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New London to launch on-demand ride share service on Monday

New London — The city will launch its new NL SmartRide program on Monday, an on-demand public transportation service similar to ride-hailing systems like Uber.

The pilot program, scheduled to run from Dec. 8 to May 8, is a joint effort from the New London Parking Authority and Southeast Area Transit District. The pilot program will be implemented in partnership with Spare, a micro-transit app company based in Vancouver, Canada. To use the new micro-transit service, passengers first download the free Spare Rider app to their smartphone and then request a ride.

NL SmartRide customers without smartphones also will be able to request same-day rides by calling (860) 934-5234 or by going online to parkinnewlondon.com.

Small, neighborhood-friendly mini-buses will pick up riders and drop them off wherever they wish to travel within New London. Along the way, the shuttle may pick up other passengers who also request a ride. The shuttle’s mini-buses are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act to accommodate people with disabilities.

NL SmartRide will be free during the pilot program. If the pilot program goes well, the service will expand and become a part of the New London Parking Authority’s regular service. Thereafter, the cost to ride is only $1.75 per trip, or $0.85 for those eligible for discounted fares — seniors, students, and persons with disabilities — with proper ID.

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