The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted Thursday in favor of starting a ride-hailing service for short trips which could roll out in Pasadena during the summer of 2021.
The board approved a $29-million contract for the MicroTransit Pilot Project which will be provided by RideCo Inc. in six designated zones, one of which will include Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre. It also approved nearly $8 million in funding for operational expenses and to hire 80 employees to operate the vehicles.
“Metro is keenly aware of the changing mobility needs of people trying to get around an increasingly congested Los Angeles County,” Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Chair James Butts said. “This pilot project will allow us to test out a new mobility option that can meet those changing needs while
still fulfilling our responsibility to reduce congestion and get cars off the road by using shared rides.”
Metro officials said more than 50 percent of all trips in Los Angeles are short, solo trips using a private car service or driving alone. The pilot program is designed to reduce those trips, and the Metro vehicles can hold up to 10 passengers.
The pilot project will also expand ride-hailing technology to all public transit customers, including historically underserved communities and populations, along with areas of Los Angeles County where fixed-route bus or rail service is less frequent or unavailable, Metro officials said.
The MicroTransit will allow riders to plan entire trips, as well as their bus and train rides using real-time booking through a single mobile app, internet browser or Metro’s call center.
Riders will be able to pay for the service by using their TAP card and TAP account, or with a debit, credit or prepaid credit card.
Prices for the ride-hailing trips have not yet been determined for
MicroTransit, but Metro officials said they plan to roll out the service in the Watts/Willowbrook zone in the summer. It will initially operate seven days a week and 12 hours a day.
Services will not begin in Altadena, Pasadena and Sierra Madre until summer 2021. This summer the service will kick off in Watts and Willowbrook. In the fall, the service comes to the northwest San Fernando Valley and ten LAX/Inglewood in the winter. In the spring of 2021, residents in Highland Park, Eagle Rock and Glendale will gain access and finally the service will come to UCLA/VA Medical Center/Century in fall 2010
For more information, visit metro.net/projects/microtransit/.