New MicroTransit System ‘Wheels2U’ Coming to Norwalk
Starting this fall, when you are in Norwalk looking for a ride, and don’t have time to wait at a bus stop or enough money for an Uber ride, try Wheels2U — a new form of public transportation brought to you by Norwalk Transit District. Wheels2U allows residents to request rides from public minibus vehicles on-demand. While the minibuses carry multiple riders, they drop each rider off at their final destination.
Norwalk officials believe Wheels2U will be successful in the city due to efficiency reasons. Rather than run empty buses through Norwalk neighborhoods to bus stops that may have no one waiting, for hours at a time, the Wheels2U program will allow riders to let drivers know when and where they are waiting.
How does it work?
Here’s how it works:
- Riders request rides via an app — Click to download.
- Open the app.
- Input your destination, and see if the on-demand service is available to you — or —
- Schedule your ride in advance.
- Hit “request a ride” — or —
- Find what other transit options are available to you, using the NTD trip planner.
- Payment can be made by credit card in the app.
The innovation behind the system is that each minibus uses an algorithm to pick up others that are on the way as it drives you to your destination. This makes the transportation system something like an “uberPOOL” or “Lyft Line,” where multiple groups or individuals are picked up and brought to their various destinations in the same vehicle.
Who’s covering the cost?
Funding for the pilot program comes from a partnership with TransLoc and their parent company Ford Smart Mobility, SoNo Collection mall developer GGP, and the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation; as part of its pledge to improve transportation services in Norwalk’s urban core. The vehicles used for the service are part of the Norwalk Transit District’s para-transit fleet. The vehicles will be used during hours when the vehicles are in off peak mode for the para-transit service. These vehicles are funded 80% by the Federal Transit Administration and 20% by the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation.
For more information contact Norwalk Transit District:
275 Wilson Avenue,
Norwalk, CT 06854