“You need to bring in people who think differently,” Brandes told the Shared Mobility Center in 2016. “The first/last mile issue has been around forever. … Uber and Lyft have only been around for six years. It’s exciting to be able to use technology to help address some of these age-old problems.”
But a new report from the Shared Mobility Center shows that West Floridians were too optimistic about the effects that such taxi companies would have on transit in the Tampa area.
In the first phase of authority’s Direct Connect program, only two Uber rides were ordered per day. The second phase extended the service, allowing passengers to get rides to or from one of eight designated locations across the county, but trips rose to only 40 per day by October 2017. Uber also absorbed many of the riders who relied on the Pinellas Park Circulator, a poorly performing bus route that would be cut the following year.