By Roger Teal, DemandTrans Solutions President
The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) has been a key client for DemandTrans Solutions for over 15 years, as well as a partner in the development of the most innovative and advanced demand-responsive transit (DRT) in the United States. While public transit has been hit hard by the COVID pandemic, our commitment to bringing travellers the best possible transit experience has only increased, and I would like to discuss the newest developments for RTD’s FlexRide.
FlexRide service—DRT for the general public—represents the largest set of on-demand/micro-transit services of any metropolitan public transportation agency in the USA. Operated in 23 service zones, using nearly 50 vehicles and with a daily ridership of nearly 2000 passengers (pre-COVID), these micro-transit services provide both first mile/last mile connections to the RTD’s LRT and express bus services and community circulation service. Each service zone has a distinctive service emphasis and configuration, with ridership of up to 300 passengers per day in a zone.
On February 1, the RTD launched the latest iteration of technology for FlexRide which makes it possible for public transit riders to use an app to book their FlexRide trip and see connections with bus and rail services in real time. Developed by Kyyti Group, the Helsinki-based partner of DemandTrans Solutions, the fully integrated transit trip planner for bus, rail and FlexRide includes step-by-step navigation and on-demand ride hailing for FlexRide trips.
Since 2010, all of RTD’s FlexRide services have been enabled and managed by the MobilityDR technology platform of DemandTrans. This fully automated technology platform handles trip booking, automated scheduling and dispatching, and customer notifications, as well as enabling each service zone to have a highly customized service configuration that can be automatically re-configured multiple times per day to meet the specific circumstances of that zone. RTD customers book and schedule their FlexRide trips by means of either a RTD-branded smartphone app or a web-based application—or call an agent who books the trip on their behalf—all using the underlying MobilityDR technology. Customer’s trips can be for immediate response or later in the day, or for future days. All of this is now fully integrated with the Kyyti trip planning system.
This new transit trip planner app with fully integrated DRT service engagement capabilities for customers is the most recent result of the Kyyti and DemandTrans business and technology partnership. The two companies have ownership cross-holdings and have collaborated since 2018 on projects in the USA and Europe in addition to jointly extending their products capabilities.