MARTA, Georgia Tech Receives Grant To Pilot On-Demand Multimodal Transit System



Civic Innovation Challenge Award Provides $ 1 Million for Community Mobility Solution

The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded MARTA and the Georgia Tech Research Cooperation a $ 1 million grant to pilot an On-Demand Multimodal Transit System (ODMTS) solution. The Civic Innovation Challenge Award supports community initiatives to address the challenges of mobility and disasters.

ODMTS is a hybrid of traditional transit and carpooling that provides a real-time route that meets user demand, optimizes vehicle use, and fills service gaps left by a fixed bus route. For example, instead of waiting at a traditional bus stop, a person needing a ride to the grocery store could easily and inexpensively use a smartphone app to call a vehicle to a nearby location and also pick up other passengers nearby.

“We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for this grant and proud to partner with Georgia Tech,” said MARTA Deputy CEO Collie Greenwood. “Exploring first and last mile connectivity options is important in providing transit service that meets the needs of everyone in the Metro Atlanta area. “

This small-scale pilot project will test the effectiveness of the system and provide information on whether a full-scale version would work in MARTA’s service area as the agency undertakes a complete overhaul of its bus network.

Professor Pascal Van Hentenryck and Georgia Tech’s Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) team provide the technology, including routing logic and system applications for the pilot, operator and administrator for the project. .

“MARTA’s leadership is very forward-thinking and they are working to determine the future of public transport,” said Van Hentenryck. “They were extremely collaborative throughout the process and provided us with vast amounts of data and information to drive the process.”

The service will be tested in areas where there is a need to improve transit accessibility in DeKalb, Clayton and Fulton counties and in the city of Atlanta. It will connect to nearby fixed-line bus transfer centers, such as train stations and amusement parks, and use MARTA’s current fare of $ 2.50 with transfers included.

A start date for the pilot program and details on how to participate will be shared in the coming months. To learn more about the Civic Innovation Challenge, visit Civic Innovation Challenge | Power smart and connected communities (

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