Microtransit

MICROTRANSIT SOLUTION

Microtransit is a highly flexible on-demand service for efficiently routing and scheduling shared rides and minibus vehicles. The Microtransit solution from IT Curves offers a new paradigm for transit agencies, and uses our integrated and specialized modules to create an easy microtransit management system for operations staff and transit riders. Our solution integrates your fixed routes and paratransit vehicles for rural cities and counties to allow for on-demand, dynamic response to trip requests. Combining these services into a single fleet optimizes your resources and network. The system allows configuring your network for agile combinations of fixed, flexible, and on-demand stops. This dynamic route negotiation allows for optimum passenger transport and vehicle utilization.

Rising Challenges with Transit Demand

Transit agencies, particularly those in rural cities, are facing higher expectations to provide more flexible, on-demand services. Starting in the mid-2010s, public transit organizations throughout the US began attempting to utilize microtransit to increase their service area, advance equity, save money, promote shared rides, environmental custodianship, and provide a competitive service. However, choosing the right combination of software solution and management methods to implement can result in varying degrees of success. During a period of decreasing use of public transit, even before the Covid-19 pandemic, transportation organizations have looked to microtransit to win back riders by providing a solution to underperforming routes in suburban and rural areas. Microtransit offers the promise of technology-enabled, demand-response transportation.

Increase Operational Efficiency

Most transit agencies operate several siloed transportation services, each suffering from barriers which reduce their efficiencies. Fixed buses operate rigid routes where many fixed routes go up and down the same route with many seats unfilled. Paratransit service generally requires advance booking which causes inefficiency due to lack of flexibility and leads to cancellations. Combining the resources of some of the underperforming fixed routes and the flexibility of on-demand, same-day reservations, reacting to cancelation and no-shows, into microtransit maximizes the operational efficiency of the entire network.

Automation with Agile Route Builder and Dispatch

Our efficient route builder builds routes in advance and dynamically while the operation is in progress. This allows the routes to be repaired as they are in progress considering cancellation and no shows and allowing for same day booking as long as there is seat available in vehicles. The dynamic route builder and auto dispatch system modifies the route on the driver device and re-route the driver via the in-vehicle navigation system. Our microtransit solution, while automated, is fully customizable and has a manual dashboard for supervisory actions and intervention. Set it up to fit your needs and let the system do the rest.

Build Confidence with Visualization Tools

IT Curves includes powerful visualization tools in its microtransit software. The administrator portal shows your staff all active vehicles en route to every pickup and drop off while showing the load for each in real-time. Vehicle locations and estimated arrival times are also shared to riders’ smartphone app. The system can also display simulations of future days, trips, and expected demand to help predict and optimize the service provided by your network.

Environmental Benefits

A Microtransit solution creates a transit system where 97% of rides are shared. Researchers found that Microtransit was nearly twice as effective as other emission reduction efforts in the Arlington, VA area. It also has the added benefit of reducing local traffic by 15-30%.

MICROTRANSIT FEATURES

Customer Service Management

IT Curves’ Call Center capabilities are among the leading solutions in the industry. Our simple, intuitive interface helps agents take all the necessary details and dispatch rides with ease. Rider data is stored to automatically populate the screen with rider information and common destinations. Staff can quickly book return rides, repeating trips, view the status of existing trips to provide ETA, and more, all from this central interface.

Where’s My Ride

Where’s My Ride is a smart phone app that provides riders with the ability to request service from an available transportation provider and monitor their service in real-time. With the app, riders can track and are automatically notified of any trip status changes, the estimated time of arrival, and current vehicle location from the time of reservation until they are dropped at their destination. The app displays a map which shows the eligible zone and fixed stops to help riders plan their rides, ensuring that microtransit feeds into the larger transportation network.

