7 Benefits of a Microtransit Program

Access to mobility is an essential part of everyday living, yet today it’s estimated that 45% of Americans have no access to public transit. This means they are less likely to be able to get back and forth to work, school, or healthcare appointments. Studies have found that people with insufficient access to transportation have the highest rate of unemployment and lowest incomes in America. Furthermore, people who live in rural areas or underserved communities, or those working shift-work schedules, face an even lower likelihood of having equitable access to reliable transportation options.

What is a microtransit program?

A microtransit program is an innovative and adaptive approach to helping people get from one place to another by bridging the mobility gap. “Microtransit” is defined by the Federal Transit Administration as “a technology-enabled service that uses multi-passenger vehicles to provide on-demand services with dynamically generated routing.”

In other words, microtransit helps move people facing transportation challenges to and from areas that have limited or nonexistent options. Microtransit programs provide mobility solutions that offer tangible benefits to both the passengers and the service providers.

At SHARE Mobility, we believe in the power of implementing microtransit programs. Join us while we explore their many benefits, and showcase how microtransit programs outshine traditional fixed-route transportation solutions.

The Many Perks of Microtransit

While the main focus of a microtransit program is to give people a reliable option for moving from point A to point B, there are many more benefits, too.

Customizable Routes and Schedules

Unlike existing fixed route transportation options that require a person to adapt to set schedules and routes, microtransit harnesses the power of technology to create real-time routes and schedules based on the specific needs of the community or workforce implementing and using the program. These alternative options give more flexibility to people living in rural and underserved communities, working alternating shifts, or looking for environmentally friendly transportation while empowering employers with a way to provide additional perks to their workforce.

Enhanced Accessibility

Microtransit programs enhance accessibility to various people, places, and mobility needs. Unlike private ride-share programs such as Uber and Lyft, which are exempt from compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, microtransit options have a goal to serve all customers no matter their ability. Furthermore, micotransit drivers are trusted professionals rather than contractors. Another benefit of microtransit is the ability to schedule transportation based on individual needs. Rather than requesting a ride and being at the mercy of how many drivers are available or how far away they are, scheduled transportation offers an added layer of reliability. Enhanced accessibility also means extending services beyond urban hubs to remove geographical barriers and efficiently fill the gaps of insufficient transportation infrastructure.

First-Mile/Last-Mile Connectivity

“First-mile/last-mile” is a term used to describe the distance a person needs to travel to get to and from a fixed-route transit stop. For example, a person who lives several miles from the nearest bus stop needs a way to travel from their home to the bus stop and from the bus stop back home. This often means walking, which can present challenges based on the distance to and from the fixed point, the person’s personal mobility ability, and even the weather. Microtransit addresses these potential roadblocks by creating door-to-door routes or providing transportation options from a fixed route to a person’s front door or place of work. In a sense, microtransit creates a reliable bridge between conventional transportation options and your doorstep.

Cost-Effective Vehicles

In contrast to large public transit buses that guzzle gas and only operate along fixed routes, microtransit passenger vans that can transport 14-56 people at a time along customizable routes are a more cost-effective, gas-saving, alternative. Microtransit programs allow decision makers the ability to choose a “right-size” vehicle that is the perfect size for the needs of the community or employer. Not only does this help to decrease the amount of fossil fuels being used, but it can also incentivize employees to ditch their single-car commute and save money on their personal car expenses.

Environmental Friendliness

During the pandemic, studies found a 17% decrease in Co2 emissions due to the significant decrease in cars on the road, which was hailed as a big win for the environment. Yet today, it is estimated that 76% of Americans still commute alone to and from work. With concerns about global warming and finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint being major talking points these days, microtransit provides an alternative solution to solo commuting. By providing options for people to commute in groups across optimized routes rather than alone, microtransit can align with the sustainability goals of commuters, employers, and municipalities.

Real-Time Responsiveness

Mobility programs give users the ability to build, add, and remove routes in real time. Unlike fixed-route options that cannot be customized, mobility programs are extremely flexible. Whether you are facing changes in weather, shifts, or pick-up and drop-off locations, using up-to-date route planning technology ensures minimal disruptions to your transportation network.

Modernized User Experience

With the modern-day shift towards on-demand type services, microtransit serves as a natural progression in this lifestyle because the technology delivers real-time options at your fingertips. By tapping into a user-friendly platform that provides booking, tracking, and communication options, microtransit enhances the lives and satisfaction of riders and administrators.

Moving Forward with Microtransit

Microtransit programs offer a wide range of benefits that can bridge the gaps of current transportation limitations. By administering technology to help design on-demand routes and extending service options beyond urban routes to rural or underserved communities, microtransit provides solutions where only roadblocks have existed. Microtransit also services all people, no matter their ability, while offering more efficient and environmentally friendly options to get people where they need to go.

Embracing the Future of Transportation with SHARE Mobility

At SHARE Mobility, we believe in the power of microtransit programs and are dedicated to creating accessible, sustainable, and efficient transportation solutions for everyone. Whether you are a part of a municipality that is exploring better ways to ensure accessible mobility for everyone in your community, or an employer seeking employee transportation services or corporate commuter options, we invite you to connect with us to explore our innovative solutions and how we can partner together to create reliable connection for your community and your workforce.

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