The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) and Georgia Tech Research Cooperation a $1 million grant to pilot an On-Demand Multimodal Transit System Solution (ODMTS).
The Civic Innovation Challenge Award supports community-based initiatives to address mobility and disaster challenges.
ODMTS is a hybrid of traditional public transit and ride-sharing that offers real-time routing that fills in service gaps left by a fixed bus route, according to a MARTA press release. Instead of waiting at a traditional bus stop, a person needing a ride to the grocery store could use a smartphone app to summon a vehicle to a nearby location also picking up other passengers nearby.
“We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for this grant and proud to partner with Georgia Tech,” MARTA Deputy General Manager Collie Greenwood said in a statement. “Exploring first- and last-mile connectivity options is important in providing transit service that meets the needs of everyone in metro Atlanta.”
MARTA says this small-scale pilot project will test the system’s efficiency and provide information on whether a large-scale version would work across MARTA’s service area as the agency is undertaking a comprehensive redesign of its bus network.
The service will be tested in areas where there is a need for greater transit accessibility in DeKalb, Clayton, and Fulton counties and the City of Atlanta, MARTA said. It will connect to nearby fixed bus route transfer hubs, such as rail stations and Park & Rides.
SOURCE: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority