On-Demand Transit Grows in Georgia

From small rural towns to metro Atlanta, Georgia communities are experimenting with on-demand transit to improve connections to existing transit and offer transportation to isolated communities.

Read Time: 2 minutes

April 20, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


MARTA bus with Atlanta skyline in background

MARTA's Reach program aims to put more transit options within passengers' reach. | Erik Gonzalez / MARTA Bus, Atlanta

“In the past 18 months, on-demand transit has launched across Georgia, from Atlanta to Valdosta to Gainesville,” writes John Ruch. “Advocates and critics differ on the details while agreeing on-demand has its place and its unknowns.”

“Providing fast, low-cost service for last-mile connectivity and other short trips has been difficult and it limits the appeal of transit as a mode of travel. If we can solve that problem with services like the Buc and MARTA Reach, we can make it much easier for people to choose transit,” said Jim Durrett, executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID), which funded the Buc shuttle in that neighborhood.

Critics say on-demand transit is “inherently far less efficient than fixed-route buses,” making it “best suited to small-town, rural and suburban-sprawl areas” as an option for hard-to-reach areas with few other transit options. This is exactly how several small Georgia communities, such as Valdosta and Hall County, are using it. In a much larger city, Atlanta’s MARTA is exploring microtransit as a solution for other goals. “In metro Atlanta, two new on-demand programs are aimed at ‘last-mile connectivity’ for fixed-route transit riders, with the implication of boosting overall transit ridership.”

The next six months, writes Ruch, should provide a clearer picture of how effective on-demand transit programs will be in increasing ridership and bringing transit access to more Georgians.

Monday, April 18, 2022 in Saporta Report

Books

The Top Urban Planning Books of 2022

An annual list of the must-read books related to urban planning and its intersecting fields.

November 28, 2022 - James Brasuell

Urban separated bike lane with street trees on one side and cars parked on the other

How Urban Trees Save Lives

New research shows a strong connection between a healthy urban tree canopy and lowered mortality rates.

December 1, 2022 - Congress For New Urbanism

Houston, Construction

How To End Homelessness: The Houston Model

While the numbers of unhoused people in other major U.S. cities grow, Houston has managed to effectively end veteran homelessness and house more than 26,000 people since implementing a ‘Housing First’ approach a decade ago.

December 1, 2022 - Smart Cities Dive

Old church and modern glass building in downtown Boston, Massachusetts

How One Massachusetts Governor Rejected Car-Oriented Development

Fifty years ago, Governor Francis W. Sargent nixed a proposed expressway and set in motion a transportation future for Boston that would be remarkably different from many other U.S. cities.

21 minutes ago - The Boston Globe

Man walking away past glass elevator in brightly lit New York City subway station corridor

New York MTA Releases Plan for Improved Accessibility

The MTA announced plans for new or improved elevators at almost two dozen stations as part of its pledge to make more of its stations fully accessible.

1 hour ago - The Architect's Newspaper

Rendering of Juneteenth Museum

The Best, Worst, and Most Questionable in 2022 Architecture and Design

A list of innovative projects, intriguing design, and flummoxing failures.

December 6 - Medium

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.