DRPT’s Statewide Integrated Mobility Initiative assists the department and its partners in navigating the rapidly changing shared mobility landscape. This initiative developed recommendations rooted in stakeholder input from DRPT’s staff, transit agencies, and research.
New and alternative transportation services — often involving shared use of a vehicle or other mode and enabled by technology — continue to evolve and enter the market, providing people with greater convenience in requesting, tracking, and paying for trips. Examples of these services include on-demand ride services (transportation network companies [TNCs] such as Uber and Lyft), microtransit, technology-enabled shuttle services, carsharing, bikesharing, and scooters.
DRPT collaborated with Bay Transit, Mountain Empire Older Citizens, and Via Transportation on the Virginia Rural Microtransit Deployment Initiative, a demonstration project that is testing the feasibility of microtransit and a service delivery model for rural on-demand transit service. This project is funded in part through the Federal Transit Administration Integrated Mobility Innovation Grant and the Commonwealth’s Innovation Technology Transportation Fund. Microtransit technology allows customers to book trips on demand or in advance via an app or call in number. The technology allows efficient real-time routing, trip sharing, mobile payment, and flexible scheduling within a defined service zone. The demonstration projects, Bay Transit Express and METGO, went live on June 28, 2021, and will run for a total of 18 months. A report on these microtransit services will be compiled at the end of the project.
Based on the Albemarle County Transit Expansion Study developed by the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, Albemarle County and Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) will implement microtransit services in the Route 29 North and Pantops service area as part of a 12-month demonstration project. The microtransit services would remove an estimated total of 100 single-occupancy vehicle trips per day between the two service areas. CAT will be the transit operator for the microtransit services, procuring four 20-passenger transit vehicles and using current transit operators to implement the microtransit pilot.
This project will plan, deploy, comparatively evaluate performance, and share lessons learned for on-demand microtransit services in two unique use cases for microtransit services over a six-month period. The new service will provide shared rides in small vehicles for short-distance trips and allow the Hampton Roads region to determine if microtransit is a feasible alternative and complement to existing fixed-route transit. The project will also help explore new markets for transit and enhance organizational capacities. HRT has selected Via as the microtransit operator and will include two service zones in the Cities of Newport News and Virginia Beach.