Springfield’s transit services to get overhaul with hopes of increased ridership

On-demand service ‘a much more efficient model,’ committee director says.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Public transit in the city of Springfield may be making a major turn toward on-demand service.

According to Clark County Transportation Coordinating Committee Director Louis Agresta and Springfield Deputy Community Development Director Steve Thompson, a study of mass transit needs that confirmed that there is opportunity to better address the needs of city residents.

“Springfield City Area Transit (SCAT) has been around a long time but hasn’t evolved much,” Agresta observed during a recent appearance before the Springfield City Commission. “Rather than a fixed-route, large bus system, we might want to move to a smaller vehicle, on-demand model.”

Thompson joined Agresta, confirming that a 2024 rollout is targeted for introducing new transit services in the city.

“We’re trying to update the system to make more user-friendly and lower cost … we’ll be moving to a model using smaller vehicles such as mini-vans. Basically it will be more like Uber or Lyft. It will provide service from point A to point B, and basically you’ll be able to schedule the ride you want for wherever you want to go within the city.”

“This should be a much more efficient model,”Agresta said.

Thompson said he hopes the new service will “increase ridership and I encourage everyone to give it a try when it comes out.”

SCAT currently operates 19 buses providing 11 fixed routes five days a week, Monday through Friday, from 6:40 am to 5:40 pm, and is closed on holidays.

In addition to large buses that provide transit service throughout the city on designated routes and with established timepoints, SCAT offers a dial-a-ride service available by appointment to locations within 3/4 mile of the established fixed route service area.

The standard fare for the on-demand service is $4.00 and its recommended appointments be scheduled a day in advance.

American Disability Act (ADA) paratransit — services for people with disabilities who cannot use the “fixed route” bus — are also available through SCAT by prior scheduling.

Passengers scheduling on-demand services are asked to provide cancellation notice no later than one hour prior to the scheduled trip. Anyone who engages in a pattern of scheduling and not using or cancelling in a timely manner can be subject to progressive corrective action, which might include passenger suspension for specific time periods.

In Clark County, United Senior Services (USS) also offers door-to-door transportation services for those over the age of 60 for medical, dental or counseling appointments, for special treatments such as chemotherapy and dialysis and for non-medical appointments for essential errands including visits to the local bank, post office, pharmacy, attorneys office or grocery. Seniors using the service are not charged a fee for transportation, but donations to support the service are welcomed.

The city of Dayton has also been exploring a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) on-demand service as an extension of its operations to locations where fixed route transit service is limited or unavailable. The service limits on-demand trips to eligible zones but does not permit riders to use on-demand trips to travel across multiple zones in the same trip.

The Greater Dayton RTA service is available from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. 7 days a week by either booking with the Lyft or Uber app, or making an advanced or recurring reservation with RTA Customer Service. Trips can also be requested as-needed through RTA Customer Service. Wait times may vary based on availability.

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