CARTA Plans Move Toward On-Demand Scheduling, Integrated Transit; Uber To Provide CARTA Info


CARTA officials said the transit agency is evolving toward a Mobility as a Service model.

Officials said, “This vision for the future involves the dissolution of boundaries between all modes of transportation to enhance how people move and create a more equitable, affordable and sustainable transportation network.”

Current objectives include:

– Increase the mobility coverage area

– Offer timely, on-demand mobility through technological and user-friendly options for neighborhood connector services

– Diversify the range of mobility modes available to customers 

– Modernize the way CARTA does business and foster a connected, multi-modal transportation system that will benefit the citizens of Chattanooga and the outlying areas

Officials said, “CARTA’s first initiative toward the vision is to upgrade the existing Dial-a-Ride serve to Microtransit, supported by a mobile application to facilitate on-demand trip booking, payment and real-time information.

“CARTA wishes to integrate trip planning and mobile ticketing for traditional fixed bus routes into this application to create a seamless planning portal for CARTA services.

“Phase 1 of this project will be carefully designed to enable expansion for future developments, including multi-modal real-time information, multi-modal payment, and multi-modal trip planning.

“In the future, CARTA wishes for the mobile application to provide a single access point for mobility services in the city of Chattanooga, Hamilton County and surrounding areas, to enable other mobility solutions (e.g. First Mile/Last Mile) beyond its current service area.”

CARTA officials have been meeting with several vendors related to the mobile plan.

CARTA said Chattanooga “has a very low average land use density of 1-3 dwelling units per acre, and many unincorporated suburbs have less than one dwelling unit per acre. In addition, topography impedes street connectivity and the ability of full-size buses to negotiate side streets in some areas.

“Further, Chattanooga has a mean auto commute time below the U.S. average, and low road congestion relative to similar-sized U.S. cities. It is thus often more convenient for motorists to drive alone than to use another mode for part or their entire trip.

“A transportation system of single-occupancy vehicles may contribute to sprawl, whereas a transportation system based on multiple modes may promote development (and potentially contribute to Chattanooga’s current reurbanization efforts).”

Meanwhile, the Uber taxi service said it is adding connector information to transit systems in 50 cities, including Chattanooga.

Uber officials said, “Getting around their city for many riders is a multi-modal affair. Here in San Franciso for instance, a rider may take an uberPOOL to the Burlingame Caltrain station, take the Caltrain to 4th & King St, and then walk a few blocks to their SOMA office or the ballpark. But keeping tabs on upcoming departure times for the train while in an Uber means toggling between apps.

“We want to make it easier for riders to combine Uber with public transit, so we’ve integrated with the Transit app on Android in nearly 50 U.S. cities.

“Starting today, when riders are in an Uber and their destination is or a block away from a transit stop, we’ll begin showing them upcoming departure times in the Uber feed. We’ll refresh these times regularly so riders have the latest information right at their fingertips. And if they want to learn more, one tap will take them to the Transit app for a-to-b directions, service disruption information, and more.”

Jake Sion, Uber chief transit operating officer, said, “Our integration with Uber is a perfect match, as we both envision a future in which every journey is shared using a combination of transit options.  

“In this type of future, we can have:

  • Better connected cities, where people can easily access all neighborhoods including areas underserved by transit.
  • A viable alternative to personal car ownership since people can always get a ride when and where they need one. Plus, it’s often more cost efficient to use a variety of transit options rather than owning a car.
  • Reduced traffic and parking because public transit and carpooling can mean fewer cars on the road and less congestion.

“While there’s still much more work to do, we’re excited that our integration with Transit can help us get one step closer to this reality.”

The integration will be available on Android to start, in the following U.S. cities: Albuquerque, Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Charlottesville, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Connecticut, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, Fort Myers, Grand Rapids, Hampton Roads, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Madison, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Raleigh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, SF Bay Area, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa Bay Area, DC and Worcester.


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