Transit in flex: Examining service fragmentation of app-based, on-demand transit services in Texas

David P. Weinreich, S. Matthew Reeves, Amruta Sakalker, Shima Hamidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


App-based, on-demand services are a nascent mode of public transportation, which can provide point to point transportation, first-last mile access to fixed route transit, or serve in place of paratransit, among other uses. First-last mile service has emerged as a dominant service model in the Federal Transit Administration's MOD Sandbox Program. However this service model also requires strong integration between app-based, on-demand services and the traditional fixed route lines they connect to. Following previous research identifying the role transit governmental institutions can play in creating barriers to service integration, this study examines whether and how governmental institutions known to impact fixed route services have a similar effect on app-based, on-demand modes. This study surveys cities and transit agencies across Texas. Interviews and archival analysis are used to identify fragmentation challenges and causes in app-based, on-demand services. This study finds that many of the jurisdictional challenges identified for fixed route services also apply to emerging app-based, on-demand services. However the need for integration of apps poses a challenge not seen before. Integration needs make app-based, on-demand services of limited suitability for first/last mile connectivity when provided by separate agencies or companies, when formal and informal coordination is poor, and when fixed route services are infrequent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100060
JournalTransportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives
StatePublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • App-based, on-demand
  • Fragmentation
  • Integration
  • Interagency coordination
  • Public transit
  • Transportation Network Companies (TNC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Transit in flex: Examining service fragmentation of app-based, on-demand transit services in Texas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this