Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC), in partnership with Via, has launched the state’s first on-demand microtransit service that will transform mobility in the rural communities of Georgetown and Millsboro in Sussex County.
Powered by Via’s innovative IMS technology, DART Connect will allow customers to book rides within the designated service area using the new DART Connect mobile app or by dialing 1-800-652-DART. The new service replaces the Flex Routes 901 and 902 which served fixed destinations throughout the service area on an hourly schedule. On the first day of launch, ridership on DART Connect surpassed the average daily ridership of the previous 901 and 902 Flex routes. The service is part of a pilot project funded under the Federal Transit Administration’s Accelerating Innovative Mobility grant program.
“Nearly six percent of households in Sussex County lack access to a vehicle,” said Veronica Vanterpool, DTC’s chief innovation officer and project manager for DART Connect. “It is important that transit agencies test new technologies and explore innovative service models to provide quality bus service for our customers, especially those with limited mobility options.”
DART Connect is designed to increase service frequency and expand access to transit for thousands of residents, workers, and visitors lacking access to a vehicle or who rely on bus service to travel to jobs, medical, and social services throughout these communities.
Phases two and three of the DART Connect pilot will allow customers to use the DART Connect app and pay the $2 fare using the existing DART Pass app to plan and book a trip on DTC’s 62 bus route-network. The DART Connect app will be the first in the state to allow customers to plan, book, pay, and track their ride request in one seamless experience. The app is also available in Spanish to ensure broader use for the significant Latino population throughout the region.