As another means to expand and improve transportation services for all residents, Las Vegas’ Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is launching a six-month pilot program with Lyft for Southern Nevada Transit Coalition (SNTC) paratransit riders beginning Monday, Feb. 12.
Here’s how it works:
- Pilot participants can request a ride via the Lyft app. Those without access to a smartphone or require a wheelchair accessible vehicle can call the RTC Customer Care center.
- Customers are in control and don’t have to schedule rides in advance, unless they want to. They can get a ride on-demand and be picked up within minutes.
- Customers will continue to pay $3 one way. The RTC will subsidize the ride up to $15 each way, and if the ride costs more than $18 total, the client has the option to pay the remaining balance or cancel the ride and use their existing service. In setting the subsidy cost, the RTC determined the average Paratransit ride is 10 miles one-way.
“We are always looking for innovative ways to improve service and move customers around the valley more efficiently and effectively. This partnership with Lyft provides an efficient solution and option for paratransit customers,” said RTC GM Tina Quigley, who noted transit agencies in Boston, Washington D.C., and Orange County, Calif., have launched similar programs with great success. “Through this partnership and pilot, paratransit customers can expect more flexible service and the ability to be more spontaneous by scheduling rides on demand, something they previously could not do.”
A Transportation Network Company (TNC), such as Lyft, can provide same-day, on-demand, and/or advance scheduled transportation as an alternative to available conventional public transportation. Both ADA and non-ADA service will be provided. For the first time, the pilot program will provide the traditional paratransit customer with a same-day transportation option while also being cost-efficient for the RTC.
“Our learning from this pilot may lead to using TNCs such as Lyft to complement our other services,” Quigley explained. “Meanwhile, Lyft is educating its drivers on the pilot and how to assist passengers with wheelchairs, the visually impaired, hard of hearing, or deaf.”
The RTC’s award-winning climate-controlled Mobility Training Center (MTC), opened in 2016 as the first of its kind in the West, is another example of the transit agency’s focus on helping ensure senior citizens and residents with disabilities can learn to ride public transit with confidence and provide greater freedom of movement.