Seventy-five miles south of Columbus, Ohio, along the banks of the Scioto River, lies the small but vibrant city of Chillicothe. Once the original capital of Ohio, Chillicothe now boasts a modest population of 22,000. Although their population is rising slowly, they were one of the few rural towns in Ohio not to decline in population last year. Known among locals as “The paper city” because of the paper mill that rests just outside of their downtown, Chillicothe has a strong presence of manufacturing and enterprise companies based around their city.
One area where the local government has been focusing on improving their city for its residents is transportation. Rural residents also face similar challenges to those who live in major metropolitan areas regarding transportation, with an average income of 45,000 and a poverty rate of 18%, leading to a population that can benefit from cheap and effective public transit.
To create a reliable, adaptable, and convenient transportation system that could serve the population's diverse needs, including the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and those living below the federal poverty line.
The addition of on-demand expanded service for Chillicotheans enabling them to reach employers outside the county and residents outside the residential areas. Now, residents can reach their destination throughout the entire city. To ensure service was accessible to all Chilocotheans, the city offered online and offline booking. Offline booking through the SHARE Mobility dispatch team books rides for any resident who may not have access to or prefer not to use digital channels, a popular program feature for some senior citizen cohorts. One of the city's favorite additions was the Trolley. The city purchased a vintage-style trolly bus to serve the downtown retail and residential area. The addition of the trolley improved movement downtown and excited residents who would not usually use public transportation about the new trolley. The reduction of program operational costs by optimizing routes through the SHARE Mobility software reduced total miles traveled while increasing total riders. This cost offset allowed the city of Chillicothe to run its additional coverage to more riders for free. Booking systems, route, and driver management were significant changes for the local mobility team that had previously used a pen-and-paper system.
Implementing SHARE Mobility’s flexible transportation solutions empowered Chillicothe city and transportation leaders to improve access for all community members and directly connect to essential services for senior citizens, opening an opportunity to foster a sense of excitement and community with the iconic trolley. As a result, ridership grew from 1% to 4% of the city’s population, showcasing the positive impact of their efforts to improve service efficiency and engage the community simultaneously. With a focus on efficiency and community joy, Chillicothe's success is an inspiring example for other small towns seeking to create a more connected and thriving environment for their citizens.
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In Chillicothe, Ohio, SHARE Mobility expanded transit services, including a trolley, increasing ridership from 1% to 4%.
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