Why OpenTransit?

New tools for public transit, owned by the citizens it serves

Municipal transit is seen as necessary 'public good' infrastructure that all municipalities above a certain size must provide. We contend that for small and mid-size municipalities, existing transit tools - consisting almost exclusively of scheduled, fixed-route buses - is a 'transport of last resort' that is not only impractical for most residents, but also incurs a high 'unit cost': the inclusive per-ride cost factoring in the rider fare, government subsidies and operating expenses.

Ridesharing platforms have proven themselves as viable means of transportation in larger cities, but have not traditionally been seen as a public transportation tool. We believe we can change this perception by demonstrating the viability of a locally-operated ridesharing service delivered through a not-for-profit model that allows 100% of ridesharing revenues and transit subsidies to stay within the municipality.

The Benefits

Better Public Transit

Smaller municipalities should have the same access to transit that the big cities do. OpenTransit's not-for-profit model makes local ridesharing economically sustainable, and ensures transit subsidies and fare revenue stays in the local economy.

No-cost Platform

The OpenTransit rideshare platform is provided to municipalities for free. It is a turnkey service that includes a customizable mobile app for drivers and riders, payment platform, administrative tools and secure identity and data management.

Local Job Creation

Each deployment of the OpenTransit network is managed by a local software team, providing an immediate base for local tech job growth. In addition, residents will be able to earn supplemental income as drivers (with optional subsidies as determined by individual municipalities).

Network Effects

Collectively, local software teams form a network of digital service centres sharing a common technology stack maintained by the OpenTransit Foundation. Platform improvements and new applications developed by one team can be shared by all.

Partners and Supporters

From Our Blog

Capitalism 2.0: The case for government-funded civic tech

Silicon Valley investments created massively scalable platforms like Uber, Facebook and Airbnb. Here’s how to engage governments and make the platform model work for everyone.

  • Speptember 24, 2020
  • 8

Over the last few decades we’ve seen an acceleration in the myriad ways software has changed how we work, eat, shop, socialize, learn and communicate. Our phones have become inextricably woven into the fabric of our lives, while software and new technology have enabled an incredible amount of wealth creation and accumulation of capital. For many, Silicon Valley represents not only the cradle of technological innovation, it’s the embodiment of capitalism itself.

Yet as anyone who has lived in San Francisco for a few months can tell you, the benefits of capitalism have not reached the least fortunate among us. For all the Bay Area startups claiming to be “making the world a better place” the reality is, on balance, we’ve only widened the digital and economic divide between the haves and have-nots. Software has indeed made the world a better place, but for whom?

Continue Reading