Does Microtransit Perform Well in the U.S.? An Evaluation of Technology-Enabled Demand-Response Transit

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This paper explores emerging microtransit pilot programs in the United States, which represent a technological upgrade of traditional demand-response transit (DRT) in the hope of appealing to more rider groups. Published data and interviews with agency planners show that microtransit in the U.S. adopt two major service models, On-Demand Transit (ODT) and Ridehail (RH). ODT services are a modern version of dial-a-ride transit, most of which are operated with in-house labor of the transit agency or by existing bus service contractors. In contrast, RH services resemble rideshare products of transportation networking companies (TNCs) and are mostly outsourced. Data show that microtransit costs more per trip than the average fixed-route bus for all pilot studies and labor contracting structure is the most important factor in cost-effectiveness. Successful microtransit does provide quality transit access but are unlikely to achieve significant mode shift or environmental benefits.

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2023-05-13
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Government Document
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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dissertation or thesis
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