Paul Comfort, transit industry influencer, hosts an entertaining & interactive discussion with the leaders of the City of Lethbridge Transit. Together they explore Lethbridge's fixed route redesign and microtransit implementation process, and their overall response to COVID. Plus, they take a look at Rides on Demand, TripSpark's microtransit app -- the many benefits of the app, a fun app demonstration, and provide valuable insight on the impact of microtransit to the future of transportation
PAUL: Hey welcome everyone, I'm Paul Comfort. Great to have you with us today on this 60-minute Rides on Demand webinar with our guests from Lethbridge Transit. The purpose of our webinar today is to inform our customers and those in the industry about the benefits of our new microtransit app, Rides on Demand (RoD), via Lethbridge Transit's story and experience, plus we're going to be highlighting how easy it is to get started. It's closer than you think.
We also want to share with you a short, pre-recorded Rides on Demand demo, and for you to see how really this program works. We have two great guests with us today. Jeff Gillette is the GIS and Application Specialist at Lethbridge Transit. Jeff started at Lethbridge Transit in 2015. In this position he has worked on implementing Next Stop announcements, Transit Signal Priority, and MyRide. With the redesign of the transit network, into cityLINK, he took on the role of planning and scheduling, and is the lead on implementation of the Rides on Demand service. Prior to working at Lethbridge Transit Jeff was a GIS Specialist in the remote sensing and the oil and gas sectors. Jeff, welcome! And our other guest is Timothy Sanderson, who is the General Manager for the City of Lethbridge and he's been in that role since December, 2020. In this position, Tim has lead Lethbridge Transit through a complete network redesign and is redefining the role of transit in post COVID Lethbridge. After beginning his career as a bus operator with Winnipeg Transit in the early 1990’s, Tim has made and had a varied transit career providing executive leadership in Operations, Planning and Human Resource for North American transit systems, including (where I was just at a month ago, and on a podcast today) Nashville's MTA. He's also been with Des Moines DART (where I was two weeks ago). He's been with Brandon Transit and Ann Arbor. He's a frequent presenter at both APTA and TRB conferences. Thank you so much for being with us Timothy.
JEFF: Thank you Paul. Good to be here.
PAUL: And then I also want to introduce Tanya Bruce who is the Senior Product Manager for TripSpark and Tanya thanks so much for being with us today, and I know you've got a big part in our program. TANYA: Thanks Paul. PAUL: So, we're going to pose some questions to them at the end of our webinar today, so if you have questions you can start to put them in, into the Q and A chat function there at the bottom of the screen and we'll make sure we get those questions to them. As they pop into your head, you can type them in and then when we go to the Q and A at the end, we'll address them.
So, the city of Lethbridge is a longtime transit agency partner with TripSpark, since 2014. They recently implemented TripSpark's new microtransit app as I mentioned, Rides on Demand. It's probably too early to realize the full impact that Rides on Demand is going to have for Lethbridge Transit, but they're going to share their story via presentation and cover the deployment experience, the expectations for Rides on Demand, and other exciting things happening at Lethbridge Transit. Then I'll speak with Tanya about her vision for Rides on Demand and how it came to be developed. We'll share a short Rides on Demand demonstration video, and then I'll open up the floor to questions or comments, and as I mentioned, you can feel free to put them on the online chat anytime during the webinar, we'll address them at the end. We have about an hour to pack all this in, so let's go ahead and get started as I turn it over to our two guests, Tim and Jeff.
TIM: We're Lethbridge, we're in Alberta. Our claim to fame is that we're two hours away from Calgary, so as you can see, we are considerably out in the middle of nowhere, but it is a beautiful part of the world. We're a fairly small city, a little over a hundred thousand people here, but we've got very strong ridership. We've got a university and a college here.
