RideCo’s 2021 Service Launches are Driving an Industry Shift Across North America


Jess Blenkarn


5 min read

Jess Blenkarn
5 min read

An increasing number of agencies and municipalities implemented on-demand transit into their public transportation systems in 2021 — signaling an industry shift that shows us what transit is going to look like in the coming years. With a 19% compound annual growth rate in the on-demand market, the future of mobility incorporates technology-led services that provide solutions for the industry’s most prevalent challenges, from insufficient coverage in suburban areas and unproductive and expensive fixed routes, to inaccessible transportation that underserves a changing and aging population.

At the forefront of this shift, RideCo has transformed scheduled and static fixed routes into dynamic transit networks using its industry-leading on-demand technology. Alongside the expansion of microtransit within the mobility ecosystem, RideCo has seen exciting growth working with agencies and municipalities across North America to power the next generation of transit. In 2021, RideCo launched 28 service zones, including:

Our innovative software has provided a comprehensive range of solutions for each of the above agencies, utilizing one of on-demand transit’s four main use cases to address their unique needs.

Porter County Increases Ridership for Demand-Responsive Paratransit

Porter County Aging & Community Services (PCACS) was previously using legacy software that required a significant amount of manual intervention for booking and scheduling demand-responsive paratransit trips across a large low-density area. With increasing demand for the transportation service, this often resulted in a high number of failed trip requests that lowered productivity levels and limited overall ridership.

PCACS launched their new program with RideCo on September 1st, implementing efficient door-to-door transportation for registered users across the county. It covers all 521 square miles of the county and allows passengers to book rides either on demand, up to two weeks in advance, or through subscription booking.

Using RideCo’s innovative software, the agency is operating a more productive service that has already achieved:

Cobourg Provides Mobility Options for Riders in Low-Density Areas

Located 59 miles east of Toronto, the Town of Cobourg was struggling to operate its fixed routes during the pandemic. Running through low-density areas, the routes did not provide sufficient coverage across town and operated on 30- and 60-minute frequencies that were ineffective for riders. This was especially challenging as Cobourg is a destination for Greater Toronto Area commuters who rely on efficient and reliable public transportation to access the city’s amenities.

On April 19th, the town launched Cobourg Rides, a city-wide solution using RideCo’s on-demand software that provides passengers with a more cost-effective travel option. The service operates throughout a 12 square mile zone, improving both coverage and efficiency, with:

  • 4.5 passengers per vehicle hour
  • A 17-minute service frequency
  • A 98% on-time performance record
  • 120+ passengers per weekday

Guelph Replaces Underperforming Bus Routes to Reduce Costs and Improve Customer Satisfaction

Prior to their on-demand launch on May 2nd, Guelph Transit was operating costly fixed-route buses that were driving around empty. Passengers did not want to take inefficient time-consuming trips to get to their destinations and thus, ridership was low.

Guelph Transit’s new on-demand bus service uses one large 14-passenger vehicle in the 12 square mile zone, replacing the fixed-route buses but covering the same service areas. With the RideCo app, passengers are able to book a trip based on their own schedules, improving overall customer satisfaction with a 4.8 / 5 star trip rating.

The service has saved the agency money and the passengers time, with:

· A 75% reduction in kilometers driven by the previous community bus

· A 98% on-time performance record

· A 10-minute average wait time

· A 10-minute average time in vehicle

Leduc Increases Coverage to Provide First/Last Mile Connections with On-Demand Transit

Leduc Transit has local fixed routes that bring passengers to important destinations within the city, including regional commuter routes that go to Edmonton and the Edmonton International Airport. However, there were many communities within the greater city that did not have access to the fixed-route network. The agency needed a solution that was capable of expanding city coverage, improving frequency, and connecting those underserved communities.

In partnership with RideCo, Leduc launched an on-demand service on August 16th that enables passengers in Leduc and Nisku Business Park to connect the first and last miles of their trip to their final destinations. Notably, the service uses RideCo’s unique Time Snapping feature to ensure riders get to the transit hub five minutes before their scheduled bus departure time.

This first/last mile use case has increased service coverage for on-demand transit riders throughout the city, resulting in:

· A 95%+ on-time performance record

· A 4.9 / 5 average star trip rating

· 20% of passengers using the service to connect to the regional commuter

· 90 passengers per day

As the impact of on-demand transit technology continues to grow, RideCo will be working with agencies and municipalities across North America to launch even more services in 2022. Get in touch to learn how our industry-leading software and solutions can address transit challenges for: paratransit, low-density area mobility, underperforming bus routes, and first/last mile.

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