Kansas City launched a one-year pilot program, which is a mix bus and ride sharing services. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) merged with urban technology company Bridj to create a faster and customized mode of transportation. KCATA is using 10 locally made Ford vans to transport commuters, and Bridj connects commuters with vans via its mobile app.
Riders download the free Bridj app and enter their pickup and destination locations. The Bridj app will then gather all data points and create a “virtual bus stop” where everyone going in a certain direction can be picked up and carpool to the dropoff location. Each trip costs $1.50.
Bridj CEO Robbie Makinen says riders don't have to worry about sitting through numerous stops like they do when riding the Metro bus system. Bridj takes riders straight to their location, making for a faster, more streamlined process. Riders also always have a guaranteed seat with free Wi-Fi.
If the one-year pilot program is successful, Bridj will expand its services outside of Kansas City. Currently, Bridj drives in downtown Kansas City, the near east and west of downtown, portions of Midtown, KU Medical Center, Hospital Hill, Crown Center, and the 18th and Vine district.