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

The Battle of Los Angeles and the case for open transit data standards

The use and ownership of transit data is essential for both public transit optimization and the revenue growth of for-profit transit services. Which is exactly why it’s a big problem.

  • April 29, 2020
  • 8

Notorious for having some of the worst traffic congestion in the world, Los Angeles’s Department of Transportation (LADOT) launched the MDS in 2018, a API data standard that gave the city and authorized partners the ability to access data from “shared use mobility providers” (APIs provide a developer-friendly method of accessing data, and are a popular method for standardizing integrations with 3rd parties).

The initial goal of the MDS initiative was to give the city a tool to monitor the use (and misuse) of dockless scooters, but the city has been clear they intend to extend the data sharing requirement to bike sharing, ride sharing services and ultimately, autonomous vehicles. LADOT’s initiative expanded last year when the MDS standard was adopted by the Open Mobility Foundation (OMF), a multi-city initiative to coordinate the development of open-source technology tools that improve how cities manage modern transportation infrastructure.

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