- Author: Shared-Use Mobility Center & Todd Hansen, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
The Norwalk Transit District Wheels2U microtransit service is an example of a public-private partnership that has successfully built a wide base of support to increase mobility options within its downtown and several adjacent neighborhoods. Free on-demand rides were available to city residents during the initial six-month pilot, beginning September 2018, via TransLoc’s Microtransit mobile app. The app enables riders to request and monitor their trip to/from locations within the designated service area and offers navigation for drivers. Wheels2U runs using off-peak Norwalk Transit District paratransit vehicles from 5 PM to 12 AM Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and from 12 PM to 9 PM on Sundays. After announcing extensions of the pilot to August 2019, in March 2019 Norwalk Transit District issued an RFP to make the service permanent. On June 21, 2019 they announced their intent to permit Via Mobility, LLC to continue the service on a permanent basis starting September 2019.
This case study looks at how the Norwalk Transit District was able to create, brand, and build support through marketing for a new mobility option in its downtown and several adjacent neighborhoods.