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Mobility on Demand

Mobility on Demand models integrate and connect various pre-existing modes of transportation within a community. An organization may serve as a central authority in scheduling and coordinating transportation for several programs and for individuals. In this model, a private company, local partners, and local and state agencies work together to organize and provide transportation using preexisting transportation infrastructure. Mobility on Demand service providers are well-equipped to match client needs with the most appropriate resources available. Service providers also help to ensure cost efficiency, improve safety, and satisfy any necessary regulatory compliance.

Mobility on Demand models use a variety of transit modes to provide services, including fixed routes, demand-response, and volunteers. Typically, these services are implemented using smartphone technology or payment apps.

Examples of Mobility on Demand Programs

  • Michigan Transportation Connection uses the brokerage model to provide non-emergency medical transportation services to Michigan residents. The nonprofit uses existing programs, including United Way 2-1-1 call centers, public transit systems, and local human service agencies to organize transportation.
  • Ride Connection provides transportation services to residents of rural Clackamas and Washington counties in Oregon. The program serves primarily residents age 60 and over and people with disabilities. Ride Connection provides information referrals, training on how to use public transit, door-to-door rides, and a community connector deviated-route service.
  • Liberty Mobility Now, Inc. (Liberty) works with a community's existing transportation options to provide a one-stop-shop for accessing and paying for transportation services. In locations where options may be more limited, the Liberty Driver program can offer an independent contractor to provide transportation. Liberty is funded through a U.S. Department of Transportation's Small Business Innovation Research grant and is currently operating in 7 states.
  • Pelivan Transit provides both fixed-route and demand-response services to residents of rural Oklahoma. Pelivan Transit formed 2 consortiums with 10 tribes in northeastern Oklahoma. The collaboration provides tribal transit services to 8 counties. Pelivan Transit provides a Road-to-Work Transportation service to nearby employers and has started employment feeder routes to the Mid-America Industrial Park.
  • The Vermont Agency of Transportation received a funding from the Federal Transit Administration's Mobility on Demand Sandbox Program to implement the Vermont Statewide Transit Trip Planner. The online program will use both fixed-route services as well as flexible transit models suited for rural areas to bridge the gaps in transit services statewide, including in rural areas.

Considerations for Implementation

Mobility on Demand service providers typically ensure that transportation providers have proper licensing, safety inspections, and insurance. Private companies in particular may have access to technologies that improve trips by maximizing efficiency. Mobility on Demand services are often easy to use, as they allow for a single point of contact in arranging transportation.

Because Mobility on Demand models typically build upon the structures already in place within a community, these programs may take more time to establish in communities where there are not already public and/or private sector efforts.

Resources to Learn More

Mobility on Demand
Presentation Slides
These presentation slides give an overview of mobility on demand, including how it is being implemented, guiding principles, and impacts on transit.
Author(s): Sheehan, R.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Transportation

Mobility on Demand (MOD): "Transform the Way Society Moves"
Document
This fact sheet gives an overview of Mobility on Demand, why it a promising model, and how the U.S. Department of Transportation is incorporating MOD strategies into its planning efforts.
Author(s): Sheehan, R. & Torng, G.W.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Transportation, Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: A Vital Lifeline for a Healthy Community
Document
This report describes the use of transportation brokerages as they relate to Medicaid reimbursement.
Author(s): Myers, A.
Organization(s): National Conference of State Legislatures
Date: 1/2015