Apr 6, 2023
156. First ADA-Compliant AVs Increase Accessibility
When the public and private sector unite, society benefits. And there’s no better example than a pilot program taking place in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
The first rural transit program with accessible AVs, goMARTI enables residents and visitors to take advantage of free, on-demand rides thanks to a unique partnership between May Mobility and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). The program provides safe, accessible mobility for residents, especially those with transportation challenges, while also taking in valuable data used to inform AV operations in rural, winter conditions.
With a fleet of five AVs, including three with ADA-compliant wheelchair accessibility, goMARTI marks the first commercial launch of the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) developed by May Mobility. Covering nearly 17 square miles and including approximately 70 pickup and drop off points, goMARTI also offers accessible features such as audio cues for passengers who are visually impaired.
To learn more about the goMARTI program, we sat down with Kathy Winter, Chief Operations Officer, May Mobility, and Thomas Johnson-Kaiser, CAV-X Engagement and Project Manager, MnDOT, to discuss how their successful public-private partnership is prioritizing accessibility and equity to better serve the Grand Rapids community and beyond.
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