COVID-19 Resources: All the Info You Need to Build Back Better Learn more arrow-right

On-Demand Microtransit Glossary

To help transit stakeholders stay on top of their game, we’ve collected the on-demand transit terms you need to know. Enjoy!

To help transit stakeholders stay on top of their game, here are the on-demand transit terms you need to know.

AccessibilityThe extent to which transit services and facilities are usable by all, especially people with disabilities.

AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) – A GPS-based means of gathering real-time data of a land vehicle fleet. With information on each vehicle’s location, decisions concerning the fleet’s dispersion and operational readiness can be made.

Autonomous Vehicle (AV) – An autonomous vehicle is capable of sensing its environment and operating without human involvement. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has defined 5 levels of driving automation ranging from Level 0 (fully manual) to Level 5 (fully autonomous). Also known as self-driving or driverless vehicles. 

Business District – Commercial and/or trade areas that often suffer from traffic congestion and parking issues. On-demand services can help solve these challenges for employers by offering employees efficient mobility services that reduce private car usage in the area, thereby reducing congestion and parking challenges. 

Campus Shuttle – A transportation service offered by schools and universities for safe, convenient rides to and from school and surrounding areas. Campus or School Shuttle goals often include reducing on-campus congestion, offering first-/last-mile connectivity to nearby mass transit, and keeping students and faculty safe at all hours. 

Co-branded ApplicationMoovit’s Co-branded app enables transit agencies, municipalities, local governments, and private companies to receive instant access to millions of highly engaged Moovit users and tools to help them increase ridership and customer satisfaction while using their logo on the Moovit app. The co-branded app will be visible to any user that enters the metro area covered by the co-branded app version. The co-branded app solution is based on Moovit’s consumer iOS and Android app, which provides a rich user interface and user experience. Users are able to access Moovit’s comprehensive transit data, and partners receive insights about demand, user behavior, and service performance. 

Community Transport – UK-based term that describes mobility services provided by the local community in response to specific local transport needs. Mostly run as non-for-profits, volunteers are often used to help manage and deliver mobility services. 

Corner-to-Corner – Refers to a mobility service that picks up and drops off riders at nearby, predetermined locations – or virtual stops – close to their pick-up and drop-off points, which helps increase the service’s efficiency. See Virtual Stop.

Corporate Shuttle – A type of shuttle service that picks up employees from their homes or nearby and takes them to their workplace. This service is often provided by the company or a group of companies located in the same business park. The goals of offering corporate shuttle services often include reducing congestion in the area, reducing the need for parking spots and their related costs, and increasing employee productivity and satisfaction. Also called employee shuttle. 

Crowdsourcing – Crowdsourcing is the practice of utilizing the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ from a large and often rapidly-evolving group of participants for a common goal, including innovation, problem-solving, and efficiency. Crowdsourced data collection is a participatory method of building a dataset from this crowd wisdom, such as the data Moovit receives from its Mooviter Community. 

Curb-to-Curb Transportation – Refers to a type of mobility service that picks up and delivers passengers at the curb or roadside, as distinguished from door-to-door service. Passenger assistance is generally not rendered other than for actual boarding and alighting.

Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) – Term for On-Demand often used in the UK and sometimes Australia. See On-Demand. 

Dial-a-Ride – Popular name for legacy DRT services, often operated in rural or lower-density suburban communities. Dial-a-ride services usually require phone booking, often a day or more in advance. They may be open to the general public or restricted to seniors and/or people with disabilities but are usually distinct from complementary paratransit. 

Dispatcher – In public transportation, dispatchers serve as the control center of operations to ensure the availability of consistent transit service on the street each day. Dispatchers have the responsibility to ensure that there the day’s scheduled service can be achieved, act as the primary source of direction for bus operators, coordinate the response and resolution for all incidents that occur in the field, and ensure the safety, security, and performance of the bus system. 

