App-based local transit service is coming to our City in September! Milpitas SMART will provide convenient, affordable, and on-demand connections to the Great Mall, City Hall, Milpitas Transit Center and VTA light rail stops.
Milpitas SMART will provide service Monday to Friday, 7 am to 7 pm, through minivans with ADA access with maximum wait times between 10 and 15 minutes. The regular adult fare will be $2.50 per ride but the City will offer a reduced fare of $1.00 per ride for youth, disabled, and low-income populations.
Milpitas SMART will officially launch on September 12th! You will be able to book trips through the Milpitas SMART mobile app (Apple App Store or Google Play), on the web booking site, or by calling (408) 330-3302. The City is excited about how Milpitas SMART will transform the way Milpitas’ residents and workers travel through the City.
Milpitas SMART will offer an affordable service to Milpitas’ commuters, including those not conveniently served today by transit, and significant vulnerable/transit-dependent population by supporting and complementing the Milpitas BART Station and VTA’s existing bus and rail services. The program will combine the convenience of a ride-hailing service like Uber or Lyft with the capacity and affordability of a more traditional shuttle or vanpool service. Riders will be able to request service through a mobile app and be picked up at one of many virtual locations throughout Milpitas and dropped off at one of four hubs, and vice versa. The local business community will benefit from the Milpitas OnDemand service as first mile/last mile connectivity is important to and from the Milpitas Transit Center and is a high priority for local employers.
The City of Milpitas was awarded $1,084,732 in grant funding through the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) 2016 Measure B Program to implement Milpitas SMART. The program is funded by the 2016 Measure B ballot measure for a 30-year half-cent countywide sales tax. VTA established several program categories including Innovative Transit Service Models. The goal of this program category is to support affordable new innovative transit service models to address first/last-mile connections to transit and serve the vulnerable, underserved and transit-dependent population.
The City partnered with RideCo, a transportation consultant that specializes in micro-transit services, to submit a proposal for funding through the Innovative Transit Service Models Program to develop and implement Milpitas SMART. On March 4th, 2021 the VTA Board of Directors approved the recommended projects, including Milpitas SMART.
On April 5, 2022, the Milpitas City Council authorized the City Manager to execute a funding agreement with the VTA for the 2016 Measure B Innovative Transit Service Models Program. Additionally, the City Council adopted a resolution to approve and authorize the City Manager to execute an agreement with RideCo to operate Milpitas SMART.
City Council Meeting – April 5, 2022
The agenda report with attachments can be accessed here.
Riders will be able to book trips through the Milpitas SMART mobile app (Apple App Store or Google Play), on the web booking site, or by calling (408) 330-3302. Milpitas SMART will provide rides from one of many virtual stops throughout Milpitas to one of 4 transit “hubs” in the City (City Hall, Great Mall, Milpitas Transit Center, and VTA Alder Station), and vice versa. Riders can also request rides from one hub to another. Rides can be booked on-demand or in advance.
What are the Milpitas SMART health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Milpitas SMART is committed to offering a safe transportation option that adheres to all local and state public health guidelines. We recommend that all drivers and passengers wear face masks.
Where can I ride Milpitas SMART?
Service will be available in all areas within Milpitas. However, the pick-up or drop-off location must be one of the four hubs in Milpitas: Milpitas Transit Center, Great Mall, City Hall, and VTA Alder Station.
What are the Milpitas SMART service hours?
Monday through Friday, 7am to 7pm.
How is this different from Uber or Lyft and other transit services in the area?
Milpitas SMART combines the convenience and flexibility of ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft with the capacity and affordability of traditional transit services. Milpitas SMART allows on-demand booking and pick-up at virtual stops to minimize wait times. The rides are affordable, and the vehicles allow for ADA accessibility, bike storage, and greater capacity. Additionally, Milpitas SMART will only provide rides from a virtual stop to one of four hubs in Milpitas (Milpitas Transit Center, Great Mall, City Hall, and VTA Alder Station) and vice versa to offer a first/last-mile solution and support ridership for existing transit services (VTA light-rail and bus and BART).
What other modes of transit can I connect to?
Milpitas SMART will connect to:
- VTA light rail service: Orange Line (Alder, Great Mall, and Milpitas Transit Center)
- VTA bus service: lines 20, 44, 47, 60, 66, 70, 71, 77, and 104
- AC Transit bus service: 217 and 239
- Milpitas BART Station: Orange Line and Green Line
Where can I board Milpitas SMART?
