The Sacramento, CA Regional Transit agency (SacRT) is launching a six-month microtransit pilot in its Citrus Heights suburb in February. SacRT chose Citrus Heights for a six-month pilot program because the agency already has two local shuttles there that pick up passengers at their doorsteps. But those dial-a-ride buses currently require phone reservations a day in advance and have proven to be cumbersome to manage. They also don’t work for people used to instant service.
Working similar to Uber, microtransit buses will carry a handful of riders at a time. The driver will have an iPad on the dashboard showing the shortest route to get passengers to their individual destinations.
The microtransit service — to be operated by SacRT instead of through a public-private partnership — will cost the city about $25,000 for needed software. Again, SacRT's 2018 budget already allows for the cost of two shuttle buses and drivers.
The pilot, which will enable riders to request specific pick-up and drop-off locations, is being put in place to improve existing "dial-a-ride" bus services. The the on-demand service can be requested via smartphones.