Detroit's SMART Bus, Moovit Team for On-Demand Transit Service
Detroit's SMART Bus, Moovit Team for On-Demand Transit Service

Detroit’s SMART Bus is announcing its partnership with Moovit, which will enable Farmington and Farmington Hills residents 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 technology to bring more convenient mobility to people who need it most.

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 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offer free rides until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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, and 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 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.

Originally posted on Metro Magazine