Pick-up and drop-off will be available at designated locations within the pilot zone.
What type of seats can I book?
If you are a passenger with a bike, you can book a seat with Regular (bike) option. Bike racks have the capacity for two bikes.
If you require accessible seating, you can book a seat with Accessible option. You also have the option to add an additional companion traveling with you as a Regular Seat.
Other passengers can book up to 5 seats with Regular option.
Please remember that all passengers in one booking need to travel at the same time and get picked up and dropped off at the same stops.
How much does it cost for a ride?
The regular adult fare is $2.50 per ride but the City will offer a reduced fare of $1.00 per ride for youth, disabled, and low-income persons. Children 5 years of age and younger can ride for free. Children must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or responsible person over the age of 16.
Am I eligible for a reduced fare?
Youth, disbled, and low-income persons (household income of 200% of the federal poverty level or less) will be eligible for the reduced fare of $1.00.
How do I pay for a ride?
You can add a credit card to your Milpitas SMART account and pay when you book your ride. Alternatively, you can pay with cash when you board the vehicle but must have the exact fare as change will not be provided.
How do I book in advance?
Choose a date or time in advance. Bookings can be made on-demand up to 7 days in advance.
You have the option to book for multiple days with the same pick-up and drop-off schedule.
How do I schedule a trip?
Book trips with the Milpitas SMART mobile app (Apple App Store or Google Play) on the web booking site, or by calling (408) 330-3302. If you book a trip on the web booking site, you will not receive automatic alerts about the status of your trip as you would when using the mobile app.
When you make a reservation, you will be able to choose from a list of options for the pick-up and drop-ff times that best suits your schedule.
How do I cancel or change a scheduled ride?
You cannot change your existing ride-booking. However, you can cancel your ride and book a new ride that suits your pick-up location or destination. A trip can be cancelled with the Milpitas SMART app, online on the web booking site, or by calling (408) 330-3302 If you have pre-paid for your ride with a credit card, a credit will be applied to your account.
Can I book in another language besides English?
The Milpitas SMART app and web booking site are currently available in English and Spanish. Patrons can call (408) 330-3302 to book in English.
How do I know when a driver will pick me up?
Your ride booking will specify a time window of 10 minutes for pick-up. We advise you to reach your pick-up point 5 minutes before your pick-up window. As it gets closer to the time of your ride, we will send you an updated ETA. You will also receive a notification when your vehicle has arrived. Updates are sent via SMS and the Milpitas SMART app. Furthermore, you have the option to use the mobile app to track your vehicle’s location in real-time as it comes to pick you up.
How will I recognize my Milpitas SMART ride?
Milpitas SMART vehicles have distinctive coloring and graphics. In addition, the app and SMS notifications will provide the vehicle number you are expecting as your ride approaches.
How long will the driver wait for me?
You will receive a notification when your vehicle has arrived to pick you up. As a courtesy to your co-riders, the driver will only wait for up to 1 minute. To stay on schedule, the vehicle will depart of you do not show up within the 1-minute waiting period.
What if I do not show for my ride?
When you book a ride with Milpitas SMART, you are making a commitment to the system and driver as a schedule is created to accommodate your trip. If you are unable to take the ride, we advise you to cancel as soon as possible.
Will I be able to rate my trip?
Yes. At the end of the trip, mobile app customers will be invited to rate their ride and submit comments about Milpitas SMART.
What is Milpitas SMART’s policy for car seats?
In compliance with California law, all passengers under 8 must ride in an appropriate Child Restraint System (CRS), such as a safety seat or booster; and all passengers under 2 must ride in an appropriate rear-facing safety seat. Caregivers must provide an appropriate safety seat and install it in the vehicle. Unfortunately, while drivers can provide information about latch attachment points, they cannot assist caregivers with installation.
What if I am traveling with a service animal or pet?
Service animals are always welcome, as required by law. All other pets must be secured in an enclosed carrier to board Milpitas SMART.
Who will be my driver and are they required to have a background check?
All Milpitas SMART drivers are screened before they are hired and have received specialized safety training, including incident prevention. All drivers must also pass a thorough background check.