RIDE KC: Bridj began service March 7

BridgjThe Kansas City Area Transportation Authority launched its new Ride KC: Bridj micro transit service on Monday, March 7.

The app-based service area includes downtown Kansas City, Hospital Hill, Crown Center, portions of Midtown, University of Kansas Medical Center and the Historic 18th and Vine Jazz district. The service is available for morning and afternoon rush hour trips, from 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.

The introductory fare for the pilot program will be only $1.50, the same as a fare for the local RideKC bus service. To sweeten the deal, Ride KC: Bridj offers the first 10 rides for free with the promo code KCBRIDJ.

Customers can download the app now from the Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Search for “Bridj” to find the app. Beginning Monday, the same ride-haling technology for Boston and DC will be available in Kansas City. Ride KC: Bridj will feature free Wi-Fi, a guaranteed seat, no transfers and fewer stops along the way.

Powered by billions of data points, Bridj’s platform determines where riders want to go and how to get them there most efficiently. Using the Bridj mobile app, riders can request on-demand shuttle service that they can access via pop-up shuttle stations. Ford is the exclusive vehicle provider for Ride KC: Bridj because of its commitment to enabling urban mobility through its Ford Smart Mobility plan. The 10 Ford Transit vehicles were built at its Kansas City Assembly Plant and have been specially outfitted for this project with a custom 14-passenger seating layout and custom-installed large running board for passenger convenience. Bright logos on the sides make for easy visibility.

This partnership between Bridj, KCATA and Ford is the first U.S. public-private collaboration bringing together a major U.S. transit system, an automaker and an urban technology company to enhance existing mass transit by providing greater mobility options.

“Modernizing urban infrastructure will be the single greatest technology challenge of our time, and this pilot is part of the solution by significantly extending the current capabilities of Kansas City’s mass transit system,” said Matt George, CEO of Bridj.

The one-year pilot program is generating interest across the nation. Cities and transit agencies across the nation have reached out to KCATA to find out more about the groundbreaking partnership.

“Bridj will be an empowering tool that will offer one more option to make it easier for people to get around,” said Robbie Makinen, KCATA president and CEO. “KCATA is a place where bus, bike, streetcar and rapid transit come together to create a seamless and borderless transportation network that’s easy and friendly to use. Bridj will be a valuable addition to Kansas City’s mix of transportation options.”