More Transit Agencies Partnering with Ride-Hailing Companies
A study on the growing trend of partnerships between transit agencies and ride-hailing services provides an overview of 29 models around the country, comparing the the risks and benefits of these agreements and the different forms they've taken over time.
The research from DePaul University's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development found that public agencies tend to pursue transit network companies for a few main purposes: to fill gaps in service, to provide first- and last-mile connections to stations, and to integrate an element of demand response into the system.
In Metro Magazine, the study authors argue that despite the risks, "preliminary evidence suggests that a properly designed program can be a bargain when compared to the cost of buying buses and paying for labor, fuel, and maintenance on lightly used routes."
One popular model is "incorporating payment for both ride-shares and transit—and connections between the two—on a single app." In another common arrangement, cities subsidize rides that begin or end at a transit station. But this setup isn't always sustainable, and hasn't made it far in larger cities, the authors note.