SW Prime shared on-demand service, Eden Prairie, MN, 2015

Summary

Launched in July 2015, SouthWest Prime is a shared, on-demand service offered by SouthWest Transit, which serves the Eden Prairie, Chaska, Chanhassen, Carver, Victoria and Normandale Community College communities near Minneapolis, MN. Curb-to-curb rides can be requested via app or by phone, and wheelchair accessible vehicles are available. The service operates weekdays from 6:30am to 7:00pm, and Saturdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Cost to use the service ranges, with adults paying $4.00 per ride through credit card or cash. Seniors pay $4.00 everyday except Mondays from 9:00am-3:00pm which is only $2.00. TAP participants pay $2.00 when using a TAP card and children under 5, veterans, and individuals transferring to or from a SouthWest Transit Express Bus using a Go-To Card ride for free. 10-ride punch cards are also available. Riders that don’t show up are charged the fare and can’t schedule another ride until they pay. 

The service primarily uses 12-passenger vans, and the fleet has expanded from 3 to over 12 since its launch and replaced SouthWest Transit low ridership fixed-route services such as Route 638. Additionally, starting in November of 2019, the service has released SW Prime MD, a public transit service to non-emergency medical services to the medical facilities, including dental and vision offices. In addition to the communities that SW Prime services, SW Prime MD operates and services Ridgeview facilities in Waconia and Excelsior, and select areas of Minnetonka and Edina. Rides cost $10 each way with the exception of Ridgeview which is given a $5 per ride subsidy and children under 5 ride for free. 

Data from the first few years of SW Prime was measured in 2018 and recorded and reported out in a few key performance indicators. These key performance indicators include: 

  • Average Ride Time: 13.6 minutes 
  • Average Wait Time: 18.5 minutes
  • Average Daily Rides: 355 
  • Passengers Per-In Service Hour: 3.4 
  • Peak Buses Used: 12
  • Average Subsidy Per Passenger: $8.00
  • Ride Booking Method:
    • 60% Online
    • 40% Phone

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