Hillsborough County, Florida has some of the worst transportation and mobility issues in the country. Our founder, Cesar Hernandez, was working with the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority on a pilot program aimed at providing a solution for what is known in the industry as the “First Mile, Last Mile Problem”. How does a potential rider get to/from the bus stop when a stop is not within reasonable walking distance to one? “First Mile, Last Mile” is an industry-wide barrier to potential riders trying transit for the first time.
In coordination with Tesla Motors, The Florida Department of Transportation and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority the Hyperlink concept was developed; it included a smartphone application that allows real-time ride matching and rider incentives. Patrons would call or use the app to be picked up from their respective locations and be taken to the nearest bus stop or transportation hub to be connected with the current transit infrastructure. The shared transportation provider offered a multimodal transportation option in the community and enhanced HART’s fixed route services by extending into areas of the county that did not have mass public transportation.
The world’s first ever public private partnership between multiple government agencies, a MaaS Provider and Tesla Motors, was produced. Our approach was to utilize our extensive knowledge of procurement strategies and our expertise in innovation policy to develop a unique solution that was never conceived before. The concept was to develop a rideshare program where riders would book their trip via an Apple IOS/Google Android smartphone app or a traditional call center. The app functioned similarly to a transportation network system, locating an individual via a phone’s GPS. Riders were able to choose the next available vehicle or schedule a pickup via advanced booking. The app was integrated with real-time trip planner technology and was able to determine which bus route riders needed to connect with and plan their trip, anywhere in the area. The app then provided the pickup that best ensures the customer arrived at the bus stop before the bus departs.
In Tampa Bay, it increased ridership 120% in the areas it was implemented. The Hyperlink program served as a precursor to many mobility companies as a service model around the world. The success of Hyperlink has since been duplicated in Europe in cities like Madrid, where Uber exclusively used Tesla Model S vehicles. Currently, Revel is attempting a similar model providing a transportation network using Tesla vehicles exclusively in New York City.
For any questions on this project, please email Sheridan Sundstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org.