Citibus to test on-demand service - FOX34 Lubbock

Citibus to test on-demand service

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

On Wednesday, Citibus began testing a new service that would provide on-demand rides, to make up for lost services during the pandemic.

The company debuted its Microtransit pilot project to city council on Tuesday.

"This is one opportunity for us to innovate. And to get out of the old way of doing things and become more, current day type mobility services," General Manager Chris Mandrell said

It is intended to fill the gap in service created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mandrell says its ridership is down by 40%

"We can continue to do what we do, and just accept the 40% decline in ridership or we can figure to take this moment, and see what we can do to be better," Mandrell said.

Riders can request a trip using the Citibus app, similar to ride share services like Uber and Lyft, and hail a ride in about 10 minutes.

"There's an opportunity in the app once they complete a ride to provide feedback, we ask that they be honest with that feedback and we'll make adjustments to those services, if and when needed," Mandrell said.

In the past several weeks, Citibus has made several changes to its services.
To promote social distancing, it remains fare-free through the month of May.
The company has also partnered with the city to provide transport to the COVID-19 testing site at Patterson library.

"At the end of the shift our service line, will disinfect all the touch points on the vehicles every single night. Weekly we have a local company doing a professional cleaning on them," Mandrell explained. 

The tentative launch date for Microtransit, is Monday.
It is expected to last for at least 6 months.


For now, it is an experiment, but the company hopes, this is a long-term solution and  the future of public transport.

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