On-demand transportation is now a tried-and-tested way of increasing service coverage, driving ridership, and increasing mobility for seniors and riders with disabilities. But without the right data, it can be extremely difficult for agencies to plan microtransit services that will address these concerns and truly complement, rather than duplicate, existing modes.
Join expert transit planners from the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) in Salt Lake City and PalmTran in Palm Beach County, Fla., as they walk you through how they evaluated where to invest in on-demand zones. Panelists will use interactive maps to show how they decided on service areas, which data sets they reviewed, what tradeoffs were made, and how they ultimately decided on where on-demand transit provided the most bang for their buck.
- Eric Callison, Manager of Service Planning, Utah Transit Authority
- Nina Verzosa, Strategic Planning Manager, PalmTran
- Kyle Boehm and Amanjeet Anne, Partner Success Team, Remix by Via
The conversation also featured live Q&A throughout, but if you have any lingering questions please feel free to reach out to the team.
Combining pre-booked ADA trips with other same-day or on-demand services seems like a no-brainer: offering compliant services while both saving costs and offering a more flexible experience to riders. It’s the best of both worlds. But how should agencies get started, and what other agencies are doing it successfully?
CTAA and Via recently teamed up to host an intimate session on new developments in paratransit in the US, including detailed discussions of ‘commingled’ services launched by Green Bay Metro in Wisconsin, Golden Empire Transit in California, and Mountain Line in Montana. Via’s Partnerships Lead, Terence McPherson, covered topics like:
- What drove these agencies to update their paratransit programs
- Where these communities have seen benefits
- How agencies have overcome any challenges
- Why TransitTech is necessary to these leading agencies’ vision for the future.
The conversation also featured live Q&A throughout, but if you have any lingering questions please feel free to reach out to the team.
In the spring of 2021, Arlington introduced RAPID, the nation’s first on-demand, autonomous public transportation service, into its transit network through a partnership with Via and May Mobility. Ever since its launch, RAPID has enabled local residents to experience useful, convenient, and efficient autonomous transit and has enhanced the accessibility of the city’s entire public transportation system.
In this webinar, industry leaders provide hands-on guidance for leveraging innovative, AV-powered public transit and strategies to plan, fund, and grow these services. Panelists also reveal Arlington RAPID’s performance data and discuss rider feedback.
- Mischa Wanek-Libman, Executive Editor, Mass Transit
- Ann W. Foss, Transportation Planning and Program Manager, City of Arlington Texas
- Daisy Wall, Director of Government Business, May Mobility
- Meghan Grela, Autonomous Lead, Via
In 2020, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and his team at City Hall experimented with a new solution to the city’s long-standing mobility challenge using a new form of transit: on-demand microtransit, in a partnership with Via. Jersey City residents can book trips from their smartphone, or by phoning a call center, to go to where they need to go in a shared ride.
In a recent webinar from Next City, the city’s transit leaders explained what has made this public-private partnership — which recently celebrated its two-year anniversary — so successful, discuss the history of their collaboration, and share learnings and recommendations for urban leaders looking to pursue similar partnerships.
Join Dan Berkovits, our VP of Strategies, in a discussion with:
- Michael J. Manzella, Director of Transportation Planning, City of Jersey City
- Elias Guseman, Senior Transportation Planner, City of Jersey City
What are the best ways to deploy autonomous driving technology for public use? Just ask the experts.
In a recent webinar, hosted by Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), industry leaders in the field of autonomous transit discussed why transit agencies are increasingly interested in pursuing autonomous driving technology, its unique benefits, and how to maintain passenger security in potentially driverless vehicles.
Join Ed Niedermeyer, Communications Director for PAVE, in conversation with:
- Nathaniel Horadam, Managing Consultant and Autonomous Vehicle Specialist, Center for Transportation and the Environment
- Tim Haile, Executive Director, Contra Costa Transportation Authority
- Meghan Grela, Autonomous Lead, Via
On January 20, 2022, Rodger Lentz took to the stage at the 2022 North Carolina Transportation Summit to shine a light on RIDE, the City of Wilson’s popular on-demand microtransit service.
