Traverse City, Mich.’s Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) is launching an on-demand microtransit pilot program called Link On-Demand.
Similar to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft, Link On-Demand uses a smartphone app for riders to request customized curb-to-curb trips. Along the way, a transit van or small bus may pick-up other passengers who also request a ride.
The pilot service, which is set to launch August 1, will initially only be available in the Traverse City area and replaces BATA’s City Link service that provided rides through a traditional dial-a-ride advanced reservation system. The upgraded service also conveniently accommodates people with disabilities with all vehicles incorporating an accessible lift for mobility devices.
The new pilot program will be implemented in partnership with BATA and TransLoc, a Ford Smart Mobility Company. To use Link On-Demand, passengers first download the free TransLoc app to their smartphone by visiting the Apple or Google Play app stores, setup an account and then request a ride. Rides can be requested in real-time or up to one day in advance. Following a Link On-Demand request, the app will provide passengers with an estimated pick-up time, track their bus in real-time, and alert them when their ride is about to arrive. Passengers will also be notified when their ride is about to reach their desired destination.
Link On-Demand customers will also be able to request same-day or advanced rides by calling BATA Customer Service or going online to login.transloc.com. Wait times are subject to vehicle availability and demand and are estimated to be 30 minutes or less.
The cost to ride the new service is $6 per one-way trip or $3 for those eligible for reduced fare (seniors, students, persons with disabilities and veterans/active military).