Calgary Transit Case Study: RideCo Solves First/Last Mile Gap

RideCo
October 9, 2019
 - 
4 minute read

In Brief

  • Two newer communities in the northernmost part of Calgary had no transit options, which meant that residents couldn’t connect with the rest of the city.
  • The 12 designated pickup/drop-off virtual stops in the zone are within a 6-minute walk for all riders. Passengers use a mobile app to book a ride that is on-demand or pre-scheduled and are picked up in 5-seat minivans vans and 8-seat shuttles.
  • This program is exceeding all initial expectations of the City of Calgary and is serving 120+ passengers per weekday just 6 weeks after launch; it continues to experience steady ridership growth each week.

Background

Serving over 100 million trips per year system-wide, Calgary Transit is one of the largest public transit agencies in Canada. They have over 1150 active service vehicles which provide high-quality transit to Calgary residents across the city. Until RideCo however, Carrington and Livingston — two newer communities in the northernmost part of Calgary — had no transit options. This meant that residents had no easy means of accessing the high-quality express transit that would connect them to other parts of the City.

RideCo partnered with PW Transit to provide first and last mile connections and short local trips for residents of the Carrington-Livingston area in order to better integrate these newer neighborhoods into the city at large.

Now, commuters can get to the nearest transit hub in just minutes, which allows them to seamlessly connect with the rest of Calgary.

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Credit: Excel Homes

In our city, we have people leveraging the service that we offer. We just need to make sure we are keeping up with the times and offering the service in a way that meets need and is most economical.

— Jyoti Gondek, Calgary Ward 3 Councillor

Key Challenges

The service area for this project is a newer development with a low population density and no local bus routes. There were no preexisting transit riders in this neighborhood as a result, though great demand potential existed. Since this first/last mile gap meant that accessing the nearest transit hub was incredibly difficult for those who did not own a car, many in the Carrington-Livingston area were effectively cut off from the rest of the city.

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Credit: Calgary Sun

How It Works and Service Model

  • The 12 designated pickup/drop-off virtual stops in the zone are within a 6-minute walk for all riders
  • Passengers use a mobile app to book a ride that is on-demand or pre-scheduled
  • Riders are picked up in 5-seat minivans vans and 8-seat shuttles — some of which are wheelchair accessible
  • All passengers are picked up or dropped off at one of two transit hubs in a nearby neighborhood

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Calgary Service Zone and Associated Transit Hubs

RideCo’s Work

RideCo facilitated an efficient launch of the program by providing the following services:

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RideCo does more than just provide a technology, we engage with extensive planning, software development and operations support

Service Results

This program is exceeding all initial expectations of the City of Calgary and is serving 120+ passengers per weekday just 6 weeks after launch. The service boasts industry-leading productivity for an on-demand solution and met all the goals of the 1-year pilot in just the first month. It continues to see steady growth in ridership.

Metrics for the service have been very favorable thus far, including a 4.9 out of 5 stars average trip rating, 86% ride sharing, and 6.0 passenger boardings per vehicle hour.

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Service results summary

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Passengers per vehicle hour, reaching a high of 11.4 at 4:00 pm
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