Paratransit service should not be a “one size fits all” operation. We work on matching our customers’ needs with the best travel options for them. To that end, we have been exploring the use of E-hail service to build a better, more efficient and flexible multi-modal trip platform.
E-hail services use web-based applications to match customers with drivers. It works with yellow and green taxis, and companies like Uber and Lyft. As we become increasingly multi-modal, our plan is to expand the use of both accessible and non-accessible car services.
A significant benefit of the E-hail program is that our customers are not expected to pay any out-of-pocket expenses other than the $2.75 transit fare for themselves and their guests. E-hail services also result in greater efficiency by providing additional options and greater flexibility for customers. For example, previously, if we knew that a trip was late we did not have many efficient options to deal with it. Now, instead of making customers wait for a vehicle we know is delayed, we can rebook the trip using E-hail services. Proactively removing these delayed trips, helps our customers get to their destinations on time. Additionally, these services also allow for real-time dispatch and same day service, where customers can book their travel the same day they wish to travel.
Our plan is to launch a pilot in the fourth quarter of this year. The pilot will enable us to test same day and real-time booking. Our customers will have the ability to change a booked pick-up time or location in real-time. It will also allow us to provide customers with pre-assigned authorizations and the flexibility to schedule their trip the same day of service in real time. We also plan to accelerate the development of apps for these services to provide greater independence for our customers.