Ride sourcing services such as Uber and Lyft have expanded mobility options for those who have access to them. But not everyone can afford Uber or Lyft or has the ability to use them (i.e. folks who use wheelchairs). With a $1.35-million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Mobility on Demand (MOD) program, Metro aims to bridge that gap.
This fall Metro will be partnering with ride sourcing company Via to provide a new way to access three of our key stations. Metro and Via are designing this service with the goal of ensuring that the service is accessible to all of Metro’s customers.
The service will be affordable, which means low-income riders can use it. Customers will have the option of dispatching the ride from a smart phone app or through a call center with Limited English Proficiency options. Customers will have the option to indicate that they need additional support to get in and out of vehicles or need vehicles that can accommodate customers in wheelchairs. A typical ride sharing service is not able to accommodate everyone. Our goal is to make sure that this is a service that does.
In selecting stations, Metro used these criteria:
- Equity and access for vulnerable populations. Metro aimed to identify communities that have not yet had the opportunity to fully leverage the benefit of these services.
- Geographic diversity. Metro selected stations in three different geographic areas that represent the diversity of our region.
- Current first and last mile access and feasibility. Metro’s staff evaluated stations to identify nearby trip generators, parking availability and the presence of safe locations for pick-up and drop-off of passengers.
Based on these criteria, Metro and Via selected the following stations:
- North Hollywood
- El Monte
Metro and Via will spend the summer working with the local communities to design the service areas and to educate customers on how and when to access this new service.
Emma Huang is a Transportation Planner in the Office of Extraordinary Innovation.
Marla Westervelt is a Principal Transportation Planner in the Office of Extraordinary Innovation.