Spare expands ADA paratransit footprint with new service in Connecticut

The Southeast Area Transit District implements Spare’s automated booking, scheduling, fleet and customer management to improve efficiency and the rider experience.


Tanya CastleWednesday, March 3, 2021

ADA paratransit eligible residents in and around New London, CT now have access to an on-demand paratransit system with the Southeast Area Transit District (SEAT).

SEAT partnered with Spare, the leading provider of on-demand transit and mobility technology, to automate its paratransit operations including booking, scheduling and fleet management. Before signing on with Spare, SEAT ADA Paratransit passengers had to schedule trips in advance in order for dispatchers to match their requests to available vehicles. With Spare, that entire process is automated. Requests are processed on a continuous basis and matched to the best available fleet in real-time. So trips can be booked in advance or in the moment.

This means that even passengers booking scheduled trips can benefit from the most efficient, optimized ride, saving them time and improving the overall experience. For instance, trips are assigned to vehicles shortly before departure based on real-time routing and timing so passengers aren’t stuck on a ride that takes them in circles. They get to where they are going in the most direct way possible.

In the last twelve months, Spare has launched many ADA paratransit services in the United States, including GATRA, MA and Cheyenne Transit Program, WY. In many of these cases, transit agencies have opted to combine paratransit with microtransit through commingling, which is when you use one fleet of vehicles to service different rider groups at the same time.

With Spare, SEAT will be able to explore this option of introducing microtransit down the line and reach more riders with instantaneous on-demand service. It’s goal is to introduce commingled paratransit and microtransit by the summer and into next year.

“The really novel thing about Spare is that it allows us to change-up our service on a dime. This means we can easily adapt to new scenarios, changing demographics, increased or decreased demand and even things like weather conditions,” says Michael Carroll, SEAT’s general manager.

Using the customer management tool, Spare Engage, SEAT can easily assign different services to each rider profile, enabling those with different needs to all share the same infrastructure. It can also use Spare Engage to manage a passenger’s paratransit eligibility, from the forms to their renewal status.

“Spare Engage syncs up perfectly with the Spare transit management platform, so that if and when we want to expand, we can do it without compromising our ADA Paratransit service,” Carroll adds.

SEAT ADA Paratransit runs every day except Sunday from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. Depending on the time of day or week, it is available in different zones throughout SEAT’s service areas and employs a dedicated fleet of three to four vehicles.

To find out how Spare can improve your paratransit service through its suite of automated tools, reach out to [email protected].