LUBBOCK, Texas — The City of Lubbock, as of Tuesday, was working to create a new micro-transit system. The city’s bus system, Citibus, lost roughly half its ridership since mid-March because of the response to COVID-19 or coronavirus.
In that time Citibus received $9.6 million from the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), according to City Manager Jarrett Atkinson.
“That money is eligible to be used many ways,” Atkinson said during a city council meeting on Tuesday. One possibility is micro-transit.
“It will use the vehicles and the drivers that Citibus already has,” Atkinson said. From there, the city just has to establish a system.
“We’ve identified a company,” Atkinson said. “It will divide the city into four quadrants. It will allow us soon, within the next few weeks, to offer a micro-transit program.”
The concept considered by the city is a corner-to-corner service rather than door-to-door. Riders would call ahead or schedule ahead using an app.
“You try to assemble, within a reasonable period of time, more than one rider – not the 40 or 50 that’s in a big bus, but more than one rider – that are going to an area where they can do that corner-to-corner drop-off for those individuals,” Atkinson said.
In some ways, it would resemble the CitiAccess system in Lubbock.
“It becomes a pilot program … funded by the federal government,” Atkinson said. “We’re going to get a chance to do something new and see if can meet some needs.”