I'm not sure what the mix is with Canada/US transit agencies, but ridership is generally higher in Canada anyway. So for fixed route, we've got 10 routes and we run 50 buses on those 10 routes. At our demand response, we have four demand zones, and we run paratransit as well. Two and a half million boardings, that was pre-COVID. Don't ask me what we're at now, who knows – it depends on any day of the week and what the restrictions are, and all that other sort of stuff, so you know, just to give a little bit of context where we are.
JEFF: So I just want to thank everyone for being here. Thank you Paul and Tanya for putting this together with everyone else from TripSpark.
I'm just going to kind of go over a quick summary of what software we use here at Lethbridge Transit that we work with TripSpark with, and take it from there. So the partnership as Paul mentioned, started in 2014. So that was about a year before I started here in Lethbridge, but what we do have here, is we have Streets for our CAD/AVL system. NovusDR was originally purchased for the paratransit service, but as you'll hear, we utilize that for Rides on Demand. Amenities for our customers - we have MyRide, Trip Planning, we have the Next Stop Announcements to assist our visually and hearing impaired customers, Paratransit. We have Passenger Portal so customers can book their own rides. We also have IVR Notifications and all of our paratransit and fixed route fleet are outfitted with Rangers or the Trapeze MDTs, so we're well into the TripSpark ecosystem. So our on demand - I'm going to interchange all of the terms and I apologize right now, but Rides on Demand, microtransit, and on-demand transit - we here in Lethbridge, started looking at on-demand service in late 2019 and by early 2020 we realized that on-demand is a good service to provide to our customers in low-density areas, new neighborhoods, or under-service neighborhoods,
By March 2020 as everyone knows, the emerging pandemic resulting in public health measures, drastically altered our ridership numbers and travel patterns. As most of you may know in our case, our boardings decreased by 90 percent as of the start of the pandemic. At this point we needed a solution and on-demand transit became that solution, or it became more urgent that we needed the solution to keep running the transit here in Lethbridge efficiently and safely. We couldn't shut down public transit - we needed to ensure frontline workers, essential workers and the public could make their essential trips, so we had to continue running service, but in a safe and reliable way. So our first foray into on demand was a quick phone call with Tanya, just asking if TripSpark had an on-demand service. At that point they were currently working on Rides on Demand, but it wasn't quite ready for deployment so over the course of a couple conversations, we decided we could try to put together an ad hoc on demand service using Novus. In this case, we just called it "Ride by Reservation". It wasn't quite a true on-demand service, but it enabled us to maintain reliable and safe public transit. The nice thing about this is it only took us about two weeks to put it together.
The TripSpark customer care team helped us modify Novus, import the buses, import the bus stops, they modified the Rangers for us, they even had Passenger Portal enabled for us, and created Notifications as well. It was quite a bit of work, I mean it only took us about two weeks maybe, but they were long days. The quick turnaround time implementing this project was only possible because we already had all the software and hardware components required, plus our drivers and office staff, including myself were fully trained in NovusDR, the Rangers, and all the other accessories we had. In short, we basically ran our service for four months. Other options for on-demand solutions had a three to six month timeline to implement, and that just was too much lag time for us, so fortunately with TripSpark's help we were able to do our Ride by Reservation or on-demand service for four months from, April 4th to august 8th.
Once the province here in Alberta started reopening on July 1st, the demand increased and we went back to fixed route starting August 8th. Overall, we had a really successful four months with the Ride by Reservation service, and I think it would kind of be like the alpha to the Rides on Demand software that we're presenting here.
TIM: Okay so based upon the experience that we had with Ride by Reservation, and all the really good things that worked and the things that were challenging, City Council asked us to implement some form of demand response system. Their original idea was well, let's just scrap the entire transit system, and do demand response overall, but we did have the conversation with them, and at the end they decided to implement some zones and low ridership areas that were demand response, and then use those resources and redirect them into making the fixed route much more robust and more frequent. This was an opportunity for us to redesign the entire system, and we increased the speed and frequency in high demand areas, and then in those areas that still had low ridership, we implemented demand response, through Rides on Demand.
