The Delaware Transit Corporation, in partnership with Via, a leader in TransitTech, has launched DART Connect, the state’s first on-demand micro-transit service that will upgrade mobility in the Georgetown and Millsboro areas.
DART Connect is a pilot project funded under the Federal Transit Administration’s highly competitive Accelerating Innovative Mobility grant program.
Customers can use the new DART Connect smartphone app or dial 1-800-652-DART, option 3, to request a ride on the spot anywhere within the service zones of Georgetown and Millsboro, or to travel between the two towns.
On-demand micro-transit uses smaller vehicles to provide shared rides within 15 minutes of a request. DART Connect replaces the flex routes 901 and 902, which served fixed destinations throughout Georgetown and Millsboro on an hourly schedule.
On the first day of launch April 12, ridership on DART Connect surpassed the average daily ridership of the previous flex routes.
DART Connect increases service frequency and expands access to transit for residents, workers and visitors lacking vehicle access or those who rely on bus service to travel to jobs or access medical and social services throughout these communities.
“Our customers across the state have been requesting transit services in many hard-to-serve areas, and we are excited to launch this innovative approach to providing people the mobility they need,” said Delaware Transit Corporation CEO John Sisson. “The full-scale deployment of this service is expected to be a game changer for the transit industry, especially for those systems serving more rural and suburban areas.”
“We continue to look for opportunities to expand public transportation to underserved areas of the state, and we hope this pilot program will serve as a model that we can implement in other areas of our state going forward,” said Nicole Majeski, Delaware Department of Transportation secretary.
“Nearly 6 percent of households in Sussex County lack access to a vehicle,” said Veronica Vanterpool, DTC’s chief innovation officer and project manager for DART Connect. “It is important that transit agencies test new technologies and explore innovative service models to provide quality bus service for our customers, especially those with limited mobility options.”
Phases two and three of the DART Connect pilot project will allow customers to use the DART Connect app, and pay the $2 fare using the existing DART Pass app, to plan and book a trip on DART's 62-bus route network to connect to destinations throughout the county and state. DART Connect will allow customers to plan, book, pay and track their ride request in one seamless experience.
The DART Connect app is also available in Spanish. To learn more about DART Connect, go to dartfirststate.com/Programs/dartconnect/.