Reducing transportation emissions is critical to meeting Ulster County's environmental goals. However, electric mobility has been accessible only to those who can purchase new EVs. Meanwhile, dependency on fixed route transit has historically been a barrier to opportunity. New technologies can provide better access while promoting sustainability, but only if centered on those with the least means. The County will lead a community-based equity-focused planning assessment and develop an app and kiosk system that unifies all county-wide clean transportation options: fixed route, bikeshare, and everything in between. This multimodal offering will introduce electric on-demand transit in the county's most disadvantaged areas, Kingston and Ellenville, integrated with and streamlining the county's increasingly electrified bus system.
This project will conduct a county-wide mobility equity planning study; Via will then launch and operate 2 electrified microtransit zones in Kingston and Ellenville. Residents will be able to plan and book multi-modal and intermodal trips by entering their origin and destination into a new Ulster Connect-branded mobile app that will return an itinerary using a combination of dynamic microtransit, fixed route and current and future microbmobility options, optimized to minimize trip time and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The app will be fully accessible and a phone line will be available to riders without smartphones.