City of Sioux Falls to Improve Public Transportation System

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-  The City of Sioux Falls is aiming to speed up its transit system, while also making it more accessible. A “Core Team” of city staffers has been doing research and coming up with ideas. In the future, the public transportation system may look a lot different than it does right now, but coming up with a new system is a process. For months, city staff like Allie Hartzler and Jason Reisdorfer have been studying the Sioux Falls Public Transit System and how to improve it.

“It’s a collection of all the things that we’ve learned and all the ideas that we’ve had kind of coming together in one place, so it’s a lot of fun to be in here,” said Innovation Coordinator Allie Hartzler.  

The problem they are working to solve is “how to improve the economic benefit of public transit system for both residents and the city.” Over the past several months the Core Team has come up with ideas, which have evolved and changed as the team tests them and gauges the public’s interest. Currently they are considering an “On Demand” transit system, which would serve the entire city of Sioux Falls.

“Any transportation vehicle that instead of running on a fixed schedule at a certain time of day, it moves to meet the demand just like Lyft does now,” said Hartzler

Users could request a ride using any phone. Then a vehicle or shuttle bus would come within one to three blocks of the riders location. It would take around 15 minutes upon requesting a ride. The ride would be shared with other passengers and bring riders one to three blocks away from their destination.

“The thing that makes this idea really exciting for us and for all the people that we’ve talked to is that this makes the entire city accessible, it provides service on nights and on Sundays, which we know is a huge need for our riders,” said Hartzler.

Hartzler says what makes this different from Lyft is the payment option. With Lyft you have to have an account and connect a credit card. For the On Demand Transit System there would be kiosks around town where users could load cash onto a card to pay for rides.

The Core Group is still doing research and says this idea could change or evolve. Any new transit system will be reviewed by city council before it’s implemented.

The city is welcoming feedback from the community. You can email coreteam@siouxfalls.org.

There is also a demo you can watch to see how the “On Demand” Transit System would work.

For more information visit these sites:

https://siouxfalls.org/transit

https://medium.com/@BloombergCities/inside-the-sioux-falls-innovation-war-room-54e4bf036f24

https://medium.com/@BloombergCities/innovation-in-the-heartland-how-sioux-falls-is-turning-public-problem-solving-on-its-head-1fc843a9f12f

 

Categories: Local News, News