The fluctuating demand for public transportation due to COVID-19 has brought on-demand microtransit solutions to the forefront, helping solve the mobility conundrum of providing either too much service or not enough. By keeping riders connected and safe while enabling the agency to optimize its’ services, on-demand microtransit is a 21st-century solution to a 21st-century challenge and meets the evolving needs and expectations of modern riders, which have shifted in response to the pandemic.
That’s why we are very excited to announce that our latest on-demand partnership with SMART Bus has officially begun. The new service, SMART Quick Connect, has replaced their Dial-A-Ride service in Farmington and Farmington Hills, Michigan. Now, riders in this area are empowered to quickly and easily book their SMART Quick Connect rides, powered by Moovit’s On-Demand technology, through the Moovit app.
The dynamic shared service for residents in the Farmington and Farmington Hills suburbs of Detroit, complements the existing public transit network, offering riders an additional and more convenient mode of public transportation to get them to their destination. Moovit’s On-Demand technology uses an intelligent algorithm that pools multiple riders going in the same direction at the same time into a shared vehicle. The service then picks passengers up at virtual stops which are either at their desired pick-up location or just a short walk away.
The upgrade from a Dial-A-Ride service to on-demand allows riders to seamlessly plan and book their ride through the Moovit app instead of needing to call the dispatch center, though SMART Bus will maintain the call service for those without smartphones and riders who need technical or other assistance. Available from 6 AM to 6 PM throughout the week and free for the time being, SMART Quick Connect offers a modern mobility option that is perfect for employees and others who rely on public transportation. For an area connected to the Motor City, this is especially fitting and ushers in a new era of smarter mobility in the region.
With data-driven service planning, smart routing algorithms, and the ability for riders to use their smartphone to book the service, like they do so many other things, on-demand microtransit has allowed agencies around the world to ‘upgrade’ their Dial-A-Ride, paratransit, and DRT services with a more modernized and optimized service with success.
Especially during the pandemic as ridership is low, transit agencies have the opportunity to try new and innovative ways to build more resilient, sustainable transit networks that better solve the needs of the community and help reduce congestion and private car usage. The potential of On-Demand Microtransit in cities, suburbs, and rural areas is huge, and we’re excited to see how riders and our new partner agency, SMART Bus, reap its’ many benefits with SMART Quick Connect.
Read more about this partnership here.