Integrating Transportation Management Companies (TMCs) and Public Transportation

Project ID: CTEDD 017-02

Author(s): Catherine L. Ross, Georgia Institute of Technology

CTEDD Funding Year: 2017 General RFP

Project Status: Complete

UTC Funding: $64,563

End Date: August 31, 2018

The rise of Transportation Management Companies (TMCs) like Uber and Lyft has disrupted and transformed the field of urban transportation. With near-ubiquitous access to a largely safe, comfortable, and reliable mode of transport, commuters and travelers are altering their transportation habits in unprecedented ways.

As TMCs continue to grow in significance, the role of public transportation will unavoidably change in response. The transit agencies that manage public transportation have an opportunity now to approach these changes proactively. Public transportation is crucial in achieving an environmentally friendly transportation system and in achieving a more equitable society where those who cannot own or drive cars are not deprived of mobility.

Unfortunately, the transit systems in most US cities do not have full coverage, meaning there is a significant population that cannot easily access the public transportation system. TMCs may be one way to fill that gap. They deliver on-demand services, typically providing an app-based service that links passengers and drivers and charges passengers automatically.

By complementing each other’s services, public entities and private companies may be able to partner to provide the best possible solution to urban transportation needs.