Santa Monica, Calif.’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) is partnering with Lyft to provide on-demand services via a rebranded Dial-A-Ride program for older adults and people with disabilities. The new service, called MODE, Mobility On-Demand Every Day, launches July 1 and will improve curb-to-curb and door-through-door transportation.
Recent innovations in the delivery of transportation services are reshaping BBB’s fundamental approach to service design. The development of smartphone apps and online reservation software has created an opportunity to offer real-time and reliable transportation options. Lyft’s flexible transportation service network will allow MODE to meet the high demand for service during peak times when members are most interested in traveling while increasing efficiency when the demand for transportation decreases. This innovation addresses a long-standing issue with Dial-A-Ride, where members often encountered challenges booking a ride during high demand periods.
Other improvements include:
- No requirement for advance scheduling on Lyft vehicles.
- More payment options through customers’ smartphone device.
- For non-smartphone users and customers requiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle, the MODE Call Center will book on-demand trips during weekdays using SafeRide Health’s platform with Lyft integration.
- Access to select medical centers outside the Santa Monica service area during MODE hours of operation.
“This partnership is reflective of the changing mobility landscape and how transit agencies can adopt new technology to enhance the travel experience for MODE members throughout our city. Continuing to understand customer needs and meeting those needs through quick and innovative service delivery is critical to our success in providing outstanding and efficient service,” said Ed King, director, transit services.
“We are excited to partner with Big Blue Bus on the agency’s innovative new MODE program, which is a great example of how Lyft can partner with cities and local transit agencies to decouple mobility from car ownership and encourage shared transportation alternatives,” said Allen Narcisse, Lyft Los Angeles GM.
Early registrants have already started taking Lyft rides as of June 1 and all Dial-A-Ride participants will be transitioned to the new MODE service by July 1. Existing program members have been contacted directly by BBB and WISE & Healthy Aging to encourage re-registration and transition to the new program. Non-members interested in signing up for MODE can visit WISE & Healthy Aging to register and to receive a tutorial on the Lyft app.