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Spare heads to Florida to automate PSTA's ADA paratransit

The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will use Spare Platform to power its paratransit service, digitize eligibility and enable seamless third-party integration.

Kristen Lau

Spare is partnering with Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in Florida to deliver game-changing ADA paratransit to residents in Pinellas County.

Serving riders in the St. Petersburg-Clearwater corridor PSTA’s Access program will use Spare Launch to operate its entire paratransit operation, from booking and scheduling to matching and payments. It will also be able to leverage Spare’s analytics and planning tools to make data-backed decisions about its service.

PSTA Access will be supported by Spare’s customer relationship management (CRM) tool, Spare Engage, which digitizes and automates paratransit eligibility.

Pinellas is the most densely populated county in Florida. More than 40 percent of its nearly 1-million residents are reported to have a disability. The county is also home to a high concentration of seniors, making paratransit a vital service in the area.

Using the customer data stored in Spare Engage, transit agencies like PSTA can create rider groups in Spare Launch and design tailored service configurations based on the rider, not the vehicle. This means that a rider who is eligible for door-to-door service can share the same vehicle as one that gets picked up at a stop. Spare only allows riders to book transit options enabled for their group.

Eventually, PSTA can also opt to use paratransit vehicles to serve the general population through microtransit and other on-demand mobility services. Called commingling, this approach allows transit agencies to introduce different service types to its market without investing in additional resources. This tends to increase the number of passengers per vehicle hour.

“We pride ourselves on being an innovative transit agency that delivers a variety of options to our low-mobility and older riders. Spare will help propel the innovation of PSTA Access by allowing us to centralize our operations and ultimately deliver a better customer experience,” says Bonnie Epstein, Director of Mobility Services at PSTA.

The revamped PSTA Access service will be one of Spare’s largest paratransit operations and is expected to result in 1000 trips per day.

“We designed Spare to scale seamlessly and help mobility providers meet their operational challenges head-on while delivering user-friendly rider experiences. I am delighted that we’ll be partnering with PSTA as it continues to innovate and deliver life-changing paratransit to so many people,” says Spare CEO Kristoffer Vik Hansen.