After several years of development, the Detroit Bus Company is ready to begin rolling out the pilot phase of its newest transit project.
Kept under wraps since team members began working on the project in the fall of 2014, Detroit Bus Company is announcing Hyper, a dynamic transit system that could grow the company from a local one to a global one.
While Detroit Bus Company owner Andy Didirosi says that the company he founded in 2011 will remain a small local business and maintain its current services, Hyper has the potential to be adopted the world over.
It works like this: Hyper's team of developers believes it has created a dynamic ride-hailing service that maximizes cost-effective and -efficient transit. The company's new fleet of 10-to-14 passenger minibuses could be the sweet spot between the four-seat sedans of apps like Lyft and Uber and the 30-to-40 passenger municipal buses.
"The primary issue we've found in public transit is a coordination issue. It still relies on fixed routes with schedules posted on telephone poles," Didirosi says. "The process to review and update routes is arduous, even in a well-funded system."
With the Hyper platform, users hail a ride through their phones. The system then sends them a pick-up point — which will typically be under 1/8th of a mile away. Riders than board the mini-bus, which the system sends on efficient routes to their destinations while picking up people along the way.
Hyper mini-buses will be equipped with bike racks and wifi. In an effort to ensure that the Hyper service isn't limited to those with smart phones, the service will be available through an app, SMS text messages, and a telephone operator.
Detroit Bus Company will operate its own Hyper service in Detroit. It is currently looking for partners to adopt the service in other municipalities.
A pilot service could launch as soon as this spring.
"We've been working on this for a while but waiting for the market to catch up. If ride-share scooters can capture the public's imagination, an idea like this can go global," Didirosi says. "But back in 2014 this would have been a fringe idea."
For those interested, visit the Detroit Bus Company online to register as an early adopter of the program.
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