Vancouver-based mobility management platform Spare and ride-hailing giant Lyft are working together to create a platform that potentially allows public transit systems to use ride-hailing as a solution for some of their services.
Public transit authorities would be able to design and launch micro-transit and para-transit programs by taking advantage of Lyft’s ride-hailing fleet, with the integration allowing public transit to immediately expand or contract their fleet size with the Lyft network in response to fluctuating rider demand.
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This could be beneficial for public transit authorities during both peak demand and lower-demand periods, which have been traditionally difficult and expensive to operate.
“We are excited to partner with Spare to help transit agencies achieve their goals of increased flexibility and reliability of their para-transit and micro-transit services,“ said Paul Davis, director of transit partnerships at Lyft, in a statement.
“For years, our agency partners have leveraged the Lyft network to meet their riders’ needs by cost-effectively expanding the reach of transit and facilitating access to more opportunities. Now with this innovative partnership, agencies can easily integrate these benefits into their services.”
Para-transit services, typically operated using special shuttles and/or taxi vouchers, are seeing growing demand, especially with an aging and growing population. On some systems, there have been growing wait times for such services.
Both Lyft and Uber’s smartphone apps already show public transit information to enable riders to make better decisions on their options for getting around.