Many cities have multi-modal transportation methods such as trains, subways, busses, cars, bikes, and walking, but what about smaller scale cities and suburbs? Many are unwilling to give up their cars and switch to bussing or other modes of public transit for the sake of convenience. Some think that bus stops may be far apart from one another or arrive infrequently. There is a somewhat new system: Demand Response Transit, or DRT. According to Demand-Response Transit Service,
“A demand response operation is characterized by the following: (a) The vehicles do not operate over a fixed route or on a fixed schedule except, perhaps, on a temporary basis to satisfy a special need; and (b) typically, the vehicle may be dispatched to pick up several passengers at different pick-up points before taking them to their respective destinations and may even be interrupted en route to these destinations to pick up other passengers.”
This system is like cab carpooling and might work well in lower density areas where cars and busses are the only modes of public transportation. Having flexible routes would maintain a sense of convenience while keeping a surplus of cars off the road and fuel consumption down. If DRT also creates a universal app where people can contact the operator from their smartphones, I believe this system would takeoff. This would allow for people to schedule what time and place they would like to be picked up and dropped off ahead of time. Implementation of a DRT system in lower density areas might just be able to help save time, energy, and your wallet.