Transit agencies everywhere have been looking at a variety of ways of partnering with transportation network companies, rideshare services and have been looking to add more flexibility in their own scheduling, as well.
Providing transit riders with the personalized, on-demand service they’re looking for is something RouteMatch has been working with several transit agencies on with its RouteMatch Mobility.
Vice President Transit Solutions Pepper Harward said it’s important to them that the leader in mobility in the community is the public transit system. “Transit is the heart of the mobility ecosystem,” he said. “Connecting vulnerable groups to society … it’s not mobility if it’s not inclusive.”
The delivery of service is becoming more collaborative, whether in-house across all modes managed by the agency, as well as collaboration with third-party companies. And even when it comes to planning the journey, people expect that level of personalization the collaborative process provides.
Working with York Region Transit, Harward said they’re starting with their paratransit service fleet and moving to same-day, on-demand paratransit. He explained that it’s currently limited to “favorite trips” for the rider, who can have up to about 10 locations set up as a “favorite.”
In addition to being able to schedule same-day service, it is being pieced together with other parts of service and with a 4 percent move to other modes, they’ve saved on average, 75 percent of the cost. The biggest thing, however, Harward said is that it opens up 7 percent more capacity on the paratransit fleet.
YRT has been operating this for about six months and the next step will be pushing it out to some of its lower-performing fixed routes.
“They’re going to keep that pilot going and scale it out,” said Harward. “They want scalable technology to integrate all of their service.”
The other area RouteMatch has been investing in, he said, was reporting that’s relevant to today.
“Transit needs new ways of measuring success,” he said. “The traditional NTD reporting is required and we still need that framework, but how do you operate in a hybrid environment?”
New reporting can look at the service provided in terms of healthcare outcomes, spontaneity and how someone feels after they use transit service.