Ridesharing company Uber has been working with Central Florida cities for a couple years now to encourage people to leave their cars in the garage and take an Uber instead.
The Central Florida Mobility Pilot Program has each city involved — Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Longwood, Maitland and Sanford — pay 20 percent of Uber fares that started in a different city and ended on their turf. Additionally, City Hall picks up a quarter of the tab for riders who get picked up or dropped off at a SunRail station.
Uber announced “Phase II” of the program in late August, after the first phase of the pilot, which featured slightly different reimbursement rates, proved a success. Less than a year later, it’s saying the same thing about Phase II.
“We have been extremely encouraged by the pilots developed in the cities of Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Longwood, Maitland and Sanford these last two years,” said Kasra Moshkani, Uber’s general manager in the Southeast. “The success of this program, by offering residents and visitors a future with less congestion, less individual car use, more shared rides, and more multimodal trips, has allowed for a new way of inter-city movement.”
The company that over the course of the 10-month pilot, riders took more than 185,000 trips with a total cost of $330,000. The five cities ponied up $63,770 combined, or about 19 percent.
“By creating innovative projects like this, we can better serve our residents through direct incentives and find viable, cost-effective mobility solutions for Central Florida,” said Altamonte Springs City Manager Frank Martz. “By thinking outside the box and going that extra mile for our communities, we have developed a solid model that can act as a framework for future transportation models around the nation.”
Uber said the results of the pilot show there is “clear demand for reliable, convenient and affordable transportation options for Central Florida residents.” The company added that the cities are currently working on a “more robust discount program for residents.”