The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation has awarded a $1.552 million grant to Charlottesville Area Transit to operate a demonstration project for microtransit service in Albemarle County. That includes a match of $388,000 in local funds. The service could take up to a year to get underway, according to Lucinda Shannon, a transportation planner with the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission.
Similar projects have been implemented at various stages across the nation. The city of Wilson, North Carolina with a population of around 50,000 people replaced its fixed route service with on-demand shuttles in September 2020.
Hampton Roads Transit is experimenting with an on-demand service through December of this year with operations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
“You can ride anywhere within each service zone, but not between zones,” reads a website for the on-demand service.
The Albemarle County pilot will create on-demand transit zones in Pantops and the Places29-North area.
The demonstration funds have been awarded at the same time that the Thomas Jefferson District Commission continues to take input on the Regional Transit Vision. The survey closes on September 15, 2022. Also related is a governance study that will soon be conducted to inform how a more robust transit system might be funded and administered in the future.
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