Connect Transit Nearing Deal With Uber | WGLT

Connect Transit Nearing Deal With Uber

Apr 26, 2016

A 40 foot Connect Transit bus.
Credit Staff / WGLT

Connect Transit is planning to partner with Uber in a pilot program to help Twin Cities residents get to the nearest bus stop

A contract is still pending between the ride share company and transit agency amid a proposed overhaul of routes and schedules in the area. At the Bloomington City Council meeting Monday evening, Connect Transit General Manager Andrew Johnson said the bus system could subsidize Uber rides to resolve the “first mile, last mile” problem for some customers cut off by the route changes.

“Say that the ride was four dollars, we would probably cover two dollars. Generally, the model is [the] transit system covers half the cost,” said Johnson.

Johnson said Connect and Uber are “close to the contract phase.” Connect Transit plans to roll out the Uber option with new routes in August, provided the routes are approved by the transit board May 3rd. He said, if approved, the pilot program will be evaluated for six months before it becomes a more permanent solution.

“If it was working, we’d keep it in place, more than likely, provided that it fits within budgetary constraints, said Johnson. "Everything we’ve seen throughout the nation states that it will stay within budgetary constraints. If it wasn’t working, then we would look at some other options.”

A public hearing on the route proposal is May 2 at Uptown Station,  the day prior to the transit board vote.