Use Cases

Enhancing the Passenger Experience with On-Demand Transit




5 min. read

5 min. read

There is no denying the rise of the adoption of on-demand transit, but do all software providers offer the level of accessibility and mobility required for high-quality paratransit and microtransit services while addressing changing ridership trends?

With the increased adoption of technology in everyday life, there is a growing need for agencies to keep up with these trends and improve passengers’ ease of use with a dynamic demand-responsive transit model.

Read on to understand how RideCo’s industry-leading on-demand transit technology can provide the enhanced passenger experience that your agency wants to provide.

Changing Ridership Trends with Technology

While it is not an entirely new service (the first on-demand transit pilot was introduced in 2015 by Metrolinx and RideCo for Milton Transit), increased smartphone adoption is allowing more and more passengers access to app-based booking to schedule a ride in real time, rather than calling into a dispatch center to reserve a paratransit trip in advance or having to wait at a fixed-route bus stop.

On-demand transit rides through a RideCo-powered service are booked using the Passenger App, a user-facing smartphone application, web portal, and concierge tool for trip reservation and management that delivers a seamless rider experience. The Passenger App conveniently provides the user the option to book a trip on demand or the flexibility to schedule individual, multiple, or recurring trips in advance. Paratransit passengers can also book a seat that accommodates their mobility needs or for a companion accompanying them on the same trip. Enabling independent mobility and empowering all passengers is a core part of RideCo’s paratransit software offering.

Working in tandem with the Passenger App is our patented optimization engine, Solver. Solver continuously optimizes rides in real time by analyzing the guaranteed pick-up and drop-off times of each ride, location of each vehicle, traffic conditions, and other factors to determine the most efficient way to transport each passenger from their origin to their destination. Depending on the service perimeters set by each agency, Solver is responsible for ensuring short wait times and reductions in total trip time.

To see the enhanced passenger experience in action, consider Moorpark City Transit (MCT)’s microtransit service in Southern California. Following fluctuations in ridership trends and underutilized bus routes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MCT was looking to explore an alternative mobility option that could provide more direct trips with shorter headways to recover and attract new ridership. From limited fixed-route coverage with up to 60-minute headways, partnering with RideCo enabled the agency to increase service coverage by 82% while reducing wait times to an average nine minutes with MCT On Demand. Since the program’s launch in April 2022, MCT On Demand ridership increased 21x and has contributed to more public transit usage without cannibalizing existing fixed-route ridership.

Removing Barriers and Empowering Riders

The responsiveness of on-demand transit service is a key benefit to agencies looking to improve transit accessibility and passenger inclusion. Passengers are empowered to plan trips based their own schedules, rather than relying on fixed schedules that can interfere with their work, education, and personal lives. Providing an alternative to traditional paratransit or fixed-route bus service with on-demand mobility allows for flexibility in situations where a paratransit rider might be dependent on a caretaker or personal support worker’s schedule to accompany them to a medical appointment. There is also the case where a high school student is late and misses their bus. A parent can make use of a microtransit service to get their child to class on time, at no cost to anyone’s schedule or quality of education.

A University of Toronto study from 2020 revealed that low-income groups, visible minorities, and elderly people were the groups most likely to continue using transit despite the then-mounting pandemic risks. What this shows is that transit is a non-discretionary form of travel, meaning that for these groups, there may not be an alternative option, or those that exist are more costly, less available, or less safe. What an agency can infer from this is that there is a need for accessible services specifically for these groups, and on-demand transit services like the ones enabled by RideCo help to remove barriers by providing affordable and more efficient mobility options.

Increased Service Transparency and Reliability

The Passenger App is designed to enable all riders to easily book, modify, and monitor their trips. To provide increased service transparency, passengers are notified of important trip details before, during, and after their journey such as the pick-up window, driver and vehicle information, and real-time vehicle tracking. This information ensures that riders, like Connie who uses Shreveport Area Transit System (SporTran)’s OnDemand service, are kept informed, allowing them to plan their day accordingly so they get to their destinations on time using a reliable ETA.

Unique to RideCo is our Guaranteed “Arrives Before” Time which ensures that passengers arrive at their destinations before they need to be there. While other on-demand transit software providers schedule rides based on the desired pick-up time, each trip option offered within the RideCo platform is associated with a fixed arrival time. This allows paratransit and microtransit riders to use public transit with confidence, knowing that they will always get to work, school, or their appointments on time.

Across RideCo’s on-demand paratransit and microtransit services, industry-leading on-time performance has resulted in an enhanced passenger experience for:

The Result? Satisfied Communities with Improved Mobility

As evidenced in the success stories of our agency partners, empowering passengers with increased convenience, service transparency, and reliability has consistently resulted in high average trip ratings with satisfied communities across North America:

If you want to learn more about how RideCo’s on-demand transit technology can help address changing ridership trends and enhance the passenger experience, contact us at

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