So again from a fixed route perspective, direct connections to high ridership areas, this really allowed us to go to the places where our customers want to go. To the university, to those high density student housing areas, to Walmart and Superstore, and just those general places, to the hospital, places of high ridership, and good frequency on there.
So we partnered that, in that 10-minute frequency in some areas with our demand response zones, which fed into these hubs, so all of our hubs are located not just at some spot on the route, they're located in strategic areas that also meet up with generators, with stores, or high-density housing.
A few things on our demand response; we've got four zones. You can book a trip in all the demand response zones or work is interzoned, so you can go from curb-to-curb within any zone. Or if you want to go outside of the zone, you can get picked up at your home and then dropped off at one of our city hubs to transfer to the fixed route system. Then you may have that similar transfer on the other side of the trip if you're going from a residential area to a residential area. Zone sizes vary by time of day and day of week, but we try to keep them as consistent as possible to make it easily expandable.
We use Rides on Demand to operate the demand zones and it's been working great. Going forward, the caveat we have is that we have a lot of requests from the community to do this but we've been very resistant to do it, we only book trips at time of travel so when you're ready to go, you book the trip. We don't do subscriptions, we don't allow book ahead, we don't do any of those kinds of things. That allows us to really manage the demand a lot better, and our service standard is pick up within 20 minutes, and we've been able to meet that.
Again, the implementation of Rides on Demand was collaborative and incredibly smooth, and we can't say enough about working with TripSpark. We really got a product that really matched what our customers in Lethbridge needed, and really allowed us to tailor the solution to our community, into the way that we are going to structure demand response with our relatively unique operating environment.
One of the biggest things that I can say being through many of these types of projects over the last few years is, not that we didn't have disruptions going through this gigantic transition but not of them were related to TripSpark, which is huge, because always one of the biggest concerns that we have is what happens if the whole thing shuts down, or we flip the switch and it doesn't work. There were absolutely zero problems with that.
Also, our operators were already familiar with the interface. We've been using Novus for a while, so there was virtually no learning curve. We had a lot of trepidation from our bus operators saying, well how do I learn this, how do I do it?, but you know when the day came, it was like, just follow your Ranger just like you would on anything else and it worked seamlessly. We had a number of operators come say, boy I was really worried about this but then when we actually did it, it was way easier than I thought. The app interface is intuitive and easy to use. There was a lot of trepidation from the community too on how to use it. We had a few small issues with that. We worked with TripSpark in order to iron them out. One of them I think was related to a timer or somebody didn't press the Go button on it, but again TripSpark's been fantastic, and again that is not an area of concern that we've had from our customers.
Multiple ways to work; we always feel the best way is to use the app that gives the direct influence or the direct interface to the system. We think that's always the best way and that's what the majority of our customers use, but we also offer for those people that don't have smartphones, 3-1-1. When we first started, the 3-1-1 operators were using Novus in order to book the trips, and Novus works great for that application. But for booking a quick, fast and easy trip like that, that's on demand at time of travel, it could be streamlined a little. So again, we worked with TripSpark and they provided basically a Rides on Demand interface that is very similar to what the customer sees, just in order to book those trips and really assist them - so we're doing basically the same thing.
Then the last way they can book the trip is to ask the driver when they show up at the bus. For example, if they're from a transferring from a bus or something like that, and then the driver just contacts Dispatch. Then Dispatch uses the already interface.
Here's a little bit of our system app. On the left is our "before" side. As you can see no demand zones - fixed routes everywhere. One thing that I can say, the map doesn't really indicate the level of complexity that our system had, but a lot of one-directional, single-directional loops going through there, so in a lot of cases, it would be counter-intuitive. You'd get on basically going in the opposite direction in order for it to loop around. Your trip to work may take ten minutes, but your trip home might take an hour. Again, it was a very, very, very strong coverage-based system. On the 'after' side, you can see in a lot of these residential and these low demand areas, we have demand zones. Then all the other routes you can see, it's pretty small, but take my word for it, they are just way more direct and, again, also have increased frequency on them as well.
