OCTA Flex van and software screens

California agencies seek micro-transit partners

Transit operators in southern California are looking for private partners to provide micro-transit services.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Orange County Transportation Authority are testing programs to provide first- and last-mile connections.

Metro has been studying ride-hailing options for months and expects to issue a request for bids this week. “The private sector knows this better than we do,” said Joshua Schank, chief innovation officer at Metro. “We’ve developed the project internally, figured out what we wanted it to look like, and now we’re ready to ask private industry for their ideas.”

“The overarching goal is to improve mobility for people in Los Angeles County,” Schank continued. “If you’re an average person taking three buses in the morning, you might have to wait 10 to 20 minutes for each bus. Now, you’ve got a point-to-point option, where the service is picking you up within 10 minutes.” Contracted service will be accessible to people with disabilities, and a credit card will not be required.

OCTA will seek partners for its OC Flex program. The one-year pilot program will serve two low-demand areas.

OCTA will provide the selected vendor with four wheelchair-accessible vans and TransLoc software for scheduling, reservations, and fare payment.  Customers will also be able to make reservations by phone or board a vehicle at a designated neighborhood hub.  Capital and operating costs for the one-year pilot are estimated to be $1.4 million.  Link to full story in Daily Breeze.

Image source: OCTA

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