A Limited Scale Survey and Evaluation of a Public and Private Partnership to Improve First and Last Mile Transportation Services in California and Washington.
Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration: Los Angeles County and Puget Sound First and Last Mile Partnership with Via: Evaluation Report
This study presented the results of an independent evaluation of the First and Last Mile Partnership with an on-demand transportation network company (TNC), which was part of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox program implemented in Los Angeles (LA), CA and Puget Sound (PS) Region in Seattle, WA. Users of this demonstration program, which started in January 2019 for the LA area and in April 2019 for the PS area, were able to request subsidized TNC rides to or from the participating transit stations within specified zones and times of the day.
For this study, three zones were selected in the LA region, and five zones were selected in the PS region. The evaluation of this MOD Sandbox project included 13 hypotheses that explored a number of potential impacts from the project, including mobility, accessibility, public transit ridership, fuel consumption, safety, costs, and lessons learned. Interviews were conducted with representatives of LA Metro, WA Sound Transit, WA King County Metro, and the TNC to obtain findings related to lessons learned for potential transit operators in a position to partner with a Rideshare program.
In this study, the quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods used in the evaluation included the analysis of early and final survey data, activity data, payment data (for PS region only), crime data (for LA only), and expert (stakeholder/project partner) interview data. The survey data during the early stages of the demonstration was conducted in June 2019 for LA with 85 respondents, and again in August 2020 during the later stage with a total of 55 respondents. For the PS region, the early survey was conducted in September 2019 with 731 respondents, and the later survey was conducted in August 2020 with 402 respondents.
Results from LA deployment:
- The LA deployment revealed that 20 percent of respondents reported a decrease in average travel time to stations, while 22 percent reported decreases from stations across all participating stations. Just four percent (to stations) and one percent (from stations) of respondents reported increases in average travel time as a result of Via Rideshare Service.
- Approximately 30 percent of respondents stated that their average wait times decreased to stations as a result of the Via Rideshare Service. Alternatively, 17 Percent said that their average wait times increased to stations (and 53 Percent stated no change). Approximately 48 percent stated a decrease from stations for all participating stations compared to 15 percent who said that said their average wait times increased (37 percent said their average wait time did not change).
- About 21 percent of respondents in the early-pilot rated their access to be very high (9 or 10 on a 10-point scale). This increased to 40 percent in the late-pilot, indicating improvements in accessibility The incorporation of TNC services also resulted in increased public transit use, with 35 percent of respondents indicating a rise or significant increase in the late-pilot survey compared to 15 percent who said their use decreased or significantly decreased.
- About 29 percent of respondents in the early-pilot and 34 percent in the late-pilot rated their ability to access almost all their activities as 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale. However, the percentage of respondents (23 percent and 24 percent) on the lower end of the scale (5 or lower) failed to shift substantially between early- and late-pilot.
- For lower-income respondents, about 38 percent reported that they experienced “significant transportation cost savings” and another 38 percent reported “some transportation cost savings” due to TNC Rideshare Service. Just eight percent of respondents stated that they experienced an increase in transportation costs.
Results from PS deployment:
- In the late-pilot survey, approximately 40 percent of respondents reported a decrease in their average travel time to participating stations due to the incorporation of TNC services while Nine Percent Reported an Increase.
- Approximately 36 percent of respondents stated that their average wait times to stations decreased across all participating stations while 13 percent of respondents said that wait times increased.
- About 37 percent of respondents in the early-pilot and 35 percent of respondents in the late-pilot rated their accessibility as 9 or 10 (on a 10-point scale) as a result of incorporating TNC services.
- Approximately 29 percent of respondents across all participating stations reported an increase or significant increase in public transit usage compared to 11 percent of respondents who said that it decreased or significantly decreased.
- For lower income respondents, the results showed that TNC to Transit decreased the cost of transportation, leading to “significant transportation cost savings” for 39 percent of respondents and “some transportation cost savings” for 21 percent of respondents. Only four percent of respondents stated that they experienced an increase in transportation costs.