So what are the outcomes? We're only six weeks into this process but already, it's been very promising. If we take a look at the two charts that we've got on here, the gold line is the baseline - the pre-cityLink baseline, so you can see that for our customers, we were around seven passengers per hour, which again, not great. Our post-Covid was somewhere around 15 or 16. But you can see after cityLINK, we were able to do this, so really what this allowed us to do was to take our very valuable fixed rate assets, and really concentrate them in areas where they're going to be used. Then if you can take a look at the ridership, the ridership also increased under this. Now at the end of the day, as we may have mentioned, when council asked us to do this, they also asked us to cut $350,000 from our budget, so this wasn't a service expansion, this is a service reduction. So, with Rides on Demand, with using this demand response model of transit, we were able to reduce our expenses, increase our efficiency, and increase our ridership all at the same time.
That’s it, just a couple of next steps. This is a work in process. Every service change, we're going to be adjusting. We've got a number of small adjustments that we're making in November of 2021. In March of 2022, Council is going to decide if this is effectively a pilot project – a very elaborate pilot project of redesigning our system. But, they're going to decide whether or not cityLINK will become permanent, or again, what changes we may need to make to the model.
We've got a little missions statement there for our cityLINK project, or if you are really more interested in this, feel free to reach out to us or a lot of this information is online, so thank you.
PAUL: Awesome - thanks Tim, that was a great presentation by both of you. Appreciate it. Jeff as well. You guys are going to stick around and maybe be involved in some the Q & A in a few minutes.
Next, I want to move over to Tanya Brusse, who's with us at TripSpark and she's kind of the one to help develop the software program that that is doing such great things for your city.
Tanya, welcome! So tell us a little bit about developing. What was the catalyst, or what was the reason why we wanted to develop this app?
TANYA: Well really Paul the catalyst was talking to our customers, so that's sort of where all of our ideas come from, for our products. So, you know we were talking to them, finding that they were facing some challenges, you know offering service, like Lethbridge there.
You know some of our customers actually that have our Novus or PASS software were actually offering, sort of doing what Lethbridge was doing, but doing it by letting people call in, and book rides - so offering general public on-demand service, so that takes a lot of resources for the transit agency to sort of manage.
PAUL: Very good, and what problems does Rides on Demand solve for Lethbridge and other transit agencies, in addition to that - reducing the number of reservations you need to pick up the phone?
TANYA: So, you know it really depends on the transit agency. You know every problem is going to be different so as you heard today, Lethbridge was sort of directed to cut their budget but they didn't want to cut the service that they were offering to their residents. You know some agencies are facing urban sprawl. They're getting new neighborhoods. They have to provide service to those new neighborhoods but there just isn't the ridership there to justify having a fixed route service so what they're doing is in those cases, often standing up a First Mile/Last Mile service, and bringing people from those new neighborhoods to transit hubs, where they can take advantage of the fixed route service.
So sometimes it's a matter of being able to extend service, so timewise, being able to provide people safe rides home at night. And you know that's important because a lot of you know, a lot of agencies feel it's important to be able to get people to where they can work, and if those people don't have access to any other type of transportation, the transit agency is who they rely on. Does it make sense again to run buses through the night, picking people up at two in the morning on a fixed route service but being able to pick those people up when they get off shift, and take them safely home, is a way to do that.
I even have one customer that I visited and they're doing it all. They're in a rural area and they're offering a multitude of services on the same run. So a driver may go and pick up a paratransit rider at their doorstep, then they you know, they're out in the country and they pick up the next rider at the end of their driveway because you they're outside of town. Then they may go through a town and pick up a number of riders at the gas station. That's considered a meeting point, and then they go on and drop the conventional riders to a transit hub again to pick up fixed route, and then continue to take that paratransit rider so they make their appointment on time. So, you know, a lot of management and coordination, and the nice thing is the PASS and the Novus back office software helps manage that.
