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RTA Offering On-Demand Transit Service with Smartphone App

The GATRA created a smartphone app to offer on-demand transportation services for Massachusetts residents in Mansfield, Plainville and Foxborough. The app mimics Lyft and Uber but all vehicles are wheel-chair accessible.

(TNS) — Stranded in South Plymouth and need a ride to work? There's an app for that.

This spring, GATRA will offer a new on-demand service that will enable residents to call for a ride using an app on their smartphones. Called GATRA GO On-Demand, the program is currently being tested by the regional transit authority in Mansfield, Plainville and Foxborough.

The new system will help fill the gaps in service by enabling riders anywhere in town to call for a ride and be taken to their local destination in a timely fashion – for only $2.

"It's similar to Lyft and Uber," said Joanne LaFerrara, GATRA's director of Customer Relations. "People will be able to use it anywhere in Plymouth and be taken to where they want to go. All of the vehicles are wheel-chair accessible, so we can handle everyone's needs."

The program is powered by TransLoc, a vendor in mission-critical transit technology solutions. The Ford Mobility company provides the digital infrastructure that enables riders to connect with GATRA vehicles via smartphone apps.

GATRA GO On-Demand is a microtransit program that complements the authority's regular service around Plymouth by providing an affordable alternative for residents who don't live near established routes. People of all ages, abilities and income brackets are entitled to use the service to get to work, go to medical appointments, visit the grocery story or other trips around town.

"Anyone can use it," LaFerrara said. "It's not just for handicapped or developmentally disabled individuals. Seniors, young people or anyone without reliable transportation can take advantage of TransLoc through the app on their smartphones."

Since its launch last September, GATRA GO On-Demand in Mansfield, Plainville and Foxborough has completed in excess of 930 rides. More than a third of those trips have been to train stations, which proves that microtransit systems encourage the use of public transportation in cities, LaFerrara said.

"Our mission is to connect our riders to transit that gives them a lifeline to their work, school and community," LaFerrara said. "The launch of GATRA GO On-Demand will allow us to reach that goal, providing residents with the power to schedule customized curb-to-curb trips through the ease of a smartphone app. This service complements existing fixed route options to provide our residents with the options they want, ultimately offering the same level of convenience and customization that traditional ride-hailing services do, but at an affordable cost."

The Plymouth program, which is expected to begin in June, will be funded by a $150,000 state grant. Riders can download and use the TransLoc app from their smartphone app store once the service is active.

©2020 Wicked Local South/Mariner, Marshfield, Mass. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.