MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation: DART – The First and Last Mile Solution Evaluation Plan

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Authors: Gustave Cordahi, Susan Shaheen, PhD, Elliot Martin, PhD

Date: June 2018


The MOD Sandbox Demonstrations are sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The MOD Sandbox Demonstrations Independent Evaluation is sponsored by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), jointly by the Intelligent Transportation Systems – Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) and the FTA. All documents are USDOT publications. You may access the document at:

DART is a transit agency in Dallas, Texas, that operates bus, light rail, commuter rail, streetcar, paratransit, and vanpool services in Dallas and its suburbs. While DART has expanded its services significantly to help accommodate the explosive growth in the area, increasing rider penetration and service frequency, most notably through bus service, has been a challenge. Many residents of the Dallas/Fort Worth area have difficulty completing the first mile and last mile(FMLM) of their commutes, even while high-frequency rail or bus service is available for a major portion of their trips. Nearly 28 percent of all residents and 24 percent of all DART service area jobs are more than 1/4 mile from a bus stop or rail station.

DART’s MOD Sandbox demonstration aims at implementing FMLM solutions to improve service and connectivity for customers and provide efficiencies and cost effectiveness within DART’s operations.

To solve the FMLM challenge, DART is leveraging its GoPass ticketing app to implement a soft integration, also referred to as a smart-app switch, into the apps for transportation network companies (TNCs) (e.g., Uber and Lyft). This will provide seamless access to multiple transportation options, allowing the DART community the ability to travel door to door. This will be accomplished by leveraging the application programming interfaces (APIs) or software development kit (SDK) of key MOD providers including Yellow Taxi (Irving Holdings), Lyft, Uber, and Carpool services, and bike share programs.

This MOD Sandbox project will involve a smart-app switch of the following modes in the GoPass test application for requesting and paying for rides:

  • GoTaxi – Taxi-services with wheelchair accessible services
  • GoLink – Microtransit services and on-demand services
  • GoPool – Carpool services
  • GoConnect – DART public on-demand and TNC services
  • GoBike – Bike sharing.

Total funding provided for this project is $1,204,000 in U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) funds and $301,000 in local matching funds, for a total budget of $1,505,000. DART will need to evaluate full app integration, as the cost will exceed the federal funding source provided.

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March 16, 2020