The pilot provided over 7,500 trips and served 8,335 customers.  -  Photo: MARTA

The pilot provided over 7,500 trips and served 8,335 customers.

Photo: MARTA

The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, is evaluating MARTA Reach, a six-month pilot rideshare program that connected riders to-and-from MARTA bus and rail.

The pilot ran from March through August, providing over 7,500 trips and serving 8,335 customers in West Atlanta (Dixie Hills, Collier Heights, and Florida Heights), Decatur, Avondale Estates, Belvedere Park, the Gillem Logistics Center, Forest Park, Morrow, and parts of Alpharetta and Roswell.

The app-based service used MARTA Mobility vehicles and operators and was funded in-part by a $1 million grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

“The end of service is not the end of the Reach program. Evaluation is the second half of any successful service pilot,” said MARTA Interim General Manager and CEO Collie Greenwood.

“Now we can study what worked, what didn’t, and how Reach may be adopted and expanded to help complement our upcoming bus network redesign.”

MARTA's On-Demand Pilot Program Results

Service data shows customers waited on average just over seven minutes for a ride after requesting one and spent an average of nine minutes traveling to their destination.

Thirty-five percent of all Reach trips were taken in August, with the highest ridership coming on the final day of the pilot. Early pilot results show that close to 60% of all Reach trips were taken in the West Atlanta zone, a primarily residential community that includes H.E. Holmes rail station, and 35 percent of trips taken in the Belvedere zone.

The most frequent users of the service were Black women between 25 and 34 years old.

Georgia Tech’s Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) team, under the leadership of Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck, provided the technology, including routing logic, and rider, operator, and administrator system apps for the project. 

MARTA and Georgia Tech are working together to evaluate the pilot data and will provide a deeper analysis and next steps in January.

Just recently, MARTA voted to advance Collie Greenwood to GM/CEO. Greenwood won the vote out of 11 candidates with varying background in transportation.

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