Lentz outlines the daily struggle of a transit-dependent resident in the pre-RIDE era, when local buses only ran once an hour and operated with limited transparency and reliability.
“Can we do better for that individual? I think that’s where RIDE comes in.” — Rodger Lentz
Powered by Via’s dynamic routing technology, RIDE launched in September 2020, replacing all existing fixed routes with an on-demand service to better meet the community’s diverse traveling needs. Whether a RIDE is booked through an app or a dedicated dispatch phone number, Wilsonians are able to enjoy city-wide rides for as low as $0.75 for senior citizens and students, or a standard fare of just $1.50.
Lentz demonstrates how this accessible, affordable mobility option is positively impacting residents — the majority of whom make less than $25K a year and do not own a private vehicle.
74% of riders say the money they saved by using RIDE is one of its biggest benefits, and 48% agree that the service has enabled them to access or maintain employment.
“We were able to cover — not 40% of the city — but 100% of the city with transit service. And we’re able to do that with 15-minute average wait times,” Lentz says. “And the fact that we were able then to take the same resources that we had for fixed route and cover an entire city. Now [we’re] connecting people to jobs that were out of reach for them.”
RIDE’s performance is the gold standard of how public transit can rebound when executed smartly — even in the midst of a global pandemic.
“Our transit ridership went up 140% over fixed route, so it’s been a real game-changer in Wilson and we’re very proud of it.”
When Karen King and her team noticed several years of declining ridership across both their paratransit and fixed routes services, they knew a change was needed. As the CEO of Golden Empire Transit (GET) in Bakersfield, California, King manages a sprawling 106 square mile zone that serves a largely agricultural and oil-producing community with nontraditional commuting patterns. Clearly, fixed routes weren’t cutting it.
That’s why, in 2018, GET introduced a microtransit pilot that then led to an RFP requesting integrated demand-response software. As King puts it, “I said: Why are we using several different software products for services that are so similar and why are we sending two vehicles to pick up two different passengers who are essentially making the same trip?”
Via now powers integrated non-emergency medical transportation, ADA-compliant paratransit, and microtransit service for GET. Watch the Quick Chat, hosted by Mass Transit Magazine‘s Executive Editor Mischa Wanek-Libman, to learn more about the move that has built greater equity and efficiency into the agency’s operations.
Around the world, transit is integrating. But what does that mean exactly? For those deploying Integrated Mobility Solutions (IMS), it means all transit modes — whether fixed line, on-demand, paratransit, and/or non-emergency medical — are planned, coordinated, and operated with the goals of the transit authority in mind.
The approach allows communities to share resources like vehicles, drivers, dispatchers, and support centers between an array of transit services and is shown to increase ridership, improve the experience for riders, drivers, and dispatchers, and optimize network efficiency. And the best part? It’s completely customizable.
In a conversation co-hosted by Via and UITP, Via’s Eleanor Joseph sat down with three global transit leaders to discuss how their communities are developing newly-integrated networks, share memorable passenger stories, and offer advice for those looking to start integrating mobility in their own community. Speakers included:
Rural resort towns need transit too.
“We are a rural community with urban issues,” says Caroline Rodriguez of Summit County, Utah. Though the area is home to just over 40K residents, its outdoor sports and nature attractions bring millions of visitors to local resorts. The main issue? Resort employees have found themselves priced out of the County in recent years, making transit an essential resource.
“Workers in the service economy are traveling in and out everyday on our two highway corridors. That’s the struggle we face and why transit is so important. We don’t want to put down more pavement; we just want to find ways to move people efficiently while maintaining our rural and resort way of life here in Utah.”
