Microtransit: a positive story, but challenges remain

Shared shuttles are proving their worth in a growing number of applications, but only when working with—not taking over—existing transit lines. By Freddie Holmes

If there was a poster for the industry’s long-term view for future mobility, it would focus on shared, autonomous shuttles zipping silently around a city. Robotaxis have taken much of the spotlight, but microtransit could also bring that vision to reality.

Special report: microtransit

Microtransit is essentially a more flexible bus service with fewer seats. This is enabled by using smaller vehicles that can be summoned via a smartphone app and running routes that might otherwise be underserved. Services are already in operation today with human drivers, providing a useful extra layer to public transportation where coverage is lacking. At the same time, other microtransit ventures have fallen flat by piggybacking routes for which buses, trains and trams already cater.

Automotive World sat down with Alyssa Altman, Head of Transportation and Mobility at Publicis Sapient, to discuss where microtransit is headed, and how budding shuttle operators can make the trend a success story.

Microtransit can serve as a link between major transit hubs, but also an affordable alternative to other on-demand services

Is microtransit its own segment, or does it fall within the wider field of demand-responsive transportation (DRT)?

Microtransit sits somewhere between

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