Milpitas SMART microtransit service begins

Sept. 16, 2022
The new on-demand service is designed to complement Milpitas BART and Santa Clara VTA services and improve mobility to communities underserved but dependent upon transit services.

The Milpitas Simple Mobile Access to Reliable Transit (SMART) service officially began operating on Sept. 12, but local officials gathered Sept. 15 to hold a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the service, which provides city residents with service five days per week between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. using minivans with ADA access.

The app-based on-demand service is designed to complement the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) services operating in Milpitas.

Milpitas SMART rides can be scheduled from various locations within Milpitas, to one of the following hubs:

  • Great Mall
  • City Hall
  • Milpitas Transit Center
  • Alder VTA light-rail station

Milpitas SMART provides first-mile/last-mile connections to underserved communities that are also transit dependent. Milpitas explains several neighborhoods are within a half-mile of existing or planned transit service. However, the city’s entire eastern half is underserved and home to residents who primarily commute to other cities for work. The city says SMART service “will not only minimize the distance from transit, but also shorten wait times for underserved areas.”

The service is funded for 12 months with support from a $1.08-million grant through the Santa Clara VTA 2016 Measure B Program. Milpitas worked with RideCo to implement the service that features maximum wait times between 10 and 15 minutes.

In its grant application, the city explained it selected the hub-and-spoke model for the service to create first-last miles connections while also providing increased intra-city mobility. The city believes this will serve transit dependent residents better. Additionally, the city says the service will supplement paratransit services.

The regular adult fare will be $2.50 per ride, but youth, disabled riders and low-income riders will be offered a $1.00 reduced fare per ride. To promote the service, the city is offering a free first ride on Milpitas SMART through Oct. 11.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.