May 20, 2020 (Vancouver, Canada) - Today, Spare and Citibus, the Lubbock, TX, public transit agency, are launching a new on-demand transit service that will provide riders in the city with more accessible and streamlined public transit during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
The new service is made up of both ADA paratransit and microtransit initiatives and will complement Lubbock’s existing fixed-route bus network.
The microtransit initiative, Citibus On-Demand, will provide a convenient, door-to-door public transit solution spanning the entire city center, while CitiAccess, the paratransit service, will similarly provide flexible door-to-door service that allows Lubbock residents with special needs to travel further and faster within the city than ever before.
Citibus is taking a commingled approach to these two new services, which really places it as a vanguard in the industry. This approach allows transit agencies to pool riders and resources across service categories.
In Lubbock’s case, this means that both Citibus On-Demand and CitiAccess will share the same fleet of up to 20 vehicles. This will help improve operational efficiencies for the agency, allow it to broaden its service reach, and create a more inclusionary environment. It also removes barriers between rider groups, including those with special needs who were previously confined to paratransit service only.
The idea behind commingling comes from the aviation space, where multiple tiered passenger groups share the same airplane. Spare took that concept and applied it to on-demand public transit by enabling multiple rider types to benefit from the same public transport vehicle.
Citibus is the second of these types of services powered by Spare to launch in the United States. On April 20, 2020, StarTran, the public transit agency of Lincoln, NE, introduced new commingled, door-to-door paratransit and microtransit to its users that cover the entire city.
Run by up to ten vehicles, it can be hailed through the app from all VANLNK riders, as well as by phone for Handi-Van paratransit clients.
StarTran launched these two new services to compensate for reduced fixed-route schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide safe access to mobility for the entire local community throughout the crisis and beyond.
Both Citibus and StarTran’s services allow self-serve, on-demand bookings for the rider and automated scheduling, dispatching, and communications for the operator, due to Spare’s complete software solution.
With these two new services in the Great Plains, Spare has established a blueprint to quickly and effectively roll out paratransit and commingled solutions across the region and worldwide.
To launch a commingled paratransit service, a transit agency partnering with Spare need only provide the vehicles and drivers from the existing fleet and most importantly a desire to improve the transit offering in their community.
For more information about how Spare enables the replacement of legacy, manual paratransit software that causes long waiting times, and long work hours, as well as easily-deployed on-demand microtransit solutions, please reach out to Spare’s CEO Kristoffer Vik Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org.