The Mountain West’s newest transit system recently launched the first stage of an IMS solution: the “Micro” on-demand transit service, with plans to launch paratransit, revamped fixed routes, and multimodal and intermodal integrations later this year. It’s a lot of progress for a transit team that had to conduct a full network analysis, design a new system, and launch in just eight months. “We wanted a firm that could move directly from the data analysis into the operations with no lag time,” said Rodriguez.
Going global with integrated mobility.
Via’s software platform is what enables Keolis Group to operate mobility services in 16 cities around the world. As Scheherazade Zekri notes, “When we have a [public transport authority] contract in France, all of the modes are included.
“When we deploy an on-demand service, we are trying to integrate as much as we can with the
trip planner and other modes of transportation within the city.” Keolis launched on-demand in the residential Northern Beaches area of Sydney, Australia, to transport residents both within their community and to mass transit that serves the city center. In Bordeaux, France, Keolis deployed on-demand to connect a suburban community to tram lines. And in the northwestern part of the country, Keolis integrates Via’s student transportation, paratransit, and on-demand solutions in the city of Quimper. “What is very important is to have these modes working together, with no competition between the different modes,” Zekri says.
Efficiency challenges in the Golden State.
Golden Empire Transit (GET) in Bakersfield, California — an agency that served about 6.2 million rides per year pre-COVID — was looking to increase their operational efficiency. “We are more of an urban area so we have a more traditional fixed route system,” Robert Williams says. Williams and his team ended up putting out an RFP for microtransit, demand-responsive paratransit, and non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT), with the hope that they might find a software provider able to support all three.
After conducting interviews with 10 different vendors, they selected Via in September 2020 and have since launched all three of their new and improved services on a singular platform. A unified, automated operating platform drives efficiency, streamlining agency resources required to support all service types. In the near future, GET looks forward to further integrating by commingling paratransit, NEMT, and microtransit riders in the same vehicles at the same time, and making both their microtransit and paratransit services available on one smartphone app.
The ROI of IMS.
Integrated mobility is the smartest way to plan transportation networks for the future. As Rodriguez says:
“We are trying to do so much more with the limited budget and resources we have and that’s what [IMS] does for an agency such as ours. It allows us to give more service to more people on more modes than we would if I were sitting behind the computer scheduling rides with my pencil and paper.”
On the topic of commingling, Rodriguez continues: “People have been talking about this for 20, 30 years, but this technology has made it a reality for us. While we may be great transit people, we’re not data analysts and we’re not algorithms! [IMS] has just put our ideas and concepts and our goals into reality.” At GET, Williams sees integrated mobility bringing efficiencies in customer service, marketing, finance, operations, training, and maintenance.
“You know what’s best for your customers and you know what’s best for your community…use the tools that will help you achieve that goal.”
And for Zekri, it all goes back to reducing single-occupancy vehicle travel. “The key words are more efficiency, flexibility, and better customer experience…the idea is to make the transport network more efficient and to fight what we call in Europe ‘autosolism’ — getting people out of individual cars and focusing on shared mobility as well.”
In the end, IMS and TransitTech as a whole is about equipping those with bold ideas with the best technology to accomplish their goals. As Rodriguez puts it:
“My advice for all you transit providers out there is that you know what’s best for your customers and you know what’s best for your community. Never forget that, but use the tools that will help you achieve that goal. Take the plunge because the big risk pays off with big rewards and you’ll be able to do what you’ve always wanted to — times 50!”
Learn more about integrated mobility solutions
A bus network redesign refocusing fixed routes on high-density urban areas (and pulling them out of low-density suburbs) and an employment hub in need of first-and-last mile transit options for workers: Two distinct challenges, both solved by microtransit.
In this webinar, hosted by the South West Transit Association (SWTA) and hosted by Via’s Laney Cloud, two transit leaders talk more about how their investments in on-demand services started and how strategic expansions have led to ridership increases — even during COVID-19:
- Wayne Gensler, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Bus and Paratransit at Trinity Metro in Fort Worth, Texas.
