Applying MODE to Enhance Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) Delivery
Residents of Rita Ranch, a suburb on the outskirts of Tucson, AZ, are facing a mobility dilemma. Despite a growing demand for public transportation options in the area, funding issues have limited the Regional Transportation Authority’s ability to expand services to meet their needs. Compounding the problem are a lack of convenient and affordable last-mile solutions which would allow commuters to bridge the gap between public transit stations and their origins and destinations. Residents dependent on public transportation are left without transportation, and those with an interest in transit are stuck behind the wheel.
The Adaptive Mobility with Reliability and Efficiency (AMORE) project, funded by the Federal Transit Administration's Mobility-on-Demand Sandbox program and set to start in 2017, is the field deployment of the Metropia MODE framework and approach. The AMORE project seeks to explore and enhance mobility access for citizens needing or wishing to reduce car dependency by integrating the best attributes of multiple emerging mobility services and technologies. Users can request multiple types of mobility services via the Metropia App. Essentially, Metropia serves as the Mobility-as-the-Service (MaaS) Provider to facilitate the service delivery to users. The project goals are to transform the existing fixed-route transit route system, improve overall system reliability and efficiency, and increase ridership while delivering a seamless user experience.
- Establish a financially sustainable mobility ecosystem that operates using Metropia point as credits which can be subscribed, purchased, earned, and transferred among families and friends via a range of activities to meet an individual’s mobility needs. This model allows local partners (like employers, local businesses and other stakeholders) to participate and contribute in providing access to an enhanced mobility options pool.
- Introduce a subscription-based ridesharing service (RubyRide) as a viable and affordable option for commuting or first-/last-mile service for transit operations (achieve a higher utilization and occupancy (e.g. reduced Vehicle Miles Traveled at a lower cost than other Transportation Network Company services).
- Seamlessly integrate community-based social-carpooling (via the Metropia app’s DUO feature) with the above subscription-based Ruby Ride and existing transit services in order to make the total system capacity dynamic, adaptive and capable of meeting the peak-hour demand surge.
The core anticipated outcomes, benefits, and impacts of the AMORE project include:
- Residents who have no use or limited use of a personal vehicle will have increased access to affordable mobility options for work or social activities that they would have to otherwise forgo or defer. Improved access and equity to employment and quality of life will be one of the major benefits to residents.
- As area residents discover and consider the variety of mobility options, the system-level benefits of the AMORE program will be more cost-effective and higher quality service, which will allow for the exploration and extension of public-private partnerships in future years to further augment service.
- The AMORE service can be easily transferred to other neighborhood areas throughout the Tucson metropolitan area, the State of Arizona, and nationwide, to provide region-wide, statewide and national benefits.
- Access to Metropia’s DUO carpooling feature and RubyRide’s efficient subscription mobility service, coupled with potentially increased transit ridership due to better first-and-last-mile solutions, will directly reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled and yield environmental benefits.
- Data sharing with RTA and other agencies will help provide valuable insight into transit ridership, service demand, regional travel patterns, and more.