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How it Works

​​​​​​​​​​Microtransit Overview

A shared, technology-enabled, public transportation system with flexible routing developed based on real-time trip demand and origin-destination patterns. 

See How Microtransit WorksClick on image to expand.

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. 

​​Service Element

​Public On-Demand Microtransit
​Demand Response
​Transportation Network Companies
​Curb-to-curb service

​Operates within defined service zone
​Trips may be shared with other riders
​Trips must be booked

​Reservations needed 24 hours or more in advance​


​Booking options for riders without access to internet and/or banking​

​Accessible vehicle mandated

Please note: 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 

8/2/2023 8:37 AM