Spare <> Lyft: An interview with Spare’s CEO and COO on how the partnership will benefit transit agencies.
In this edited interview with our Marketing Lead, Niklas Mey, Spare’s CEO Kristoffer Vik Hansen and COO, Josh Andrews, talk in-depth about how Spare's partnership with Lyft will empower transit agencies to meet the evolving demands of riders.
Hi Kristoffer and Josh, what does Spare's integration with Lyft mean for transit agencies and riders?
Kristoffer: The pandemic has shown that rider behavior is changing, with a growing preference for customized, timely, on-demand rides to meet their individual needs. Transit agencies can provide high-quality on-demand services by increasing the availability and composition of fleets because it lowers wait time for riders, which is a big determinant of the quality of service.
Our integration with Lyft means that transit agencies now have an overflow mechanism, so if their existing vehicles are fully booked, they can still guarantee service quality to riders because of the immediate access to a large network of drivers and vehicles within the Lyft network.
Josh: With this partnership, our goal is to enable access to a wide variety of fleet networks to the transit agencies, so that the right vehicle goes out to the rider. More importantly, we want to ensure that agencies have enough vehicles on standby to offer their riders reliable transportation regardless of spikes and unexpected changes in demand. All of this is made possible by the increased availability of fleets immediately available on the Lyft network for transit agencies.
How does this integration simplify fleet management for transit agencies?
Kristoffer: When you have additional fleets at your disposal, it will increase the quality of service. The problem with having a large fleet significantly increases the complexity and costs for the service provider. Most transit agencies have to pay an hourly rate for a fleet of vehicles irrespective of the number of trips made per day just to ensure that they have the right vehicle available in case there is demand.
Spare’s technology integrates with different fleet providers, including Lyft and taxi operators, removing the complexity of managing multiple fleet providers and liaising with their drivers to meet the changes in demand. Through this unique integration, we are enabling transit agencies to get closer to guaranteeing service quality and reliability to their riders, while keeping the costs under control. Lyft and Spare have done the heavy lifting behind the scenes in terms of backend operations and managing relationships with fleet providers - so for transit agencies, it’s as simple as plug and play.
Josh: Traditionally, operations managers have used the contracting model of going to multiple fleet operators and separately procuring and managing all these relationships. With Spare, transit agencies have fleet options available to them within one platform which makes the process of managing third-party fleets simple and easy. We build relationships with fleet providers and give transit agencies access to their networks within our platform.
Having access to diverse fleet options also dramatically lowers the risk of service disruption if a fleet provider has challenges in delivering service. We do all of this through a user-friendly interface where transit operators won’t need to go through any complex implementation or learn new software.
How does this partnership help transit agencies expand their microtransit and paratransit services?
Kristoffer: Paratransit is not a nice to have, it is a requirement for transit agencies to provide these services to eligible riders. The more fleet options we can make available to agencies, especially on a per-trip basis with providers like Lyft, the easier it becomes for transit agencies to improve their paratransit services. For example, if a paratransit rider requests a vehicle at a specific time and the transit agency doesn’t have any available vehicles, they can send a suitable fleet provider in the Spare Platform without compromising the quality of service.
In addition to helping transit agencies, does this integration benefit other shared mobility service providers looking to expand their fleets?
Kristoffer: Being a mobility management platform, we can work with different entities such as universities or corporations, and non-for-profits to help them expand their on-demand mobility services.