CCTA teams up with May Mobility and Via to launch autonomous vehicles microtransit service

Sept. 20, 2023
The service aims to reduce medical appointment cancellations and absences by filling a need for convenient, accessible transportation in Martinez, Calif.

May Mobility has partnered with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to launch an autonomous vehicles (AV) microtransit service designed to improve access to healthcare in Martinez, Calif. The service aims to reduce medical appointment cancellations and absences by filling a need for convenient, accessible transportation in the region.

CCTA intends to integrate May Mobility’s autonomous vehicle technology into its existing transportation network, expanding the authority's autonomous fleet. The fleet will include seven vehicles, three of which will be wheelchair-accessible models that feature an ADA-compliant wheelchair ramp and restraint system.

This autonomous microtransit service will be powered by Via, a provider of TransitTech. Riders will be able to book an on-demand AV ride through the Via-powered May Mobility app or by calling a phone number. Via’s AI-based booking and routing algorithms are designed to match riders headed in the same direction into one AV to create efficient shared trips.

“May Mobility is thrilled to work with our partners at CCTA to improve access to transportation for public health facilities,” said Manik Dhar, chief commercial officer for May Mobility. “May Mobility and Via’s on-demand, autonomous microtransit is a perfect solution to aid CCTA’s efforts to improve healthcare outcomes and equity by helping patients get to and from their medical appointments on time. This opportunity further proves that autonomous vehicle technology can fill the gaps in public transportation.”

May Mobility has already taken steps to prepare for service in the state, securing its AV testing permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, allowing AV testing supervised by a human operator. In addition to stops at local medical facilities, the deployment plans to include a stop at the nearby Amtrak station to extend the reach of the region’s existing mass transit. May Mobility, Via and CCTA will continue to identify stops that connect the community with local points of interest and public health facilities that will improve the quality of life for county residents.

"CCTA is excited to partner with May Mobility on this initiative. Their experience serving communities with accessible first and last-mile microtransit services makes them the perfect partner for this project,” said Timothy Haile, executive director for CCTA. “Improved access to transportation was a direct ask from our community. They need reliable, on-demand transit to help them take care of the essentials. May Mobility worked with us to design a service that provides accessibility and flexibility to serve the healthcare needs of our community and beyond.”

“Via is thrilled to continue our longstanding partnership with May Mobility to bring AVs to the public transit ecosystem in Contra Costa County, where our tech will together serve crucial healthcare connections for the community,” said Meghan Grela, autonomous lead at Via. “This deployment underscores our shared vision that AVs play a major role in creating efficient, flexible public transportation networks fit for the 21st century.”

When this deployment goes live, estimated toward the end of 2023, May Mobility will have active operations in California, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas and Arizona.