Dispatch / Control Center Dashboard – Moovit On-Demand’s Dispatch & Control Center Dashboard enables dispatchers and other stakeholders to monitor rides and manage drivers, add call-in bookings to the automatic routing and dispatch center, see real-time information on service levels, and investigate incidents and more in History Mode. 

Door-to-Door Transportation – Refers to a type of mobility service that includes the driver helping the passenger get in and out of the vehicle. Paratransit and NEMT services often offer Door-to-Door transportation.

Driver App – In on-demand services, the driver app offers real-time navigation for fleet drivers to enable prompt rider pick-ups and drop-offs. The driver app for Moovit On-Demand also allows for safe communication between drivers and the dispatch center for break requests, issue resolution, and more. 

Dynamic Route – Dynamic routes, as opposed to fixed routes, do not have a predetermined path or schedule, operating instead based on where rider demand is. A dynamic route can be confined to a certain service zone, ensuring all trips begin and end in the zone, and may also be restricted to certain hours. On-Demand services use dynamic routes.

Employee Shuttle – See Corporate Shuttle. 

Feeder Service – Feeder bus services pick up passengers and take them to a transfer point, often a nearby mass transit hub, where they make an onward journey to their final destination. On-Demand services can replace inefficient or underutilized feeder routes for a more cost-effective, dynamic service. 

First-/Last-Mile –  Describes the beginning and end of an individual’s public transport journey. In many cases, before or after traveling on public transport, the person will need to walk or take a second mode of travel to access public transport, or to reach their final destination.

Fixed Route – Fixed-route transit systems operate vehicles along predetermined routes according to a predetermined schedule, picking up and dropping off passengers at designated stops along the route. 

Flex Route – Routes that operate vehicles on a predetermined route that can be deviated from slightly to help bring more riders, especially the elderly and those who are disabled, into the transit network. Deviated pickups usually need to be called for in advance.

Flexible Demand Response – An on-demand service model offering demand-based journeys with pick-ups and drop-offs at common locations. In this model, there is no predetermined route or schedule but has a defined service area in which all pick-ups and drop-offs must be done. The other service model is Smart Shuttles. 

Gap Analysis – A transit system analysis aiming to identify geographical gaps in public transportation. Gaps discovered may be unserved or underserved areas (transit deserts), overserved areas (transit oases), or specific times where the demand for transit is much higher than the available supply. 

Headway – The time interval between buses at a given location. For example, a 30-minute headway means that the bus will arrive at a particular stop every 30 minutes.

Level of Service – A qualitative metric that assesses the quality of transit services. 

MaaS (Mobility as a Service) – A type of service that enables users to plan, book, and pay for multiple types of mobility services. The concept is a shift away from personally-owned modes of transportation towards mobility provided as a service. This is enabled by combining public and private transportation services/providers through one platform (ex: the Moovit app) which manages the trip and where users can pay with a single account.

Many-to-Many – A subset of Demand Responsive Transport types. Picking up passengers on demand from various locations and taking them to disparate destinations. Examples include Paratransit and first-/last-mile solutions. (See also Many-to-One and One-to-Many)

Many-to-One – A subset of Demand Responsive Transport types. Picking up passengers from many locations and dropping them off in a set (or one) predefined location. (See also One-to-Many and Many-to-Many)

Micromobility – Refers to a range of small, lightweight vehicles designed for individual use. For example, electronic scooters, ebikes, traditional bicycles and scooters, and the like. 

Microtransit – see On-Demand.

Mobile Ticketing – The ability for transit riders to order, pay for, obtain and/or validate tickets using mobile phones, without the need of a physical ticket.

Mobility On-Demand (MOD) – See On-Demand.

Multimodal/ Intermodal travel – Taking a single trip using multiple means of transportation. For example, biking to the train station, taking a train, and then finishing the journey with a bus ride. 

Multimodal Trip-Planning – Technological capability, often offered in an app or web app, to display all available transportation options nearby. Multimodal trip-planners allow users to choose the mode or modes that best suit them based on parameters including time, arrival and/or departure time, and origin and destination. 

