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Sarasota County Area Transit Says OnDemand Transit App Works Well

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) – Sarasota County Area Transit On-demand service transported thousands of passengers in less than a year. They have seen an increase in the number of users since the app launched in June 2021.

The mobility option focuses on four specific areas that cater to residents and visitors. These areas—North Port, Siesta Key, Englewood, and Venice, and Lido and Longboat Key—offer rides within the areas and operate in conjunction with fixed-route bus service to transport passengers throughout the county.

So far, OnDemand has served over 100,000 passengers.

SCAT Director Jane Grogg said that although the program is still relatively new and has not been widely marketed, early data indicates that it has exceeded initial projections.

“We continue to learn and explore, but the program has proven to be effective,” she added.

OnDemand works as part of broader improvements to SCAT services, including reducing the number of underutilized routes and reducing the use of paratransit. Now Grogg and his team are exploring where the OnDemand service could be a solution for other areas of the county.

Grogg commended the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners for their investment and confidence in the service changes, as well as their continued support of the growing OnDemand program.

“The board challenged us to be more efficient, find savings and provide transportation options that reflect growing trends like Uber and Lyft,” she said. “We have accomplished that, but there is still work to be done.”

An OnDemand vehicle will pick up customers within 30 minutes of ride request and drive them to their destinations in the same area. Other customers traveling on similar routes may share rides. Minivans are used to provide the service and are accessible to people using mobility devices or needing a ramp to board.

Curb-to-curb trips for this new service will be available from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Each ride will cost $1.25. Rides can be booked using the OnDemand app, via scgov.net/SCAT website or by calling (941) 300-1553. Passengers can pay online through the app or by paying cash to the driver. Reservations are required to use this service.

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