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Current News: Transportation Network Companies (TNCs)

As transportation network companies (TNCs) like Liberty, Lyft, Uber, or Via continue to offer new services and forge new alliances with public transit, health care, employers, and others, we will keep you current by posting relevant news items below. Please send any items you would recommend we include to info@nc4mm.org. (Note: Items older than 6 months will be deleted from this page, but will be archived by NCMM staff.)

General News

  • CMU to Study Potential Benefits of Ride-Hailing Apps in Poorer Neighborhoods (10/11/17). The Center for the Future of Work at Carnegie Mellon University is beginning to measure how ride-hailing services in low-income areas affect residents' mobility. They will provide a sample of low-income residents access to free or subsidized rides with Uber and Lyft and track how they move around the city.
  • Solano Transportation Authority Partnership with Lyft Continues (8/31/17). The Solano Transportation Authority continues to partner with Lyft to help workers connect from the local Amtrak rail station to job parks that sit 2-5 miles away from the regional rail station. Employees from organizations involved in the pilot program can sign up for the program by calling the Solano Mobility Call Center and will receive a discount code that will save up to $10 on 40 Lyft trips a month to/from the station to their place of work.
  • To distinguish itself in ride-hail crowd, start-up Sprynt offers free rides (7/8/17). Arlington, VA-based company hopes to address first/last-mile issues by offering free rides to customers where "when it's too far to walk but too close to drive."
  • Determining the feasibility of shared mobility services in low-income, rural areas (7/5/17). A study on “opportunities for shared use mobility services in rural disadvantaged areas,” by the Future Mobility Initiative at the University of California, Davis looked at four different shared use mobility options and found that through the ride sourcing model there is potential to reduce transit costs and reinvest the savings in shared mobility.

Health Care Access and TNCs

  • How Lyft Goes Beyond Picking Up Drunk People From Bars by Giving Patients Rides to the Doctor's (10/30/17). Two years ago, Lyft saw an unmet need and has since partnered with a wide range of transportation coordinators to make sure people can consistently get the care they need.
  • Ride Sharing Deal Eliminates Barriers to Patient Care Access (8/31/17). Through a new partnership with Lyft, Sutter Physician Services is alleviating some patient health concerns amplified by delayed or missed appointments, as well as the financial implications for medical providers due to missed appointments. Sutter’s Patient Service Representatives (PSRs) can schedule immediate or future trips for patients using Lyft’s Concierge Platform.
  • Buffalo-Based Health Care Company Partnering with Lyft for Better Care, Cheaper Costs (8/3/17). The Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization has partnered with Lyft to provide its more frequent users of emergency room and in-patient care with rides to more appropriate alternatives. Together they created a month long pilot program beginning immediately for 30 of the top utilizers.
  • Uber could improve access for addiction recovery (7/23/17). St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland has seen encouraging results from a pilot program to improve treatment attendance among recovering addicts by providing free ride-hailing service that brings "convenience, speed, dignity, and respect to that journey."

People with Disabilities and TNCs

  • Using Ride Hailing to Remake Paratrasit (8/13/17). In Boston the transit system is coming to the end of a pilot program that completely reinvented transportation for the disabled. Boston is the first American city to let paratransit users book ride - hailing services instead of that regions version of Customized Community Transportation (CCT).
  • Uber and Lyft's wheelchair access grows, with room to improve (7/6/17). A state directive in Pennsylvania has increased the number of wheelchair accessible vehicles offered through Uber and Lyft in Philadelphia. Users are cheered by the move but are reporting some problems in service.

Older Adults and TNCs

  • Lyft Wants to Give Your Grandma a Ride (9/22/17). Lyft is working with the University of Southern California Center for Body Computing to offer seniors free rides, study their behavior, and learn how to build them better services.
  • New ride sharing app in Houston caters to seniors (7/12/17). A ride sharing service that caters to seniors has launched in Houston, TX. Envoy America markets itself as "companionship service with a transportation component." Divers offer door to door service and can also help individuals run errands or wait with them at doctor's appointments.

Rural/Suburban Service and TNCs

  • Uber, But for Farmworkers in California Central Valley (9/21/17). Starting in a few weeks, the small rural town of Central Valley, CA will be be home to the “Van y Vienan” (“They Come and Go”) rural ride-share program - one of the first in the country operating with an electric car. The service will use a brand-new seven-seat Tesla Model X to ferry residents to distant towns, at roughly the cost of a bus ride.
  • Rabbittransit collaborates with Uber, Lyft (9/25/17). Rabbittransit has been working with  Uber and Lyft to strengthen its ride-sharing program across central and southern Pennsylvania. The potential new program would allow senior citizens, people with disabilities and Medicaid recipients to use Uber and Lyft’s ridesharing services if rabbittransit is overbooked or short on vehicles.

Urban Service and TNCs

  • Can L.A. mimic the success of Uber and Lyft by building an on-demand minibus system? (10/25/17). Los Angeles is looking to improve public transit ridership while also better serving some of its transit deserts. The transit agency hopes to capitalize on the ride-hailing model to make it happen.
  • Lyft to give discounts to rides traveling to, from Phoenix bus stops (10/18/17). A new program dubbed "First Mile Last Mile" will allow riders in some Phoenix areas to use Lyft at a reduced rate for rides between their homes and one of more than 500 city bus stops. The partnership, encourages residents who live in the northern- and southern-most portions of the city — where transit opportunities are limited — to take Lyft to the nearest bus stop, where they access the city's expansive central transit grid.
  • The Ride-Hailing Effect: More Cars, More Trips, More Miles (10/12/17). Studies are emerging that show ridehailing services such as Uber and Lyft may not be living up to their promises of reducing vehicle miles traveled or greenhouse gas emissions in cities. Rather, they might be adding to both.
  • Lyft's director of transportation explains its new bus-like service - Lyft Shuttle (7/13/17). Recently, Lyft began testing a new service (Shuttle) in Chicago and San Francisco. This new service is unlike anything the company has tried before. It can still be hailed on demand  and it groups people into cars along common routes; however, instead of coming to your door, drivers pick up and drop off at the same places each day. Quartz talked to Lyft director of transportation Emily Castor to talk about its work on Shuttle and public transit in general.
  • Cities adapt to Uber with on-demand public transportation (7/11/17). Public Transit agencies are moving to make their systems more convenient and attractive to people through efforts such as offering their own on-demand transportation services, joining with private transit services to give customers more options for getting around, adding apps that help riders plan trips across public and private transit, and making it easier to pay on mobile apps.