Thursday, July 21, 2016

Metro moving forward with plan to use Uber, Lyft for paratransit services - WASHINGTON POST

by Luz Lazo 
Originally published: July 20, 2016

This fall Metro will officially open the bidding process for contractors to provide paratransit services, providing an alternative to MetroAccess, its door-to-door service for the elderly and people with disabilities.

The popular ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft top the list of prospective contractors for the new service, which officials say could help the transit agency save millions on its heavily subsidized paratransit program. It also would answer customers’ growing demand for same-day, app-based transportation services.

Metro plans to issue an RFP in September with the intent to have the service in place by spring 2017, according to Christian Kent, assistant general manager for Metro’s Access Services department. The pilot program will be for users in the Maryland suburbs, where two-thirds of MetroAccess customers live.