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Cities and public transportation agencies are experimenting with on-demand, shared, and dynamic models to augment traditional fixed-route transit services. These services—referred to as microtransit—are enabled by technology like the mobile smartphone applications pioneered by privately operated transportation network companies. The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) defines microtransit as "a privately owned and operated shared transportation system that can offer fixed routes and schedules, as well as flexible routes and on-demand scheduling. The vehicles generally include vans and buses." As interest in this technology grows, it is critical for public transportation agencies and departments of transportation to understand the benefits and challenges of microtransit services.
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