Delaware Transit Corp. launches microtransit service for rural communities

DART Connect is a technology-powered transit pilot project designed to reduce barriers to transit access

April 15, 2021 / 2 minute read
Delaware Transit Corp. launches microtransit service for rural communities
Image: Delaware Transit Corp.

The Delaware Transit Corp. (DTC), in partnership with Via, launched DART Connect, the state's first on-demand microtransit service that will transform mobility in the rural communities of Georgetown and Millsboro in Sussex County, Delaware.

DART Connect is a pilot project funded under the Federal Transit Administration's Accelerating Innovative Mobility competitive grant program.

On-demand microtransit uses smaller vehicles to provide shared rides within 15 minutes of a ride request. DART Connect replaces the Flex Routes 901 and 902 which served fixed destinations throughout Georgetown and Millsboro on an hourly schedule. On the first day of launch, ridership on DART Connect surpassed the average daily ridership of the previous 901 and 902 Flex routes.

Georgetown, designated as a Federal Opportunity Zone, and Millsboro are key employment and health services hubs with strong agricultural and manufacturing sectors. DART Connect increases service frequency and expands access to transit for thousands of residents, workers and visitors lacking access to a vehicle or who rely on bus service to travel to jobs, medical and social services throughout these communities.

"Our customers across the state have been requesting transit services in many hard to serve areas, and we are excited to launch this innovative approach to providing people the mobility they need," John Sisson, Chief Executive Officer of DTC, said in a statement. "The full-scale deployment of this service is expected to be a game changer for the transit industry, especially for those systems serving more rural and suburban areas."

Via's IMS technology will create a fully connected mobility network that transforms the way DTC provides transit service, particularly in rural, low-density communities, where service can be infrequent and ridership can be low. DART Connect is technology-powered transit designed to reduce barriers to transit access, such as the lack of first/last mile connectivity to transit and strengthen the employment sector in rural Sussex County.

The DTC says the results of this pilot project will serve as a blueprint for cities and transit agencies across the U.S. to expand access to affordable, efficient and equitable transportation solutions.

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SOURCE: Delaware Transit Corp.

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