RabbitTransit calls for Uber

YORK, Pa. -- RabbitTransit is relying on a popular app to help pick up the slack when customers need transportation.

The transit agency is using the popular ride-sharing app Uber to help respond to paratransit calls.

The next time someone calls for RabbitTransit paratransit, they might receive a car instead of a bus.

Getting around is easier said than done for some, and for Rodger Simmons who's unable to see, he couldn't get to where he needs to go without the help of RabbitTransit.

Rodger Simmons said "used the paratransit to get to and from work, to do some shopping. I use paratransit [for] doctors appointments, going out to restaurants."

It's why RabbitTransit officials say they're not just in the transportation business, but the business of getting people from 'Point A' to 'Point B.'

RabbitTransit Rich Farr said "it's a far larger reach than just a transit bus, so we're taking into account all kinds of considerations like access to care, access to food, and how do we partner with a whole bunch of different stakeholders to meet the community's needs."

One of those includes calling upon what some in the transportation business would consider the competition, to get the job done.

"When RabbitTransit I guess doesn't have enough buses, or something, they'll throw me on an Uber," Simmons said.

"They still book their trip through us, and then on the back end, we're looking to see what is the best mode for that individual to get them where they need to go. If it's on our vehicle and they're going to be really early, or really late, maybe that's a trip that we would book Uber to provide," Farr said.

Paratransit buses give people like Simmons more than just a ride, but their independence as well.

"When i first moved to York, when there wasn't very many buses, there wasn't any paratransit, it was very difficult to get around. You can only depend upon family so often," Simmons said.

RabbitTransit is still working out some details such as cost. They say sometimes Uber's cost is higher than what than what RabbitTransit gets reimbursed from the state and federal government.

RabbitTransit operates on a copay for paratransit while Uber prefers to be paid up front.