APPLETON, Wis. (Oct. 4, 2022) – Valley Transit, the public transportation service in the Fox Cities, is celebrating the 15th anniversary of VT Connector, a supplemental microtransit service that helps fill gaps in its traditional fixed-route bus service.
Through a contracted service provider, Valley Transit operates vans to help connect passengers outside of the normal bus service area to a bus route and provides trips before or after normal bus operating hours. According to the American Public Transportation Association, transit agencies across the country are implementing microtransit solutions to improve the rider’s experience.
“Valley Transit Connector is yet another area where our local transit system has been ahead of the curve,” said Appleton Mayor Jake Woodford. “While other communities are just setting up micro and para-transit programs in the wake of the pandemic, we are celebrating 15 years of providing this essential resource for the Fox Cities.”
VT Connector was first introduced in 2007, in partnership with United Way Fox Cities, and was among the first microtransit services offered in the United States.
“Valley Transit saw the need for more flexibility in our service offerings before many other transit agencies did,” said Ron McDonald, Valley Transit’s general manager. “Microtransit has really picked up in popularity in the last 5-10 years, but our community has been benefiting from this service for 15 years already, and we’re really proud of that.”
VT Connector has proven that it is an effective way to connect job seekers with employers. From its start in 2007 through mid-2021, VT Connector provided more than 227,000 rides, with 95% of those rides to employment-related destinations.
Through information gathered from individuals using VT Connector, 84 percent of riders said they were able to apply for more jobs in outlying areas of the Fox Cities and 75 percent were successful at obtaining a job because of VT Connector.
“By helping individuals overcome transportation barriers we are providing an important connection between job seekers, employees, and businesses,” said McDonald.
The service area for the VT Connector consists of six key transfer points in the Fox Cities. Its late evening service operates from 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. and early morning service is from 4 – 6 a.m.
For more information on Valley Transit, or to learn about its VT Connector service, visit myvalleytransit.com.