So really what Rides on Demand becomes is another way to book a ride using the same demand response back office software and algorithms.
So, the other thing that we did is stand up the 3-1-1 operator app, working with Lethbridge, so they can use the Novus and PASS back office software but they sort of said we'd like to be able to have something that's very similar to what the riders are using, so the team worked quickly to do that. So really the benefits of implementing Rides on Demand like I said, is another way to book a ride through Novus and PASS along with call taking or Passenger Portal, and making efficient use of the resources as Tim called out, was nothing new for his employees to learn or for the drivers to learn.
So, I think Paul you said at the beginning, with Rides on Demand, standing up a public on demand or microtransit service 'you're closer than you think'.
PAUL: And does it require any kind of hardware on the bus?
TANYA: No, they use the same terminals, so if an agency is using DriverMate or Rangers, it works with both of those.
PAUL: And what about training for the drivers?
TANYA: It's the same software that they use today, offering their current on-demand services/ repair transit services, so there's nothing really different for the drivers to learn.
PAUL: And does a software like this or a program like this normally need to go through a procurement process, or is it because it's kind of like an add-on to something they already have, maybe it doesn't have to?
TANYA: Yup, again it'll come up to individual agency rules, but with this it's just an app, it's an add-on as you said to our Novus and our PASS software, so it's very quick to deploy, and basically all an agency does is set up a different service type in Novus and PASS, that takes the rides from Rides on Demand.
PAUL: That's great - anything else you want to share about it, before we show the demo?
TANYA: Last thing I want to say is what you're going to see in the demo is a result of a lot of collaboration with our customers, so Jeff who you met today. There's other customers, they were in design sessions - provided feedback. We did a pilot and they provided feedback, so really this isn't a TripSpark product, this is a product that TripSpark developed in cooperation with our partners. I'll say we co-designed it.
PAUL: Thank you Tanya. That's the best kind of product for sure. Thank you, Tanya. Alright, so here's our demonstration of the Rides on Demand application in action with Lethbridge Transit.
DEMO: Lethbridge Transit really cares about their customers. Despite budget cuts, they were able to maintain, and even improve service by redesigning their Fixed Route network, and by introducing microtransit, using TripSpark's Rides on Demand app.
Rides on Demand helps Lethbridge Transit meet the growing needs of their community by supporting a variety of public, on-demand services. It did not take much time for Lethbridge to implement microtransit as Rides on Demand works with the TripSpark demand response software, they were already using for their Access-a-Ride service.
Riders love how simple it is to use too. They simply download the app on their smartphone. And when they're ready to book a ride, they simply indicate where they want to go by entering an address, picking a location on the map, or selecting from one of their stored favorites. They can even add other people, such as family or friends, to their ride request. If they need extra space for a wheelchair or a bike, they can request that too. Rides on Demand automatically locates a nearby ride. And it lets the rider know that their vehicle is on its way. It's that easy. There's no guessing with Rides on Demand. Passengers know exactly when their ride will arrive, and they can track their rides on a live map, and they get SMS alerts and reminders of their vehicles’ arrival. Rides on Demand enables transit agencies to provide ride sharing service using agency vehicles with people heading in the same general direction travelling together. This gentleman is taking a First Mile ride to connect to fixed route. He could also have selected a curb-to-curb ride within the travel zone. Whether there's just one passenger or several travelling together - passengers are efficiently picked up and dropped off - in a continuous flow. The app's dynamic algorithm ensures that passengers arrive at their destination on time – every time. Thank you for watching. To learn more about Rides on Demand, visit: TripSpark.com slash R. O. D.
PAUL: That's great. You know microtransit is one of the hottest trends across Canada and the US right now, with cities all over, moving toward that.
