On-Demand Microtransit Service Launched in Rural Areas, Sussex County, DE, 2021
5 minutes Date Launched: Apr 12, 2021
Credit: Delaware Transit Corporation/DART First State
The Delaware Transit Corporation received a Federal Transit Administration Accelerating Innovative Mobility grant to pilot DART Connect, a microtransit service.
DART Connect allows customers to request shared point-to-point rides throughout the rural communities of Georgetown and Millsboro.
DART connect replaces two fixed-bus routes. Rides on DART Connect have the same cost for customers as on fixed-route buses.
The Delaware Transit Corporation has launched DART Connect, an on-demand point-to-point microtransit service, in the rural towns of Millsboro and Georgetown. This new service, operating in partnership with Via, replaces two DART Flex routes, using the same vehicles and drivers. For a single ride, the fare on DART Connect is $2, the same as a ride on a fixed-route bus through DART; alongside this, day, week or monthly passes can be used to cover the DART Connect fare as well. Rides can be requested by phone or through the new DART Connect app, with expected wait times of up to fifteen minutes. Service hours for DART Connect are from 5:45 AM to 8 PM, Monday through Friday, and the service itself connects with four existing fixed bus routes.
Funded through an Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) grant from the Federal Transit Administration, this project is part of an emerging trend where transit agencies and state and local governments are partnering with technology companies to offer more flexible transit services. Microtransit, if done appropriately, can enhance mobility options for people living in lower-density areas like suburbs and rural areas. It will be important to evaluate the performance of these new microtransit programs once they have become more established.