- Lisa L. Cagle, Director of Innovative Services at Metro St. Louis.
Read the story here
Transportation serves as a bridge to opportunity for millions of Americans — a fact that gains a particular poignance due to the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. But in many communities across the country, reliable transportation is limited to those who have access to private cars. And for communities with solid fixed route transit options, the first-and-last mile challenge means those without a way of getting from their home to stations or vice versa are still stuck.
To combat this inequity, many cities and transit agencies have turned to microtransit. This conversation, moderated by the Director of Transportation for America, Beth Osborne, explores how microtransit has been a vital public resource for communities during this time.
Barkha Patel, Director of Transportation Planning, City of Jersey City, NJ
Barkha R Patel is the Director of Transportation Planning for the City of Jersey City, NJ. In this role, she manages all transportation planning activities for the City, serves as Co-Chair of the Jersey City Vision Zero Task Force, and represents the City at the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization level. Barkha’s work focuses on active and sustainable transportation, placemaking, and urban design. She oversees the City’s on-demand microtransit system, the advancement of pedestrian, bike, and transit infrastructure, and all long-range transportation initiatives with a commitment to equity and smart growth. Since 2016, Barkha has led the effort to develop citywide plans dedicated to Vision Zero, Parking Management, Pedestrian Safety, Bicycling, and Safe Routes to School, all of which are a first for Jersey City. She also leads the City’s tactical urbanism initiatives to create more livable streets and public spaces for all. Barkha earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Rutgers University’s School of Arts and Sciences and a Master’s of City and Regional Planning from the Bloustein School.
Casey Gifford, Senior Planner, King County Metro
Casey Gifford is a senior planner for King County Metro’s Innovative Mobility program. She is a leader in implementing public-private partnerships that leverage emerging mobility services and new technologies to improve regional mobility, advance equity, improve the environment, and support thriving communities. Casey led the development, implementation, and evaluation of Metro’s Via to Transit first/last mile pilot, one of the top-performing services of its kind. She has worked closely with riders and community groups to ensure innovative services not only are available to all riders, but also prioritize those with the greatest unmet needs, including people of color, low-income riders, people with disabilities, and English language learners. Casey is a former Fulbright Fellow with a Masters in Urban Planning and Management from Aalborg University.
Veronica Vanterpool from Delaware Transit Corporation
As Chief Innovation Officer at Delaware Transit Corporation, Veronica introduces and supports changes that reduce barriers to transit use. Embracing technology as a tool of innovation, Veronica is spearheading two key tech projects: on-demand, microtransit and autonomous transit shuttles. Equity is a key focus of her work to ensure those most reliant on transit receive quality service. A native New Yorker who just moved to Delaware, Veronica is a recognized transit/transportation leader given her expertise in the legislative, political, advocacy, media and community development sectors in the NY metro region. She’s on the board of the national organization, Smart Growth America; co-founder, WTS Delaware Chapter; board advisor for APTA’s Innovation Officer Peer Exchange Group; and a former board member of NY’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the nation’s largest transportation network.
Interested in growing your online grocery business, or starting a delivery service from scratch? You’re not alone.
Online grocery services are in the midst of an unprecedented boom, reaching a peak of $7.2B back in June, dwarfing sales of $1.2B in August of 2019. Today, grocers around the world are looking to streamline existing delivery networks, or launch a new online service to compete with roaring demand.
The good news: We can show you the basics in just a few short minutes. Join Avi Friedman, the Principal of Logistics and Delivery Platforms at Via, as he explains the:
- Latest trends & consumer preferences in grocery delivery
- Unique issues when operating a delivery service
- New technology needs to meets customer expectations
- Benefits of owning your own delivery experience
- What to look for in your technology partner
Join us on this brief tour as we walk you through the key steps. Ready for big results? Your journey starts in just 15 minutes.
And interested in learning more about Via Logistics? See how we’re using technology to power more efficient and scalable last-mile deliveries.