In May 2017, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) rolled out its app-based public transit service called RideKC Freedom On-Demand.
The one-year pilot project enabled riders to use a cellphone app to book taxi rides through private taxi companies any day, at any time without reserving a trip 24 hours ahead of time.
Customers had the option of using their iPhone or Android smartphones to download an app to summon the taxis. They could then use the smartphone to track their rides in real-time. Customers also had the option to book a taxi by telephone.
The cost for riders who qualify under the American with Disabilities Act was $3 for the first eight miles and $2 for each additional mile. The cost for the general public was $10 for the first five miles and $2 for each additional mile. A portion of regularly priced fares on non-ADA trips is returned to KCATA to reinvest in transit service.
The service area for the pilot included parts of Kansas City in Missouri, and parts of Prairie Village, Overland Park, Fairway, Mission, Roeland Park, and Kansas City in Kansas.
After five months, KCATA recorded more than 15,500 trips on RideKC Freedom On-Demand.
The new service cost $15.80 a trip compared to the traditional paratransit trip that cost $27.13. In the five months since launch, RideKC On-Demand saved the Authority about $166,000.
KCATA surveyed 300 Freedom On-demand users, and 75 percent to 80 percent viewed the service favorably.
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