Mixed Fleets: The Future of Microtransit and Paratransit

  • Date: 11/29/2022

A prime example of leveraging mixed fleets to evolve with rider demand is Collin County Transit, specifically its operations in McKinney, Texas.

Located roughly 45 minutes on the outskirts of Dallas, McKinney has consistently been one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. This is easily seen by the sharp increase in rider behavior in the city. Throughout 2022, the number of rides soared from approximately 200 rides per week up to between 750 and 800 rides per week. With such a significant jump in demand, Collin County Transit utilized a flexible solution that would allow it to efficiently service their ridership and their varying needs without too much upfront investment.

Collin County Transit’s McKinney service originally operated with solely dedicated vehicles. One hundred percent of trips were going to dedicated providers, which meant that if there was ever a service interruption or ridership were to surge for whatever reason, Collin County Transit riders had limited options.

To manage its mixed fleet model, Collin County Transit used transit software provided by Spare to divide rides between its two local dedicated trip providers, Irving Holdings and ECHO, and a non-dedicated fleet provider in Lyft. During the course of the first year of the brokered service, Collin County Transit reduced its share of dedicated trips to 30 percent, with 70 percent being brokered via Lyft. The agency has also benefited from large cost savings: the introduction of Lyft as a mixed fleet provider has slashed the average cost per ride by 47 percent. The savings in cost per trip, as well as the avoidance of upfront costs when needing to expand existing fleets, demonstrates a convenient and tangible solution for both riders and transit agencies.

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