For Public Transit Agencies Losing Riders, Microtransit Might Be An Answer (2-3-18)

Debra Dezon, left, asks microtransit driver John Scott for a ride along the Georgia Avenue route of the District’s microtransit services system. Cities and transit agencies are experimenting with microtransit, which provide transportation options in underserved areas. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Declines in public transit ridership are pushing transportation agencies around the country, including in the District, to pursue partnerships with tech companies to incorporate ­on-demand, dynamic shared rides into their services.

Proponents of “microtransit” say they could increase the reach of public transportation by extending travel options to underserved areas and into off-hour travel times when bus service is infrequent or nonexistent. Cities also are betting that subsidized microtransit could potentially lure back riders lost to popular app-based services, such as Uber and Lyft. They view it as a creative way to meet growing needs and balance costs.

“We can’t continue to spend huge sums of money on local bus service if it’s not being utilized as well as it should,” said Gabe Klein, a former transportation chief in the District and Chicago. “So how do you enhance local bus service to make it more useful to people in the age of on-demand modes? That is where microtransit comes in.”

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)

Why Transit Ridership Is Falling (Hint: It’s Not Just Uber) (2-2-18)

(David Kidd)

In Los Angeles, the number of bus and rail trips taken last year was the lowestin more than a decade. Over just the last five years, transit ridership has declined 15 percent.

What’s behind the huge drops?

Cars. More specifically, the fact that a lot more people who might otherwise ride the bus or train now own cars.

Read Full Story Here (via Governing)