Tulsa Transit is exploring new ways to take Tulsans around the city.
Thursday morning, the public transit system held a virtual, public meeting to get input about a pilot program called micro-transit. Essentially, it’d be their version of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
Passengers request rides on their smartphones when inside a route zone.
"There's a scheduling software that functions in real-time to take that passenger's ride request and match it with vehicles that are available to pick them up and take them to their preferred destination and that would be done in a micro-transit vehicle," said Allison Buchwach, a consultant on the project. "Generally you can expect that your ride will either be a solo ride or a small carpool of one to a few passengers."
Buchwach says micro-transit programs have taken off in other parts of the country. Tulsa Transit is considering it for routes it runs that have low ridership, like its nightline, Sunday, and Broken Arrow routes.
"Microtransit is best servicing areas where there are about 2 to 4 passengers per hour," said Buchwach.
After holding public meetings like this one, Tulsa Transit will take the information they collect and fine-tune details.
If everything works out well, Tulsa Transit will work on developing it and hopes to at least have a pilot program in place some time next year.
Tulsa Transit set up an online survey to get feedback about where to implement this.
The virtual public meeting will start at 10 a.m. Thursday morning. For more information, or to join the meeting, visit Tulsatransit.org.