Spare partnered with the city of Bellevue, Wash., and its transit agency, King County Metro Transit, to launch a new microtransit pilot project in the city’s Crossroads neighborhood.
Crossroads Connect will help close the first-, last-mile transportation gap in the underserved service zone by linking passengers to Bellevue’s Rapid B line as well as other King County Metro buses, providing better access to schools, jobs, homes, and stores.
The on-demand service benefits from Spare’s ability to broker out trips to local taxi companies, helping to reduce the transit agency’s operational costs while providing a timely, demand-optimized transportation solution. King County Metro Transit is also dedicating two vehicles from its own fleet to Crossroads Connect.
With trip brokering in Spare, transit agencies can automatically match trip requests to the best available vehicle. Spare efficiently pools similar requests onto the same vehicle when it makes sense, whether that vehicle is a taxi or minibus. The number of riders can also be capped, which is the case in Bellevue. This feature helps agencies better manage peaks in demand without requiring them to stack their fleets for the “just-in-case” moments.
For the Crossroads service, Spare provided King County Metro Transit, with two white label smartphone apps — one for riders and one for drivers. Through the app, passengers can plan their journeys, books trips, receive notifications, and pay all in one place. The driver app is used to accept trips and for routing.
The Crossroads Connect service also marks the launch of a new Spare feature. Now when the agency has an important announcement to share, it can do so through the rider app. Before trying to book transit, users will have to acknowledge this announcement.