Keolis was awarded a contract to operate the Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) first on-demand microtransit pilot — OC Flex.
Microtransit systems are an effective method of serving areas with lower transit demand in a city and ensuring that passengers are able to easily access all public transportation options in their region. Microtransit provides another last-mile solution for supporting the diverse transit needs of communities. The OC Flex will connect to the OC Bus network and Metrolink commuter rail stations. Passengers will have the ability to hail rides from their phones and track the status of their trips.
The OC Flex pilot project will initially serve two zones of approximately six to eight square miles, with the potential to expand into additional zones. Areas serviced by the pilot include Huntington Beach and Westminster in the western portion of Orange County, and Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, and Mission Viejo in the southern part of the county.
OC Flex reinforces OCTA’s commitment to innovating their service-delivery model to be more responsive to passenger expectations and reflects a rapidly evolving market with the advent of on-demand ride sharing applications.
“This partnership is an important milestone in helping Orange County deliver more flexible and convenient transit options to its residents and visitors across the region,” said Ryan Adams, sr. VP at Keolis Transit America. “OCTA and Keolis share a similar vision for the future of integrated mobility, believing in the positive impact it will have on operational efficiency, cost effectiveness, and accessibility for the communities we serve. We’re excited to work with an agency like OCTA that encourages innovation and focuses intently on the passenger experience. Pioneering new transit modes is a big part of their strategic plan, and we’re thrilled to be a partner on their journey.”
The pilot includes four OCTA-provided Transit Connects and two Keolis-provided overflow vehicles. OC Flex is part of an overall effort by OCTA — called OC Bus 360° — to improve transit service throughout the county, making it more efficient, more effective, and customer-friendly, and delivering the right solution for the various needs of the public.
OC Flex is expected to launch later this year for a one-year pilot and the contract provides for two one-year extension options. The pilot builds upon Keolis’ commitment to moving people efficiently and safely in Orange County, as the company has operated paratransit and regional center shuttles at Western Transit since 2011. Keolis also owns Yellow Cab of Greater Orange County and provides various supplemental services to OCTA including Same Day Taxi and OC ACCESS.