UPDATE: A South DaCola foot soldier sent me this information about a story he read in the St. Cloud local paper;
One of the highlights I picked up in a quick scan – the original fixed route service which was replaced had a ridership of 5 riders per hour. At the conclusion of the trial period (in late Dec 2019?), ridership for the On Demand version was 1/2 of the previous – 2.5 riders per hour.
Nonetheless, at that time, they continued the trial period in order to see if a different period of the calendar would yield different results.
Didn’t read/scan beyond that, but would surmise that they continued the trial, COVID-19 emerged (which wasn’t kind to public transportation of any type) and they finally decided, post COVID-19, that the On Demand model wasn’t working.
A temporary bus service in Sartell is coming to an end and a fixed route will replace the shared-ride service.
Metro Bus is sunsetting the ConneX on-demand service and resuming Fixed Route 32 starting on Sunday.
The pilot project was started in 2019 and extended several times before the decision was made to go back to the fixed route system for Sartell.
I tried to find some articles why they decided to ‘sunset’ the program but couldn’t really find anything (links are welcome in the comment section). My educated guess is that On Demand Transit doesn’t work well, isn’t efficient and leaves a lot of riders out of the equation.
The Sioux Falls City Council really needs to strap in and take a very active role in fixing our transit system in Sioux Falls. First call I would make as a councilor is to a city official with St. Cloud.