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Working Together to Build the World’s Best Transportation – Q&A with Lyft’s Paul Davis

Oct 13, 2017
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Friends inside a car

We sometimes forget that mobility freedom is a privilege. Most of us move around as needed, whenever we want – we drive, walk, bike, use transit, use a rideshare company. However, this isn’t always the case – paratransit passengers often rely on public transit to get to where they need to go and may not have the same options as everyone else. We all know that the cost to operate paratransit is rising at an unsustainable rate. So, what are the alternatives?

Recently, we announced we’re working together with Lyft to enhance demand response service, introducing a unique solution to unify public-private transportation in the U.S. Currently, transit agencies manage and schedule their own paratransit service. However, by integrating with Lyft, transit agencies can use the same Trapeze software to also schedule paratransit rides on the Lyft platform.

We reached out to Paul Davis, Transportation Partnerships Manager at Lyft, to get more information on the collaboration and the future of TNCs and public transit.

Jeff Moore, Trapeze: First things first, what excites you about this new Lyft-Trapeze agreement?

Paul Davis, Lyft: At Lyft, our mission is to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation. I’m excited about our collaboration with Trapeze because it will allow Lyft to significantly expand mobility for paratransit passengers in communities across the U.S.

Trapeze Group has an incredibly large footprint in the public transportation world, so it’s exciting to know how many people we’ll be able to positively affect through this collaboration. We are always looking for new ways to expand mobility in the communities we serve, and it’s great to see doors open for riders who previously faced transportation barriers, who can now access the added flexibility and comfort of the Lyft platform.

Trapeze: How does this collaboration help both riders and transit agencies?

Lyft: This collaboration aims to provide benefits to both riders and transit agencies. This integration will help transit agencies improve on-time performance service levels while reducing operating costs for overflow, hard to serve and callback trips; while also delivering a more responsive ride experience to paratransit passengers.

Trapeze: Some public transit agencies view TNCs as competition. How do you change that perception?

Lyft: We recognize that public transit is the foundation of urban mobility and plays a critical role in creating livable communities.

We see Lyft as a tool that can help drive more users onto core public transit services, and we are always exploring how we can expand access to transit through partnerships with local transit agencies.

We are excited about our integration with Trapeze’s software because together, we will be able to help more transit agencies improve service quality for their vital paratransit programs.

Trapeze: As the industry adapts and figures out the best thing for passengers, how do you foresee yourself working with transit agencies – now and in the future?

Lyft: We will continue to collaborate very closely with public transit agencies to find new ways to deliver multi-modal solutions that improve mobility and encourage shared trip-making.

Over the last year, we have been able to collaborate with agencies across the U.S. to deliver a variety of solutions, from first-last mile access to commuter rails, to enhanced guaranteed ride home programs, to encourage more vanpooling.

Our transit agency partners continue to find new ways to integrate Lyft’s technology and network into programs that help their riders connect to alternative transportation - and we are excited to deepen our work with them to build shared mobility solutions.

Trapeze: Mobility as a Service (MaaS) has become a very interesting topic lately. It’s hard to predict the future, but how does Lyft fit into this space, and what do you see as the future of transit with TNCs?

Lyft: On-demand, reliable ridesharing options like Lyft Line are encouraging more people to try commuting together. We will continue to work closely with cities and transit agencies to encourage more ridesharing and multi-modal travel as an alternative to single occupancy vehicle trips.

Trapeze: As ridesharing becomes more and more popular, what is the value in collaborating with Trapeze?

Lyft: We are always exploring new ways to help transit agencies meet their service needs. By working with Trapeze to provide a seamless solution for paratransit passengers, we will be able to reach more riders and improve mobility options for people across the country - and it’s that impact that makes this collaboration so valuable for the communities and agencies we both serve.

Trapeze: Thank you, Paul for taking the time to elaborate on how Lyft strives to provide the world’s best transportation. Check out the announcement to learn how the collaboration can benefit you, including potentially lowering your paratransit costs.

As Director, Industry Solutions and Alliances, Jeff has a strong, proven ability in the management of large teams and complex technical implementations with emphasis on project efficiency and profitability. Jeff is particularly interested in thin client and cloud-based computing systems, and focuses his time on the successful deployment of software solutions for businesses.
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