Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 14

2018 BUS & PARATRANSIT CONFERENCE

Omnitrans Adopts Mobile
MTA Creates Accessible
Transportation in Flint, MI Fares as a Service Solution

T

he Mass Transportation Authority
(MTA) in Flint, MI, is transforming
its public transportation services
by breaking away from traditional transportation operations and expanding specialized services not addressed through
fixed routes or paratransit.
The MTA is working to better meet
the needs of its residents, including an
aging population, by developing and
implementing new programs such as
medical transportation.
In 2015, the authority began
partnering with area agencies to
introduce Rides to Wellness, a service
that provides residents and their families
with accessible transportation to medical
facilities outside the normal fixed-route
bus service area. The next year, MTA
added a higher-level same-day service

within 30 minutes of the request.
Initially operating with six passenger
cars and a small fleet of mini-buses,
this service today operates with 63 cars,
providing several thousand rides per
month. The service has continued to
grow, and it is estimated that by April
2019, the MTA will operate more than
100 cars daily providing medical related
transportation services.
The agency can provide these services
because of the many partnerships it has
developed with organizations whose
clients need the individual connection.
The Rides to Wellness program is
tailored to be extremely responsive
to the user, providing the necessary
flexibility that comes with medical

FLINT MTA CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

Flint MTA's Rides to Wellness program improves access to medical resources for customers in its
DSTP_TransitAd.qxp_Layout
1 9/27/17 3:53 PM Page 1
service
area.

F

aced with no budget to implement
discount on the customer's first sevena customized mobile fare solution,
day or 31-day pass purchase through
Omnitrans in San Bernardino, CA,
Dec. 31, 2017. By December, mobile
almost shelved the idea. But some outfares accounted for 5.6 percent of all
of-the-box thinking led to the agency
passenger boardings, up from 3.3 perlaunching mobile fares in just six weeks
cent in the first month.
with no upfront costs.
Customers give the mobile fare
Omnitrans has created a new
option high marks, reporting satisfaccategory of pass sales
tion at more than
outlets to distribute
91 percent. More
mobile digital fares.
than 60 percent of
As with traditional
those surveyed said
brick-and-mortar outthey previously paid
lets, the mobile fare
cash on board.
reseller would be paid
As one Omnitrans
in the form of compassenger explained,
missions. Token Tran"It's neat to be able to
sit was set up as the
pay with your phone
first such mobile fare
and not worry about
outlet in July 2017
always having exact
and, by mid-August,
cash. I always had to
customers had a new
have $18 cash to pay
pay-by-phone option.
the driver, but having
"With this business
the mobile fare option
model, Omnitrans
has made riding easier
avoids costs associated
because I can buy the
An Omnitrans customer prepares to board
with development
pass with my debit
and startup as well as using the mobile fare app.
card. And you don't
ongoing maintenance
need to worry about
or licensing fees," explained Director
losing your bus pass, because it's always
of Marketing and Planning Wendy
in your phone."
Williams. "We simply pay as we go for
Riders of all ages are using mobile fares.
actual mobile fares sold. It is the mobile
The highest use is among those age
fare outlet's responsibility to keep their
20-29, 33 percent, while the lowest is
platform up-to-date and implement new
4 percent by those 60 and older. Omnifeatures."
trans coach operators also give positive
To entice riders to try the mobile
feedback and appreciate that mobile
fares, Omnitrans offered a 50 percent
passes help to speed up boarding time.

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14 | Passenger Transport


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9

Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 1
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 2
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 3
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 4
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 5
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 6
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 7
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 8
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 9
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 10
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 11
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 12
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 13
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 14
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 15
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 16
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 17
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 18
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 19
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 20
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 21
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 22
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 23
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 24
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 25
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 26
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 27
Passenger Transport May 2018 Vol 76 No 9 - 28
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