How Microtransit Solutions Can Transform Rural Mobility
Rural mobility has always been lacking in terms of convenience and accessibility compared to urban transport. For one, the local government has insufficient funding for large-scale transit projects. Additionally, the service coverage of most public transport is limited to a small region. The same goes for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, so rarely will you see transit companies operating around these areas. However, that may no longer be the case with the introduction of a rather unique mobility scheme known as microtransit.
Introduction Of Microtransit
Microtransit is a form of demand-responsive transport service that boasts flexibility and convenience. It allows individuals to book microtransit rides online, much like ride-sharing services, while still adhering to the organized fixed-route policy of public transportation.
One can say that it lives in the space between ride-sharing and public transportation, but the association of microtransit to rural mobility is largely due to the fact that microtransit firms have expansive service coverage. Therefore, even residents from the countrysides can enjoy their services. Furthermore, modern microtransit systems were designed specifically to accommodate the transportation needs of low-income and low-population areas. For more information, you can proceed to Sparelab’s take on what is microtransit?
Nevertheless, microtransit will surely transform rural mobility, but it’s important to note that its benefits extend beyond simply providing residents of rural areas dependable transportation. It may also bring upon a massive change to the following facets:
1. Risk-Free Trips
One of the many issues of public transportation is overloading. Overloading happens when a vehicle houses too many passengers. Such occurrence is quite common in rural areas, especially since the number of public transport vehicles is limited. While most passengers don’t mind it too much, it’s worth noting that overloading poses numerous health risks.
For one, if you’re suffering from a lung-related disorder like asthma, you’re most likely to suffer from shortness of breath and dizziness in such crowded areas. Overloading may also lead to higher temperature and humidity, resulting in a higher likelihood of heat exhaustion. Furthermore, being in crowded areas in general increases your chances of being pickpocketed. Unfortunately, for those living in rural areas, that one public bus may be the last means of transportation in the next couple of days, so passing on this opportunity is a huge loss.
However, if you’re taking the microtransit route, chances are there are only a few people sharing the ride with you. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about these risks.
Residents of rural areas tend to rely on ride-sharing services as their primary modes of transport. After all, these services are quite effective and provide you with a comfortable trip. However, one problem with ride-sharing is that they’re pretty pricey. Considering the similarities of microtransit and ride-sharing, you’re probably wondering if it has also inherited the costly nature of such services; fortunately, it doesn’t. To be precise, the price for each microtransit trip is often similar to the cost of public transportation tickets, which is around USD$2 per trip.
Despite the excessive price, many people still prefer getting a ride from Uber or Lyft rather than waiting for the public bus. This is largely due to the fact that these services offer more comfort. More precisely, if you get in a public bus, you’d often have to deal with the heat, noise, odor, and in some cases, you may even remain unseated throughout the entire trip. On the other hand, you’ll rarely see microtransit vehicles running out of seats. Moreover, through automotive innovation, some service providers provide extra benefits to passengers, such as air conditioning. While it may not be as comfortable as Uber rides, it’s still a lot better than public transport, especially considering its surprisingly low price.
4. Personalized Services
It’s no secret that senior citizens and disabled individuals face countless struggles daily—transportation being one of them. Specifically, these individuals are incapable of walking to their destination. So, what does microtransit have to do with these individuals?
One of the many advantages of microtransit is that it caters to the individual needs of its customers. For instance, some vehicles pick up consumers from their residences and drop them off at their exact destination. Certain microtransit vehicles also offer personalized services for disabled individuals by providing railways and lifts for wheelchairs.
With these services, senior citizens and disabled individuals in rural areas can finally enjoy a comfortable trip to their destination without any assistance.
For the longest time, rural mobility was far too underdeveloped, but due to the increasing availability of smartphones, demand-responsive services like microtransit have become a lot more accessible. That said, you can expect that rural mobility will improve by leaps and bounds in the coming years.