A recent article from Boston Consulting Group and Via highlights advantages that microtransit can have when implemented under the right settings, an increasing research area. But, what built environment and sociodemographic settings make these services most successful? How does this dependency vary for different types of operations? How do these benefits vary by users of the market? How do users perceive and value these benefits relative to their needs? Consequently, if service providers wish to construct a portfolio of solution options to present to city agencies, how should they design their portfolios?
Via provides a microtransit service that partners with different city agencies to provide different types of service: either virtual stop-based shared taxi or microtransit, software to support existing taxis, specialized bus services, or first/last mile services. With data from over 100 different city implementations around the world, there is an opportunity learn from these experiences to quantify thresholds and factors that most influence successful microtransit operations. However, this data needs to be matched with demographic characteristics of users. A more general consideration is the manner in which user preferences and behavior influence the choice of different modes.
The knowledge base from this data can be used to support design of portfolios of service options for a city. Given all the myriad of different options and existing public data, can we design a framework that can identify operating strategies that dominate in one or more sustainability criteria and quantify their performances within a portfolio of projects for city agencies to evaluate?