SANTA MONICA―Big Blue Bus (BBB), the municipal bus operator for the West-side region of Los Angeles County which provides transit to and from Santa Monica, is starting a partnership with the ride-share company, Lyft.
The new service, which will launch on July 1 is called MODE (Mobility On-Demand Every Day). According to the city of Santa Monica website, it aims to “improve curb-to-curb mobility and door-through-door transportation.”
“This partnership is reflective of the changing mobility landscape and how transit agencies can adopt new technology to enhance the travel experience for MODE members throughout our City. Continuing to understand customer needs and meeting those needs through quick and innovative service delivery is critical to our success in providing outstanding and efficient service,” said Ed King, the Director of Transit Services.
The MODE service will be an upgrade from the already existing Dial-A-Ride program for Santa Monica that helped provide access to transportation to seniors and others with disabilities, and lessen the challenges they encounter during periods of time when there is a high demand in rides.
“We are excited to partner with Big Blue Bus on the agency’s innovative new MODE program, which is a great example of how Lyft can partner with cities and local transit agencies to decouple mobility from car ownership and encourage shared transportation alternatives,” said Allen Narcisse, Lyft Los Angeles General Manager.
According to a statement announcing the new program, improvements from the previous program include:
- No requirement for advance scheduling on Lyft vehicles;
- More payment options through the smartphone of the customers;
- A MODE Call Center available to non-smartphone users to book on-demand trips during weekdays for customers requiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle;
- Access to select medical outside Santa Monica during the MODE hours of operation.
The eligibility requirements, hours of operation, service area and cost per trip rate ($0.50) will remain the same for the MODE program.
Early registrants who had the opportunity to try the new service since June 1, will be transitioned to the MODE program when it launches on Sunday, July 1. Current program members have been contacted directly by BBB and WISE & Healthy Aging to encourage re-registration to the new program. Non-members interested in signing up for MODE can visit WISE & Healthy Aging to register and to receive a tutorial on the Lyft app.
To learn more about the MODE program, visit bigbluebus.com/mode.