Agencies in Dayton and Denver Move Toward MaaS, 2020
5 minutes Date Launched: Sep 17, 2020 Pilot Project Timeframe: Date added to the Learning Center.
Dayton, Ohio is a smaller, lower-density, and slow-growing metropolitan area, not a prime expansion candidate for venture-capital backed private mobility providers. The local transit agency took a need for bikeshare into its own hands, partnering with a local nonprofit, Bike Miami Valley, to bring Link Dayton Bikeshare to the region. This arrangement is unique in that the transit agency is the owner and operator of the service. When dockless scooters swept the country in 2019, the Regional Transit Agency (RTA) applied the same agency-operated and -maintained model to a partnership with the scooter provider Spin — a model that’s unique among transit agencies in the U.S. This gave the agency facility over managing multiple modes, partnering with providers, and understanding major data issues at play. APTA describes the experience in a feature on Transit as a Micromobility Manager.
When the City of Dayton was working on authorizing legislation for scooters, the RTA worked closely with them to require that any provider permitted to operate in the city must provide a public API and integrate with the City’s chosen mobility app provider. Now, Dayton is working with the Transit app on trip planning integration, and RTA and Bike Miami Valley have included similar language in their transportation and bikeshare contracts, requiring all private transportation providers (ridehailing, scooters, micromobility, and whatever comes next) to aggregate their service information alongside RTA’s schedule in a single trip planner as a condition of operating in the city. Working with a private provider provides the city and transit agency with a system that’s agnostic both to the services and the platform providers and lets the public agencies maintain continuity even if they choose to change vendors in future.
In 2019 Uber began offering transit trip planning on its app, and by May it launched a partnership with Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) and its mobile ticketing partner Masabi. Now, Uber riders in Denver can both see real-time transit information in the app, and have the ability to purchase tickets and use their phones to access ridehail and bus services. Denver was the first city globally to have such an option through the Uber app. Uber is not the only option for mobile ticketing, and by working with a flexible vendor, Denver has multiple channels available for users to purchase and use tickets online. In Las Vegas, where an entrepreneur had previously tried and failed to develop a subscription-based MaaS platform with Tesla vehicles, a similar partnership enables ticketing on the Uber app. Each of these examples demonstrates advancement towards Level 2 of MaaS.