Integrated Telephony and Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Our telephony and IVR system integrates with your microtransit solution to provide ease of service and features that significantly reduce the cost and load on call center staff. The interactive voice response greets riders by name, lets riders book trips from commonly used addresses without a call-center agent, and automatically populates all their details on the call center screen if they need an agent. Automated calls to riders before their pickup provide live status updates and at-location announcements.

Digital Wallet

The riders’ digital wallet gives flexibility to riders by allowing them to automatically pay all or part of the fare from their saved payment methods or subscribed payment programs. Wallets may be tied to a credit card for automatic payment or be topped up with funds using money order, check, gift cards, or cash payments from which fares are deducted. The wallet can be linked to pay for other services, such as when a rider transfers from microtransit to a fixed route. The wallet eliminates the need to collect cash or paper vouchers in the vehicle and the subsequent reconciliation.

Artificial intelligence in Rider Recognition

Our tablet-mounted cameras can easily recognize a rider's face or scan a QR code on the rider’s app or specially issued card. This enables automatic and accurate onboarding and alighting of riders. These AI-based features reduce driver input and add accuracy to the management of subsidized fares for fraud prevention.

Ridesharing and Route Making

Our Efficient Ridesharing Algorithm (ERSA) is an industry leader in efficiently grouping and dispatching shared-ride trips. This is the heart of the system for microtransit as it forms routes from pre-booked trips, dynamically adding on-demand trips, and removing the cancellations and no-shows. ERSA is extensively customizable to meet your organization’s operating needs and allows you to efficiently combine flex-route microtransit with paratransit trip demands.

Fixed and Flexible Stations

IT Curves offers many route building methods to help improve the efficiency of your dispatch and ensure that vehicles operate at or close to capacity. Our product is tailored to the needs of your operation by configuring the system with any combination of station and route types, from fixed to flexible, to optimize your business operation.

Rider Eligibility

Subscription and eligibility application processing allows riders to digitally fill an application customized by your organization, and submit the application with the required attachments online. Your administrators can process the application online, ask for additional documentation, and finally approve the eligibility of the rider. Staff also set predefined trip restrictions such as eligible dates, zones, and addresses.

Live Map

The system tracks and displays the location of all vehicles on a map for operation staff to monitor in real-time. All vehicle location and status data is automatically logged and recorded for reporting purposes, including full playback.

Auto Dispatch / Broker & TSP Portal

The dispatch system can be fully automated to suit demand-response transportation. It also allows supervisory input for manual dispatch. The dispatch system may be used for single fleets or can serve as a broker to disperse trips throughout multiple providers, including third-party contracted fleets. Microtransit dispatch builds routes based on certain rules, including zones, driver start times, driver location, and more. It monitors drivers accepting and performing routes and takes mitigating actions in case of driver failure to accept or perform routes on time. The system continues to modify the routes, using the automated route builder, during operation to cover for cancellations, no-shows, and additional trips.

In Vehicle Equipment

Our in-vehicle mobile data terminals (MDT) are off-the-shelf, data-enabled tablets for receiving and sending trip data, driver navigation, two-way communication, and tracking of vehicle location and driver actions. Our accessible backseat passenger information device connects with the MDT to provide riders with rich features such as trip information, entertaining and informative videos and content, payment methods, and emergency communication.

Reports

The Reporting Suite utilizes all of the recorded trip service data to provide unparalleled analyses of your operation and services. The system contains many pre-built, commonly used reports tailored for the needs of transit agencies and enterprises. Custom reports can also be created quickly and easily. Performance reports utilize Power BI integration to expand your reporting capabilities.

Simulation & Planning Tools

Our simulation and planning tools allow you to see exactly what our software can do for you. Using your trip data and many configurable factors, the tools allow you to simulate and visualize exactly what a typical day will look like within the framework of your planned microtransit operation. Review and analyze the projected pickups, drop offs, idle times, and vehicle load within intuitive visual and map tools. This provides your operation with the number of vehicles needed, hours of operation, and other planning requirements for your microtransit operation.

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Contact us today to learn more about our products and services and what solutions we can provide for your operation