Arlington RAPID, one of the first programs in the United States to integrate on-demand, autonomous vehicles (AVs) into an existing public transportation service, has provided more than 28,000 trips in its first year to residents, university students, and visitors around Downtown Arlington and The University of Texas at Arlington campus.
Since March 2021, the city has operated Arlington RAPID (Rideshare, Automation, and Payment Integration Demonstration) in partnership with Via, May Mobility, and UT Arlington through a grant provided by the Federal Transit Administration. The pilot program offers shared rides in autonomous vehicles, operated by May Mobility, through Arlington’s on-demand public transit system, Via Arlington. With a 98% rider satisfaction rating, it’s clear that the Arlington community embraced the pilot program.
In March 2022, the North Central Texas Council of Governments awarded the City of Arlington a new grant, which will enable RAPID to expand service and operate at least through 2024.
In celebration of the anniversary of its launch, PAVE’s Tabitha Colter sat down with UT Arlington, the City of Arlington, Via Transportation, and May Mobility to reflect on lessons learned, how AVs fit into the future of mass transit, and much more.