Cities turn to microtransit to fill gaps in public transportation

More than 1 million rides have taken place since February 2020 using Jersey City, New Jersey’s on-demand microtransit system, a service model that is filling gaps in traditional public transportation networks among cities both large and small.

Ride-hailing vehicles, vans, shuttles and buses can all function as microtransit. They can be used on fixed or flexible routes and schedules, as well as with on-demand scheduling. Today, more than 100 on-demand microtransit systems are operating in about 40 states, according to Via, a company that provides cities and transit agencies with technology and service operations for on-demand public transportation, paratransit and non-emergency medical transportation…

That’s also how Jersey City’s program works, said Barkha Patel, director of the city’s newly formed infrastructure department. The city contracted with Via in 2020 and is investing $7.5 million this year to support the service, keeping the cost to riders at $2.00 to $2.50 per ride, depending on the zone.