IMPACT REPORT 2022: Spare slows climate change, improves social equity and reduces social isolationLearn More

Go Home
Back to Stories

Collin County Transit cuts per ride costs by 47% with brokered trips

Goal

Maximize dedicated fleet productivity and slash rider wait times while lowering operational costs through intelligent trip brokering.

Impact

Rides per week
850-950
Decrease in rider wait time
50%
Year over year ridership growth
260%
Cost savings using brokered trips (per ride)
47%

Overview

McKinney, located just outside of Dallas, Texas, is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. It is also home to roughly 20,000 seniors who need to get to medical appointments and to move around the city.  This is illustrated with a sharp increase in riders on the Collin County Transit service, which is administered by the City of McKinney on behalf of the McKinney Urban Transit District and managed by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Local Government Corporation.

In the midst of massive and continuous population growth, McKinney Urban Transit District required a scalable and flexible transportation solution that could accommodate the rising demand for transportation across a vast service area. Collin County Transit’s service in McKinney operated solely with dedicated vehicles which was not enough to keep up with demand and was also costly.

Partner
McKinney Urban Transit District (Collin County Transit Program)
Location
McKinney, TX, USA
Launch
January 2022
Service Type
Turnkey, Rider Assistance Program

Challenges: a vast service area with increasing demand

  • The McKinney area has very limited accessible transportation options other than Collin County Transit
  • The service area is extremely vast and riders are spread out
  • Both the city and service face immense growth with anticipated difficulty keeping up with demand with solely dedicated vehicles
  • Budget constraints limit how much the traditional on-demand transit model can adapt to accommodate rapidly rising demand

Solution: Intelligent trip brokering with TNCs

To provide a flexible solution to riders while managing costs, Collin County Transit brokered trips out using Spare Open Fleets. Intelligent trip brokering services often consist of a mixed fleet: the agency’s dedicated fleet and non-dedicated vehicles supplied through TNCs such as Lyft.

In this case, Collin County Transit brokered roughly 70% of trips to Lyft and uses its dedicated fleet to fulfill the remaining 30%. Collin County Transit has gained considerable traction primarily via word of mouth recommendations from their riders. Collin County Transit has communicated transportation options available in the area to local dialysis clinics and other medical facilities to foster awareness around accessible transportation to those who require recurring trips to and from the clinic.

With the increasing demand for rides, Collin County Transit outsourced its call center with Spare’s partner, Telelink and has committed to integrating the McKinney service into the DART GoPass app to create more booking options for riders.

I'd like to compliment Spare on the ease of the platform: I feel that if I knew nothing about Spare and was just given credentials, I would not need much training because it's very intuitive in the way it's laid out. It’s really helped with the efficiency of this program."

Ryan McCutchan
Ryan McCutchanProject Manager, DART

The ridership growth numbers are astronomical, which really underscores the need for accessible transportation in our area. City of McKinney is always on the lookout for an innovative solution and the Spare platform certainly fits the brief."

Akia Pichon
Akia PichonTransit Administrator, City of McKinney

Results: Greater reach, decreased costs & improved rider experience

Partnering with Spare and Lyft allowed Collin County Transit dedicated vehicles to be freed up for those who required wheelchair accessible transportation as those who have minimal to no mobility restrictions had trips fulfilled by Lyft.

Service growth: Collin County Transit saw ridership growth of 260% since first launching with Spare in January 2022 by being able to provide trips to more riders and automatically matching riders with the most appropriate vehicles.

Cost savings: The agency also experienced cost savings of 47% per ride when using Lyft to complete rides compared to using the agency’s dedicated fleet. Lyft is able to accommodate trips until it is proven absolutely necessary to add a vehicle to the agency fleet, meaning less initial upfront vehicle related costs for the agency. Since Collin County Transit only has Lyft expenses while riders are actively inside the vehicle, it's also able to reduce deadhead expenses significantly.

Reduced wait times: Rider experience remarkably improved with ride wait times being slashed from an average of 30 minutes to between 14 and 16 minutes.

Improved coverage: With Lyft supplementing the agency’s dedicated fleet, Collin County Transit is able to effectively serve its large service area of approximately 900 square miles.

Overall, the adoption of intelligent trip brokering through Spare is working to harmonize transportation in McKinney and ensure an innovative, flexible and cost effective solution for Collin County Transit.