Case Study

OC Flex Orange County

Orange County, California, USA

Geography

Suburban

Use Case

Commuting, First-and-last-mile, General transportation

Fleet

6 vehicles

2.1X

ridership growth since first full month of service

37%

of riders have used OC Flext to connect to fixed route

Overview

In September 2018, Via partnered with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), and major private transportation operator, Keolis, to design and launch a microtransit service called OC Flex. OCTA sought a solution that would provide a missing first- and last-mile connection to existing fixed route transit, and reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road. Launched in October 2018, OC Flex operates in two service zones: a 6.4 square mile zone in Huntington Beach/Westminster and a 6.1 square mile zone in Aliso Viejo/Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo. OC Flex runs seven days a week, and residents can take unlimited rides for $4.50 per day if paying through the rider app, or $5 per day if paying cash onboard.

OCTA turned to Via for a best-in-class solution after initiating microtransit services with a different platform. Via’s expertise and operational experience, along with its advanced technology platform provided not only a custom branded smartphone app, but also flexibility in configuring algorithms and delivering custom reporting and strategic advice which has proven extremely valuable.

Solution

Via launched OC Flex in October 2018 with eight custom-branded, wheelchair accessible Ford vans. Via built a customized “OC Flex” app for the service, which is available for free download on the iOS and Android app stores. Riders are also able to book over the phone. To ensure that OC Flex complements OCTA’s existing fixed-route infrastructure, Via developed a customized multimodal ticketing functionality, “OC Flex Pass,” that enables riders to seamlessly transfer between OC Flex and the Authority’s legacy bus routes. Moreover, customers connecting with Amtrak and Metrolink trains can transfer for free using either OC Flex or the bus.

OC Flex has produced compelling results in its first nine months of service. Over 4,000 riders have created an OC Flex account, and weekly ridership has exceeded expectations, growing by over 22 percent month-over-month since launch. More than a third of riders have used the service to connect to fixed route transit. These results have encouraged the Authority and the local community, both of which are enthusiastic about the service’s traction and future potential. Because of the initial success of the program, OCTA is planning to renew the service for another year and contemplating future growth opportunities.

So cool that OCTA offers an on demand transit service. Love the app and hope to see more zones coming soon.”

OC Flex Rider

This is a great example of OCTA entirely rethinking what public transit means and delivering options that better meet the needs of an individual community.”

Lisa Bartlett
OCTA Chairman

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