Tim, what would you say the response has been generally in your community to putting this out there? Especially, I'm interested what your political officials may be thinking about. Are they happy with it, your funding sources?
TIM: It's just been a really interesting process because when we first announced this, it was was heralded - everybody was very excited about this. But then when the details come up as what actually transit on demand is, and again there are some limitations with it, there was a lot of reticence with the community, that, we had to spend a lot of time working for it. There's a lot of "what about-ism." Well, what about somebody that doesn't have a cell phone, what about somebody that doesn't speak English, what about somebody that's visually impaired? What about, what about, what about, what about? And our big message was to let's just get to actually those people that have those challenges and work with them and, I think really, by working through the community, and really just being patient with our customers, and holding their hand through the first few bookings, it really took off, and what we've seen is some of the zones. We didn't really see any ridership growth on at all, they're kind of dogs. We get a few people on them, but that's why there's demand service out there rather than big buses driving behind the road. But then there's other zones that we have that have really picked up, and we think that by offering it, not only are the previous customers using the system but we actually had some new people on the uptake.
Our metrics are off the charts so, Council asked us to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the system. We told them that there are going to be some people that that are going to be disenfranchised with this, and they said okay, improve the efficiency and effectiveness. As you can see from the numbers that's mission accomplished.
PAUL: That's great. It is. I think this type of microtransit that this app allows for really does create more equity and inclusion in the community because as you said, some routes now that we're coming out of the pandemic, some routes may not need that 40-foot bus, but if you move it because it doesn't justify the amount of passengers per hour you need to have there, you're going to leave some people behind. So, in order to keep them, being able to provide mobility to them, microtransit really is a great solution.
TIM: Yeah, it really just allows us to really, for all those coverage routes, to provide that coverage. The people are giving a transfer transit option, but we can use those 40-foot buses just in places that they're designed for, high frequencies, straight corridors, through dense areas, and they work great.
PAUL: Yeah so on pricing, how have you all priced this as compared to what it might cost to take a taxi or another TNC?
TIM Well right now, and then this is not necessarily as part of a design, but we're in the process of procuring a new fare structure - our fair collection system, so we're free right now.
TIM: The key is that the 98 percent of the trips are transferring to a fixed route bus, and they pay their fare at that point in time, and it seems to be working really well. The fare isn't really necessarily the barrier because it's part of a linked in trip.
PAUL: Gotcha okay, very good. And Tanya, if people, I know that we told them where they could go online to find out more about this. You've been involved in this, and kind of living and breathing it now for quite a while. I mean if you know, if I'm a transit agency CEO, I'm like, yeah if I don't have something like this already, I want it, so what will be the process of actually making it happen? So, let's say I'm a decision maker in a transit agency, which I've been in a number of them, and I'm like yes, I want that, what should I do right now?
TANYA: If you're already a TripSpark customer, it's easy, just reach out to your account manager.
TANYA: So, it's like I mentioned earlier, it's just sort of setting up a new service type in their current back office software, setting up the Rides of Demand app, and to do that, you just need to provide us your colors, and your logos, and what key information you want to provide to your riders, and we customize it for you. But it's really quick and easy, and the price point, it's a SaaS product, so the price point to get started is very low.
PAUL: That's great. That was a great video, and I also want to make sure we give a big shout out to Dishan Panchoo of Lethbridge Transit for shooting the footage for the video, it's a great, real easy to follow video, and easy to understand, and showed exactly what was going on with the graphics, and like that, great job.
Hey, we have a few questions coming in if you guys don't mind. Renee Jordan asks what percentage of users use the app as opposed to calling in on your call center. Who wants to take that?
JEFF: I got that one. Right now, about 60 percent are using the app, and then 40 percent are calling in either through 3-1-1, or through our Dispatch, in the early morning or after hours.
JEFF: That'll rise but, yeah, that's where we're at right now.
