Diagnosing the Weak Links: Closing the Transit Gap in Sarasota County

Diagnosing the Weak Links:  Closing the Transit Gap in Sarasota County
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Diagnosing the Weak Links: Closing the Transit Gap in Sarasota County
By Katie Jurenka, TransPro Project Analyst

What happens when the largest chunk of public money is funding the fewest customer trips? TransPro had the opportunity to innovate solutions to this question when working with Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT).

The Sarasota County Commissioners were interested in finding innovative solutions to improve mobility and taxpayer value in their community for SCAT. That required TransPro to perform a thorough diagnosis, to root out the underlying inefficiencies that might be causing unproductive service.

Our findings: 54% of customer trips were occurring on just 5 routes, and only 6.6% of customer trips were completed on route that consumed 18% of the public subsidy. SCAT under-performed compared to peers in most metrics, so TransPro set forth to find solutions.

Drawing on our deep well of transit industry insight TransPro collaborated with SCAT to find innovations that would transform the County’s mobility landscape.

Our recommendation went beyond traditional fixed route adjustments and addressed the Commissioners’ interest in innovation, introducing a County-wide demand response mobility option serving residents who weren’t previously served by a fixed route, or who had previously been forced to rely on fixed routes with long headways and multiple transfers. This innovation gave all County residents access to SCAT's transit network.

TransPro also recommended investing in Mobility Hubs, designated locations where riders can access an integrated suite of mobility services, amenities, and technologies to bridge the distance between high-frequency transit and an individual’s origin or destination. SCAT’s Mobility Hubs are a critical piece of the network that now comprises both the new demand-response options and the traditional fixed route buses.

With TransPro’s guidance, from diagnosing the inefficiencies to designing an innovative mobility network with implementation plan to deliver success, County leadership is prepared to launch SCAT into a new phase of enhanced mobility and greater community value greater community value and customer choice, mobility, and freedom.