The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced today that SPLT, a provider of ride-sharing platforms, was awarded a $990,000 Michigan Mobility grant for improving paratransit and healthcare transportation in rural Michigan counties. The $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge is a grant initiative seeded with an $8 million legislative appropriation in 2018 to use technology and innovation to address core mobility gaps for seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans across the state.
SPLT, which was acquired by Bosch in 2018, offers both enterprise car-sharing platforms for companies, universities, and municipal authorities (www.splt.io), as well as a platform specifically for healthcare providers (www.spltrides.com). The company will use the funding to enhance its existing healthcare transportation coordination technology with improved alerts and reminders to reduce cancellations and no-shows, a dedicated mobile app to enroll and qualify the users of various agency services, and a central clearinghouse of rider data that integrates with the software already in use by the transit agencies. The technology will be deployed in coordination with three transit agency partners Bay Area Transportation Authority, Benzie Transportation Authority, and Allegan County Transportation, located in Grand Traverse County, Benzie County, and Allegan County, respectively.
"We're honored and excited that the State of Michigan, a leader in the effort to create more efficient, sustainable and scalable transportation solutions, has chosen SPLT to take on the Challenge," said Anya Babbitt, SPLT CEO. "With this award, we will be able to improve lives and simplify transportation access for those most underserved in rural Michigan. With Michigan as our launching pad, we plan to scale across the state and the country."
MDOT issued a Call for Projects in early June and received 43 proposals requesting nearly $27 million in funding. Eight projects have been selected for full or partial funding in the first round, with the potential for more projects to be funded later in the year.
The Michigan Mobility Challenge grants are being awarded to fund the demonstration of projects of varying sizes using new technology and innovative service models. The grants will be used to subsidize a portion of the cost to plan, deliver and monitor the demonstration services for a three- to six-month period, with the remaining costs being covered from fares, local contributions and other funds. Projects are located in urban, rural and suburban communities of varying sizes throughout Michigan and will be coordinated with current services to enhance the existing transportation network in an area.
"Providing equitable and accessible transportation options for all Michigan citizens to access the goods and services they need is a priority," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "The $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge allows us to better utilize the assets we have and introduce new methods for solving mobility gaps and getting travelers to their destinations as safely and efficiently as possible."
Unveiled at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference, the $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge is intended to engage the state's robust technology, startup and transportation networks, along with service providers, advocacy groups and state agencies, including MDOT, PlanetM/Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, and the Bureau of Services to Blind Persons.
"New mobility solutions offer opportunities to make our communities safer, greener and more productive in a way that allows all people to uphold their dignity," said Trevor Pawl, group vice president of PlanetM, the State of Michigan's mobility-focused brand and business development program. "The evolution of transportation demands collaboration between state, industry, community, advocacy, and higher education leaders working together to make sure advancements in how we live, travel and use services improve that quality of life for everyone."
More information about the program is available online at www.michigan.gov/mobilitychallenge. Follow on social media by using #mimobilitychallenge.