GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — You know them for their bus service, but CDTA is now getting into ride-sharing with a new program called FLEX.
“It is exactly what that word implies. It’s a flexibly routed service that’s all based on an app,” CDTA CEO Carm Basile said.
Basile said riders use an app similar to Lyft or Uber. After choosing a destination, a FLEX van picks up riders and transports them to their desired location or to a CDTA bus route.
“A lot of people want to use this service, but live just a little too far from the route. This service will connect them.”
Basile says there’s also an added safety benefit to FLEX.
“A qualified trained operator. Uniforms. Safety standards. Drug tested, fingerprinted. So I think it gives people peace of mind.”
Currently, the service area is fairly small and only covers parts of Colonie and Guilderland — bsically getting you to your favorite mall and the airport.
But Basile says they’re hoping to expand the program soon.
Basile says CDTA joined 40 other cities in testing out FLEX as part of a six-month pilot program hosted by Ford Motor Company. Rides are free during the test phase.
“We want to get the operating side of it down pat before we figure out what to charge people,” he said. “This is really a laboratory right now for a new form of mobility.”
The program is seen as a great option for disabled commuters, who have long complained about ride-sharing drivers ignoring them or having vehicles that can’t accommodate wheelchairs.
Each FLEX van has a lift and room for two wheelchairs.
Widening access to transportation is great news for people like Alex Thompson, who relies on a scooter.
“I’ve had issues where I have to have my girlfriend stand out and flag down a car if it’s ride-sharing or a taxi to get service because when they see me, they just won’t stop,” he said. “I think CDTA has made the right decision to move forward with trying this program out, and I’m really exited to travel more around the area with it.”
To learn more about FLEX, visit http://CDTA.ORG/FLEX or call 518-482-8822.