MUMA (Moovit Urban Mobility Analytics) Moovit amasses six billion data points a day, and owns and operates the world’s largest repository of transit and mobility data. Using this data, Moovit is able to provide insights about where, when, and how people move around cities. It helps facilitate data-driven decisions for everyday urban mobility challenges in order to plan and understand mobility trends with greater accuracy. 

Moovit’s Urban Mobility Analytics (MUMA) tool combines multiple data sources, including anonymized, aggregated data from hundreds of millions of Moovit users, with advanced algorithms to provide detailed insights into how people move around cities. Moovit’s Urban Mobility Analytics reports include Zone Reports, Transit Line Reports, Transit Station Reports, and Transfer Hub Reports.

On-Demand – On-demand transportation refers to highly-flexible shared transport where vehicles alter their routes and/or schedules based on rider demand, rather than using a fixed route or timetable. Modern on-demand services like Moovit On-Demand leverage transit technology to offer rider bookings through a mobile application, a digitalized operations platform, and an application for drivers to easily navigate their routes. 

On-demand services can use any type of vehicle and are typically run by municipalities or transit agencies, but may also be run privately. On-demand transportation services are often created to serve unserved or underserved communities, but can also be used to increase the service level in urban areas during demand peaks or offer night services. On-demand transportation offers the flexibility and convenience of a taxi with the cost-effective and shared traits of a bus. 

One-to-Many – A subset of Demand Responsive Transport types. In this type of DRT scheme, passengers are picked up from a fixed boarding point and taken to disparate destinations.

OTP (On Time Performance) – The measure of success of a public transportation vehicle remaining on its’ published schedule. It is defined as a vehicle arriving, passing, or leaving a predetermined stop along its route within a time period that is no more than x minutes earlier and no more than y minutes later than a published schedule time. 

Paratransit – Transportation for people with disabilities who are unable to use the regular, fixed-route transit service that serves their region. Paratransit usually provides door-to-door service for people who call to reserve a ride. Most paratransit vehicles are equipped with wheelchair lifts or ramps.

Riders App – Refers to an on-demand application used by riders, where they can book their on-demand ride. Often the riders app offers real-time tracking of the ride before and during the specific ride and lets the rider pay for their on-demand trip, as well. With Moovit On-Demand, the riders app also enables the rider to plan multimodal journeys. 

Shared Mobility – Transportation services that are shared among users, either simultaneously or one after another. This includes public transit; micromobility (bike-sharing, scooter sharing); car-based modes (carsharing, ride-hailing, and microtransit); and commute-based modes or ridesharing (carpooling and vanpooling).

Simulation – An analytical review to assess how a new mobility service would perform in a potential service area by testing various scenarios in order to identify the optimal framework for the new service operations. Simulation parameters used by Moovit On-Demand include service area, fleet size, pooling potential, and level of service parameters such as wait time, number of riders, cost per ride, and more.  

ToD (Transit On-Demand) – See On-Demand.

Transit Desert – An area in which the supply of public transportation does not meet the demand. 

Transit Oasis – An area in which the supply of public transportation exceeds the demand.

Trip Brokering – The ability for an on-demand solution to automatically match trip requests to third-party operators during periods when demand overshadows supply. This ensures riders always enjoy timely service and helps the on-demand operator manage demand peaks without adding more fleet vehicles.

Virtual Stop – A location used as a potential ‘stop’ in corner-to-corner mobility services, which can be a bus stop or any other identifiable location, such as a business, street corner, etc.

WLA (White Label Application)A white-label app is a specific application built by a provider that is rebranded and resold. Moovit’s White Label app provides one app for all mobility needs, with a transit agency’s or city’s branding. Moovit’s White Label solution is based on Moovit’s app and is backed by Moovit’s server ecosystem, designed for endless scale and serving hundreds of millions of users worldwide, with zero downtime. App name and look-and-feel changes are tailored to customer needs, based on templates.