New Orleans RTA launches new FLEX on-demand pilot programme
New Orleans RTA’s pilot will connect residents of East New Orleans with low incomes, seniors and people with disabilities to vital transportation services that are often difficult to access due to distance.
Credit: New Orleans Regional Transit Authority
The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has announced the launch of the FLEX pilot programme. The 12-month pilot will allow current RTA paratransit customers living in East New Orleans to book on-demand services within Orleans Parish.
The project seeks to provide enhanced mobility and connectivity for residents of East New Orleans with plans for future expansion to other areas around the city.
“The RTA Board of Commissioners is excited for the launch of the FLEX pilot,” said Mark Raymond Jr., RTA Board Chair. “This pilot will allow residents of East New Orleans with low incomes, seniors and persons with disabilities to assist with making vital transportation connections that are often inaccessible due to distance. This pilot is an example of the Board’s commitment to prioritise that all riders have equitable transit services no matter their mobility needs.”
In June 2020, RTA was awarded $300,000 through Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Mobility for All Pilot Program. The agency utilised the funding to purchase three wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles to transport customers. Riders can pre-schedule pick-ups and request on-demand return trips using the Uber smartphone app designed specifically for this project.
Alex Z. Wiggins, RTA CEO, said: “The FLEX pilot is just the beginning for the agency as we explore additional mobility solutions to meet the ever-changing transit landscape within the industry and our city. We look forward to expanding this programme to additional areas of the city and giving our riders options that increase mobility services.”
The FTA’s 2020 Mobility for All Pilot Program seeks to improve mobility options through employing innovative co-ordination of transportation strategies and building partnerships to better service riders with disabilities in underserved communities. The RTA was one of 17 projects in 16 states awarded funding to improve mobility and access to public transportation for older adults, people with disabilities and individuals with low income.
If you liked this, you may also be interested in:
New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA)