SMART Bus is announcing its partnership with Moovit, an Intel company, a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions provider and the creator of the #1 urban mobility app. Starting Monday, November 16th, Farmington and Farmington Hills residents will be able to use the free Moovit iOS and Android app to plan their journeys and book their trip on the SMART Quick Connect On-Demand service — a dynamically-routed transit system that automatically assigns multiple passengers heading in the same direction to a shared vehicle.
SMART currently operates a Dial-A-Ride service in Farmington and Farmington Hills, which uses a phone-based request and dispatching system that results in relatively long wait times for a ride. As a way to modernize the service, provide more and easier access to requesting a ride and tracking the bus, and reduce the amount of time a rider waits, SMART is partnering with Moovit and their cutting-edge technology to bring more convenient mobility to people who need it most.
Local residents can now use the Moovit app to book On-Demand transit rides with SMART and enjoy efficient, convenient, and affordable shared microtransit shuttles that arrive when and where they want it. Moovit Transit On-Demand enables multiple riders to seamlessly share a ride, with a dynamic route and schedule, for a next generation rider experience. To kick off this partnership, SMART Bus will operate this service on weekdays from 6am to 6pm, and offer free rides until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“SMART is taking a big step by modernizing the Dial-a-Ride service in Farmington and Farmington Hills and is now able to offer quick, convenient, and a more reliable way to ride around their community,” said Robert Cramer, Deputy General Manager of SMART. “We are always looking for ways to improve service, meet the increasing demand for transit as well as address the challenges the pandemic has imposed. Partnering with Moovit and offering the On-Demand feature to riders allows us to address all of these issues with one application, while also developing new and innovative ways to deliver better services with our existing resources.”
Once a user launches the Moovit app, inputs their destination and selects Transit On-Demand with SMART, Moovit will:
- Display the total cost of the trip: Once the fares collection resumes
- Direct passengers to a nearby pickup location: Once the ride is booked, riders receive guidance to a virtual bus stop within a short walking distance
- Provide riders with real-time shuttle tracking:
- While waiting for their ride, users can track the approaching SMART Bus in real-time and view its ETA
- While riding, users can view the route on the map, as well as the estimated time to dropoff
- Enable future ride booking: For those who need to plan their days in advance
Moovit Transit On-Demand is a complementary service to traditional modes of public transportation. Within the Moovit app, users can find information and guidance in getting around town, using any mode of transportation including public transit, micromobility such as bikes and scooters, ride-hailing including Uber and Lyft, or a combination of them. Moovit combines official information from transit agencies as well as crowdsourced information to calculate the best route for each journey.
Moovit provides users real-time arrival information so they know exactly when their bus or train is arriving, a Live Directions feature with Get Off Alerts to provide step-by-step guidance for the entire journey, and Service Alerts so they can avoid disruptions on usual lines and plan their journey accordingly. Moovit also incorporates accessibility features, empowering people across the disability spectrum to use public transportation with more assurance. The app is optimized with screen reading features for low vision users, including TalkBack/VoiceOver capabilities, identifies wheelchair-accessible routes and stations, and calculates step-free routes. Moovit’s app is also designed with optimized menus and buttons for those with hand-motor disabilities.
“We are excited to partner with SMART Bus and power this new mobility offering for Farmington and Farmington Hills residents for greater access to transit and shorter wait times,” said Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s Chief Growth and Marketing Officer. “Complementary to traditional modes of transportation, Moovit On-Demand can help residents get around efficiently without the need of a private vehicle.”
Moovit On-Demand leverages the power of big data analytics to help transit agencies, cities, and private companies plan and dispatch the most accurate and efficient on-demand service. The solution combines the advantages of public transit with the benefits of on-demand to introduce a mobility service that increases ridership, reduces congestion, and solves first/last-mile challenges.