PAUL: Okay, and then another one. Maybe this is for you Tanya. What are some of the areas in US and Canada, where this is being utilized?
TANYA: Well Lethbridge was our very first customer, so they're the ones that are up and running with it now, and our project managers are in the planning phases to stand it up with a number of other customers, so I'm excited to get them up and running with it, and see it in live, and now I can actually travel, so I might even be able to do down and visit them in person.
PAUL: There you go. And then probably for you Tim or Jeff, is there a minimum number of revenue vehicles per zone in an area? What is the average wait time goal?
TIM: Uh sure. No there is normally, we've got one per zone. Now what we're feeling now, but we're going to be balancing that based upon the demand, since this was all new, but that was our starting point, was the putting one per zone. The average wait time goal - our service standard is that we'll pick you up within 20 minutes of when you request the trip. I don't think that we've been unable to meet that, if we have it's been our rare occurance.
PAUL: That's great
DAVE: I think I just wanted to quickly bring up a couple of other questions that were submitted. I think they were kind of answered, but maybe just to overtly answer them. The first one is, is this compatible with PASS, which of course it is. Novus and PASS, you're good to go either way.
And then go through a sample booking. We did that via the video. And then there was one question which Jordan has answered but maybe Tim and Jeff, if you have anything to add, which is what vehicles are you using for Rides on Demand?
TIM: Yeah, we're using, we've got Arboc paratransit vehicles that we're using right now, but that's only because we didn't procure them especially for their existing accessorized vehicles and, I think we'd probably be looking at something a little bit smaller if this becomes a permanent project.
PAUL: And you're doing that with your own drivers?
TIM: Yeah, we're using our own drivers, and I guess actually that's a really good thing. A really good point why Rides on Demand was so appealing to us. We have in our contract, we can't contract out for this type of service with our union, so going to a third party just wasn't available for us, so really having the ability to get a product that uses all of our existing stuff, all of our existing hardware our employees are familiar with it. Our own equipment and everything like that, a huge appeal for us in order to do that.
PAUL: That's great, very good.
TANYA: There was a question that came in. Are you using the same application for paratransit?
JEFF: We're running both with Novus, if that was the question. We don't have PASS. I'm not sure. I think it works on both, but yes.
TANYA: And then the other thing I think too, when I was down visiting with you folks, you actually had some of your, what have been your paratransit customers, now are using the Rides of Demand app as well.
JEFF: Yes, yeah we do have a few that use both services now.
TIM: The other thing I would like to add is as being in Canada, where it's probably not the right word, but we're not restricted by the ADA as far as booking goes, and so one of the things that we're taking a look at is how can we use Rides on Demand to really transform our paratransit network so that those people that require a fair transit vehicle, have true freedom, and can just simply say hey I want to go now Paul and we'll have a bus to them within 20 minutes rather than going through subscription, and booking a week ahead of time and all the other BS that has just come historically from paratransit, so that's our next project on our agenda is to see if we can leverage this a little bit more because it just works seamlessly for us.
PAUL: Well it looks like a great product, and I think we will look to see the continuing great results you guys are going to get in Lethbridge and the other cities across North America that adopt it. I think you're going to see very positive results. It's been a pleasure to be with you today. I get to talk to, in my role as you know as host of the Transit Unplugged podcast and author of several books on public transportation, I get to talk to folks all the time, and it's great to see practical hands-on solutions to help people with mobility.
In this post-COVID world, the role of public transit really has changed as you've mentioned, it's not just about the nine to five commuter anymore. It's not. It's never really been all about them, but they may not even be the main focus anymore. Now it's about providing mobility for everyone in the region, to all of life's opportunities, and something like Rides on Demand really is a tool to permit that to happen. Take care everybody. Stay safe.=
TripSpark's new innovative Microtransit App, Rides on Demand (RoD) supports a variety of public, on-demand services. Most simply, Rides on Demand enables people travelling in the same direction to hop in - and basically carpool with other riders.