Rural Microtransit Case Study and Report


DRPT collaborated with Bay Transit in Gloucester County and Mountain Empire Older Citizens in Wise County on the Virginia Rural Microtransit Deployment Initiative, an 18-month pilot project that tested the feasibility of microtransit and a service delivery model for rural on demand transit service. This project is funded in part through a Federal Transit Administration Integrated Mobility Innovation Grant and the Commonwealth’s Innovation Technology Transportation Fund.

The purpose of the study was to review the findings of the rural microtransit deployment project, develop an operational sustainability strategy, and prepare an implementation toolkit for other rural transit agencies interested in launching and operating microtransit services of their own.

Final Report


Bay Transit and Mountain Empire Older Citizens collaborated with Via Transportation on the technology to implement microtransit. Three interview and discussion guides were created to structure conversations and solicit targeted feedback related to both microtransit services. These guides included stakeholders, bus operators and dispatchers, as well as riders.


Over the 18-month period, both services experienced increasing ridership, with Bay Transit Express providing 9,039 trips and METGo! providing 38,996 trips. Most of the riders used the service multiple times a week. Riders reported the service as safe and reliable. The pilot revealed the challenges of getting riders to become comfortable using a smartphone app to order rides and a desire for longer hours of operation and the need for more vehicles and drivers to ensure quality of service and driver satisfaction.