Suburban Community Launches Microtransit Service, Milpitas, CA, 2022
5 minutes Date Launched: Sep 12, 2022 Pilot Project Timeframe: 1 year
Credit: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
The City of Milpitas is launching a new microtransit service called SMART. Short for Simple Mobile Access to Reliable Transit, SMART is a mobility on-demand program specifically intended for customers to transfer to or from fixed-route transit services in Milpitas. Customers can request shared curb-to-curb rides in real-time using a mobile app, phone, or web portal. Milpitas SMART operates from 7 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday. Rides must either start or end at one of four transit hubs: Milpitas City Hall, Great Mall, the Milpitas Transit Center, or the VTA Alder Station. At these transit hubs, customers can access train and light rail services with BART and VTA and fixed-route bus services with VTA and AC Transit. On the opposite end of one’s trip through Milpitas SMART, customers can be picked up or dropped off at one of many designated virtual stops across Milpitas. Standard fares are $2.50, which customers can pay with cash on board the vehicle or through the Milpitas SMART app. Discounted fares are available to people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and youth. All Milpitas SMART vehicles are wheelchair-accessible minivans equipped with bicycle racks. RideCo serves as this pilot’s booking, routing, and payment technology vendor.
The City of Milpitas is supporting SMART through a $1,084,732 grant from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) 2016 Measure B Program. Measure B revenue comes from a ballot-approved half-cent county sales tax, allowing VTA to fund programs like Milpitas SMART. This pilot coincides with another VTA-supported microtransit pilot in Morgan Hill, a smaller community in southern Santa Clara County. Milpitas SMART, alongside other microtransit projects in the Bay Area, can be a helpful tool connecting customers in lower-density communities to fixed-route transit services.