SouthWest Transit, May Mobility to bring autonomous microtransit to Eden Prairie, Minn.

July 9, 2024
SouthWest Transit has signed a three-year contract with May Mobility to integrate autonomous microtransit services in the Eden Prairie area.

May Mobility and SouthWest Transit are partnering together to provide autonomous microtransit service in Eden Prairie, Minn. May Mobility's autonomous vehicles (AVs) are scheduled to be integrated into SouthWest Transit's transportation ecosystem in fall 2024, providing the public with an additional on-demand transportation option.

May Mobility's AVs will connect the public to residential, employment and shopping districts while also providing first- and last-mile transportation to key mobility hubs in Eden Prairie. Riders will be able to travel to and from pre-determined stops by using their current Prime mobile app, powered by Spare. The service will also include a stop at the Southwest Light Rail, which connects downtown Minneapolis, downtown Saint Paul and places in between.

"We're excited to be the first to bring this innovative transit solution to the Twin Cities," said Erik Hansen, CEO of SouthWest Transit. "By expanding on our wildly popular Southwest Prime microtransit service, we will stay on the cutting edge and ensure that we can provide a premium transit service for years to come."

May Mobility will deploy five wheelchair-accessible AVs that feature an ADA-compliant wheelchair ramp and securement system. By using a fully wheelchair-accessible fleet, the service will give both wheelchair users and other riders greater access to safe, convenient and comfortable transportation. 

"Our autonomous driving technology has proven its ability to scale well across diverse circumstances and even navigate under the state's harsh winter climates," said Manik Dhar, chief commercial officer for May Mobility. "Our experience in deploying safe and equitable autonomous rides will enhance the city's public transportation system and connect even more people to essential destinations both near and far."

SouthWest Transit and May Mobility plan to engage with the community in the upcoming months to educate future riders about autonomous vehicles and how the service will work. The public will be able to see one of the vehicles up close at SouthWest Station during SouthWest Transit's public shuttle service to the Minnesota State Fair at the end of August.