Via, provider and developer of on-demand public mobility solutions, released milestone metrics for the City of Lone Tree’s “Link On Demand” transportation system, which launched in partnership with Via in February 2019. In the last six months, residents and area commuters have taken tens of thousands of rides, with vehicle utilization well beyond projected goals.
The City of Lone Tree originally piloted Link On Demand in 2018 and transitioned to its current partnership with Via earlier this year. The on-demand transportation system serves as a free shuttle anywhere within the city limits, providing riders with a convenient and comfortable way to access anything in Lone Tree while reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions caused by single-occupancy vehicles.
Since partnering with Via, however, residents have proved their eagerness to leave their private vehicles at home and take public transportation. Riders took more than 28,000 trips on Link On Demand in less than six months, with ridership demand actually increasing after the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) southeast rail extension in Lone Tree in May 2019. It now averages more than 1,000 rides per week in a city with fewer than 15,000 residents.
And while Link On Demand serves as a connection to anywhere within the city limits, the service is most popular with daily commuters getting to and from the office. In fact, the Charles Schwab and Kaiser Permanente’s corporate campuses account for 25% of all pick-ups since launching in February, and 24.8% of all drop-offs.
Additionally, ridership to and from those corporate campuses actually increased in the 12 weeks after the RTD extended its E, F and R light-rail service into Lone Tree. The volume of pick-ups increased by 18.2% and drop-offs by 15.2%, with Link On Demand likely acting as a first- and last-mile connection for the increasing volume of commuters taking the train.
This all accounts for the on-demand network’s significant utilization rate, as the number of people requesting rides more than triples during the morning and evening commuting hours. Because of its high utilization rate, Link On Demand has now saved nearly 35,000 vehicle miles by sharing a ride compared to driving a private vehicle, equivalent to eliminating more than 11 tons of CO2 vehicle emissions.
For its successful efforts, Lone Tree Link and Via were also recently awarded METRO Magazine’s Innovative Solutions Award at BusCon, which was held in Indianapolis Sept. 23 to 25.