Microtransit Still Looking for a Success
Angie Schmitt writes:
To hear the start-up world tell it, “micro transit” is the next big urban transportation breakthrough. But out in the real world, the results haven’t lived up to the hype.
Schmitt pulls anecdotes from Kansas City to San Jose, but all the evidence suggests the "PR for micro transit is outrunning empirical experience." Despite that evidence, however, Schmitt is also able to cite an expanding roster of contracts with microtransit services.
Four agencies in California recently embarked on micro transit pilots. Transloc, now a subsidiary of Ford, called 2017 a “banner year” and projected a 600 percent increase in “live pilots” in 2018. Nationwide, at least 24 transit agencies are expected to initiate micro transit contracts this year, according to the Washington Post, which said micro transit “might be an answer” for transit agencies losing riders.
In fact, Schmitt makes the argument that by spending resources on less useful microtransit service, transit systems might be hastening their own demise.