Fitting somewhere between private (cars or cabs) and public transit is a new option that is fittingly labeled “microtransit”. Now in the largest cities we are seeing commuter buses, vanpools, carpool start-ups, and even cab-share options. There are even company and housing shuttles in this new mix of transportation.
Why microtransit might be great
Ideally, Microtransit would fill the gap between the “first-mile, last-mile” problem (the gap at the beginning and end of every trip that can be difficult for traditional transit to service, while remaining cost-effective). An example of this would be getting picked-up from your home, or a block or two away, then transported to some other form of public transit, like a bus or train. If these systems can successfully work together, it should result in less car traffic on the road and increased fares for transit providers. This increase in revenues should lead to better service, attracting even more participants.
Why Microtransit might not be so great
This newly integrated system might not harmonize well, and could lead to a highly competitive market. With this outcome, we could be seeing microtransit providers trying to poach traditional transit riders from bus and rail lines. There’s an underlying concern that if Microtransit providers continue to grow, they will be likely to be taking people off of the public transit system.
To read the entire article, visit www.citylab.com.