New Report Explores Microtransit In the United States

January 8, 2018


Washington DC – Today the Eno Center for Transportation released “UpRouted: Exploring Microtransit in the United States”. The report provides analysis of recent microtransit pilot projects and delivers recommendations that address challenges and issues public transportation agencies encounter when testing this new mobility option.

Microtransit is a new on-demand, shared, and dynamically routed service model being used by public transportation agencies. It is enabled by technology similar to the mobile smartphone applications pioneered by privately operated transportation network companies. Its goal is to augment traditional fixed-route bus and train services.

“Technology-enabled, new mobility services have changed customer expectations around transportation,” said Joshua Schank, co-author of the report and Chief Innovation Officer at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “Public transit agencies should take these expectations seriously and consider new mobility options as legitimate solutions to their challenges.”

“Microtransit has the potential to fill in important gaps for public transit agencies across the United States,” said Robert Puentes, President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation. “While this is not a one-size-fits-all approach, it should be seriously considered as another tool for agencies to meet their riders’ needs.”

The report examines the experience of three public transportation agencies as they executed microtransit pilots. The lessons learned provide important insights that should be applied to the future operation of flexible route, on-demand microtransit.

First, agencies seeking to test microtransit or dynamic, on-demand options need to prioritize customers’ needs and implement a pilot that puts the customer first.

Second, agencies should utilize a contracting mechanism that empowers those most familiar with the pilot to make quick decisions outside of the standard processes, in order to be able to iterate quickly.

Third, performance metrics such as improved mobility, increased safety, and enhanced customer experience should determine the success or failure of the pilot.

Fourth, agencies should establish their goals up-front and work with potential technology vendors to design a microtransit project within those parameters.

Finally, agencies should invest in robust marketing and outreach in order to ensure that all current and potential customers understand how to use the service.

The full report can be viewed and downloaded here:

Ann Henebery


About the Eno Center for Transportation

 The Eno Center for Transportation is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that promotes policy innovation and leads professional development in the transportation industry. As part of its mission, Eno seeks continuous improvement in transportation and its public and private leadership in order to improve the system’s mobility, safety, and sustainability.