A shared, technology-enabled, public transportation system with flexible routing developed based on real-time trip demand and origin-destination patterns.
While it uses similar technology such as a mobile app for requesting and scheduling rides, microtransit is different from ride-hailing services:
- Typically subsidized
- Operates in defined service zones
- Combines trips rather than serving single trips
- Provides lower fares
- Employs professional drivers and uses dedicated vehicles
Comparison to Other Transit Modes
The following table compares public on-demand microtransit services with private transportation network companies demand response and fixed-route transit service.
|Operates within defined service zone||X||X||N/A|||
|Trips may be shared with other riders||X||X||X|||
|Trips must be booked||X||X||||X|
|Reservations needed 24 hours or more in advance||||X|
|Booking options for riders without access to internet and/or banking||X||X||N/A|||
|Accessible vehicle mandated||X||X||X|||
Specific implementations of these transit modes may differ from the generalized comparison shown in the table above.
Benefits of On-Demand Microtransit
- More efficient and responsive service to rider demands with shorter wait times
- Provides transit to rural, low density, hilly or otherwise difficult to serve areas
- Does not require advance reservations
- Flexible for serving late-shift workers and those with unpredictable schedules
- Generates robust data and insights on trip behavior
- Assists with providing paratransit services
- Improves customer service experience through scheduling apps and payment technology
How Does On-Demand Microtransit Support Equity?
- Reaches underserved communities not served by fixed route public transportation or communities with high prevalence of carless households
- Improves access to essential services, healthcare and employment opportunities, which improves quality of life
- Provides more responsive service with shorter wait times and a higher level of service
- Expands freedom to riders to schedule their trips when they need them
- Shortens walking and waiting times