I have been dealing with SacRT about two factors related to their SmaRT shuttle service in Rancho Cordova and getting basically nowhere.
SmaRT is an Uber like shuttle service where you use an App to call a bus to your location. Unfortunately, our senior community of over 450 households is on the wrong side of Sunrise Blvd, placing it “Out of Zone”.
1 – Having our homes recognized as being “In Zone”.
When you are at Target, with the nearest bus stop being on Olsen, you are directed to walk to that stop if you request a ride. That tells me that the functionality is already included in the App, allowing you to do the same thing for any home inside of the MCC community. Simply redirect any MCC request to a bus stop external to MCC. In fact, when I used the pin drop feature, that is exactly what you do.
The main issue is not when I leave home, as the pin drop function is a work-around. The problem is when I want to go home. Then, I need to use the address of a local gas station, the community entrance, or the pin drop function to get a ride home.
Once my home address is placed “In Zone”, it should be recognized and the closest bus stop would then be flagged as the destination.
2. Activate a bus stop inside the community.
If you can’t handle using a code to open the gate, simply restrict use of the internal stop to hours when the park gates are open. If someone wants to ride the bus outside of your hours, divert them to the external bus stops. This may require a new App feature, to allow adding an availability schedule to the bus stop.
Those with age related limited mobility, who would not feel safe crossing Sunrise Blvd., would be more comfortable using the system.
One example: Dealing with the gate hours.
Once the Covid situation stabilizes, Mary and I are really attracted to the idea of joining up with some other couples and touring the local barrel district. We would gather in front of the clubhouse and call the bus at 4 pm. Then, around 8 pm, we call the bus and ride back to a Sunrise Blvd. bus stop, since the gate would be closed. We could easily live with that restriction.
How is it that Paratransit Buses don’t seem to have any problems related to entering the community when the gates are closed?
3. Expand the Zone (new item)
Unfortunately, I just looked at the map. My idea of a series of visits by bus to the Rancho Cordova Barrel District is off the table. It appears that a majority of the breweries are also “Out of Zone”.
Commentary: MCC Ridership
Currently, I expect that the average monthly ridership from this community, excluding paratransit, is zero. It would be nice if we could change that. In San Jose, my wife lived on VTA buses. Here, she’s only used the SmaRT shuttle service one time, with me as an escort.
I would suggest that she represents your target audience here at MCC.
In addition, unless the zone is expanded to capture more of Rancho Cordova, I will not be using your system except when when taking light rail to the Capital when the Legislature is in session. And, to add insult to injury, I will drive my car to the Sunrise Light Rail Station and not bother with the bus.