Big Blue Bus Partners with Lyft to Transform Dial-A-Ride Program to On-Demand Service for Older Adults Living in Santa Monica

June 26, 2018

Big Blue Bus Partners with Lyft to Transform Dial-A-Ride Program to  On-Demand Service for Older Adults Living in Santa Monica

SANTA MONICA, CA – Big Blue Bus (BBB) is partnering with Lyft, the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S., to provide on-demand services via a rebranded Dial-A-Ride program for older adults and people with disabilities living in Santa Monica. The new service called MODE, Mobility On-Demand Every Day, launches July 1 and will improve curb-to-curb and door-through-door transportation. 

Recent innovations in the delivery of transportation services are reshaping BBB’s fundamental approach to service design. The development of smartphone apps and online reservation software has created an opportunity to offer real-time and reliable transportation options. Lyft’s flexible transportation service network will allow MODE to meet the high demand for service during peak times when members are most interested in traveling while increasing efficiency when the demand for transportation decreases. This innovation addresses a long-standing issue with Dial-A-Ride, where members often encountered challenges booking a ride during high demand periods. 

Other improvements include:

  • No requirement for advance scheduling on Lyft vehicles.
  • More payment options through customers’ smartphone device.
  • For non-smartphone users and customers requiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle, the MODE Call Center will book on-demand trips during weekdays using SafeRide Health’s platform with Lyft integration.
  • Access to select medical centers outside the Santa Monica service area during MODE hours of operation. 

Program elements that will remain the same for members include:

  • Program eligibility requirements
  • $0.50 per trip rate
  • Hours of operation
  • Santa Monica service area
  • Evening and weekend excursion and shopping trips
  • Ability to call to make a reservation

“This partnership is reflective of the changing mobility landscape and how transit agencies can adopt new technology to enhance the travel experience for MODE members throughout our City. Continuing to understand customer needs and meeting those needs through quick and innovative service delivery is critical to our success in providing outstanding and efficient service,” said Ed King, Director of Transit Services.

“We are excited to partner with Big Blue Bus on the agency’s innovative new MODE program, which is a great example of how Lyft can partner with cities and local transit agencies to decouple mobility from car ownership and encourage shared transportation alternatives,” said Allen Narcisse, Lyft Los Angeles General Manager. 

Early registrants have already started taking Lyft rides as of June 1 and all Dial-A-Ride participants will be transitioned to the new MODE service by July 1. Existing program members have been contacted directly by BBB and WISE & Healthy Aging to encourage re-registration and transition to the new program. Non-members interested in signing up for MODE can visit WISE & Healthy Aging to register and to receive a tutorial on the Lyft app. 

To learn more about the MODE program, visit bigbluebus.com/mode. 

About Big Blue Bus 

Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of 200 vehicles transporting more than 54,000 customers daily across a 58 square mile service area. Nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to a cleaner environment, the entire fleet operates on alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas (RNG), a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG), which helps cut emissions by up to 90 percent. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its marketing, customer service, safety, and efficiency. 

About Lyft

Lyft was founded in June 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the U.S. and is available to 95 percent of the US population as well as in Ontario, Canada. Lyft is preferred by drivers and passengers for its safe and friendly experience, and its commitment to effecting positive change for the future of our cities. 

About SafeRide Health

SafeRide Health is a digital health platform that improves access to care by delivering Lyft and medically qualified transport. SafeRide simplifies operations, improves patient outcomes and reduces cost for hospital groups, insurance providers and municipalities. SafeRide manages single site, regional and national programs. Learn more at saferidehealth.com.

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