@uic.edu


Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)