2023 was a transformative year for The Routing Company (“TRC”). This is not just because we grew our business and gained experience as we deployed more of our services in Europe and North America. It’s because we grew meaningfully – by developing and launching products that put our customers (and their riders) first, and by putting customer experience above all else. We also positioned ourselves for exciting and scalable growth in on-demand transportation (“ODT”) in the near term.
This required a dedicated pursuit of integrating ODT into our customer’s core networks, making it straightforward to launch, and enjoyable to use for our partners (customers) – as well as more efficient, reliable, and accessible for their riders. As you’ll read below, we focused on and invested in these areas to deliver the best experience possible.
We’re focused on moving the world and we’ve doubled down on helping our partners realize even more success in 2024. This meant 2023 had to serve as a solid foundation builder and a springboard for future growth (by all accounts, it did), and prove that TRC’s products can make existing public transportation networks better.
Indeed, transformation seems to have been the theme for 2023. Here are a few reasons why.
We tripled our deployments and successfully supported our partners and riders
Over the past year, we’ve grown from 10 deployments to 32, with upcoming launches under contract that will bring us to 47 in total. Today, we support deployments in the United States, the Netherlands, Andorra, Scotland, and England.
It was a big year for us, but even more so for our partners. There are many firsts to celebrate alongside them. In 2023, we marked our:
fourth partnership in Europe,
first partnership with a rail entity (supporting multimodal transportation between urban and rural communities),
first commingled deployments,
first non-emergency medical transportation (or “NEMT”) deployment, and
the first instance of riders being able to request rides with multiple California transportation agencies and zones using one app (Ride Pingo).
It was a big year of “firsts” worth noting – and you can read more about them here.
We helped move more than 800,000 people
In my 2022 year in review, we had moved 200,000 people. The increase in deployments has driven increased ridership and we’re nearing the one million mark very soon.
This is an exciting milestone for our team, but more so for our partners as they continue deploying ODT and commingled services (meaning vehicles are used for both paratransit and regular on-demand services at the same time) to deliver public transportation more efficiently than ever before.
This approach also continues to strengthen existing fixed route networks, given our Transit Connect™ and Transit Protect™ products both ensure ODT doesn’t operate in a vacuum from existing transit routes, which is a win for everyone.
We supported our partners and helped them double the reach of their services
On both sides of the pond, we’re seeing a greater frequency of commingling services (…you know it’s here to stay when the FTA recognizes it as part of shared mobility definitions). The impetus for commingling is because it gives operators the flexibility to use the same fleet of vehicles and drivers to deliver both paratransit and ODT services, meaning better operational efficiency and use of assets. It also enables greater responsiveness to ride requests.
By launching ODT and commingled services, several customers have seen positive boosts to ridership. One such example is FAST Transit, who saw more than doubled on-demand ridership and 99% on-time performance since launching commingled paratransit service with TRC in September last year.
The service, using existing paratransit vehicles, replaced unproductive fixed routes and since launch has seen over 60% booking within the Ride Pingo™ app (versus call-ins), and more than 10,000 people moved. Learn more about the FAST deployment here.
We added different ways to move: paratransit and NEMT
As our North American and European footprint grew, so did our ability to support different ways people need to move.
In 2023, we began offering paratransit, NEMT, commingling, and shuttle service on the Pingo™ platform. Many of our partners run many or even all of these services simultaneously. For example, our fleet operator partners Maruti and Sarah Car Care provide NEMT services, and RMA provides corporate, university shuttles, and on-demand services.
As you read above, FAST Transit’s commingled paratransit service continues to deliver remarkable impact for its riders and community, and we have a few more paratransit launches lined up for Q1 of 2024.
Not to be forgotten is our growing Pingo Shuttle™ feature. Since launching our first campus partner (Virginia Commonwealth University or “VCU”) late 2022, we have expanded our shuttle product globally among several corporate, campus, and transit agency partners.
We worked hard to earn our customer love and their riders’ appreciation
Throughout 2023, we invested in the areas of our company focused on unmatched customer experience, to continue best supporting increases in deployments from launch to beyond (what we’re known for at TRC). This means product, engineering, and operations.
Today, our team – collectively speaking 16 languages – spans ten countries and supports customer operations from hubs in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
We were fortunate to already have great feedback from our customers. But, our dedication to building products and providing support that customers love has helped make a difference. We hear regularly from customers that our support prior to, during, and following launch remains unmatched. We’re humbled to see this sentiment reflected in our net promoter score (or “NPS”) and retention rates.
In 2023, we had zero customer churn and our NPS score stayed at 63. This is a point we are particularly proud of.
We shared data with our customers to help them hit their goals
Late in 2023, TRC released Pingo™ data that demonstrated a remarkable 31% of trips occur in place of single occupancy vehicle trips, meaning more cars taken off the road. In addition to helping reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, Pingo™ has proven its effectiveness as a shared ride solution, delivering a higher utilization of vehicles compared to industry competitors.
As published in Bloomberg, David Zipper pointed out that existing microtransit will not scale with 1-2 passengers per hour utilization to any meaningful level in global public transit. The math doesn’t work on a cost per passenger trip basis. This is because $45 a trip is too expensive for what public transit can fund at scale. To create convenient on-demand transit, you need super high average seat utilization and ideally better value supply that still rewards drivers fairly.
The Pingo data we recently released showed how we are different and why this is critical to reduce the cost per passenger trip to a price that can scale within public transit. Operators can regularly fill 18-person shuttles with our Pingo on-demand transit product. At its peak, TRC’s routing engine powered the pickup of 26 passengers per hour via the Pingo™ app, and its seat utilization continues to be unmatched.
The chart below shows our passengers per vehicle revenue hour (referred to as “PAX / VRH”) for our on-demand fleets during 2023. We show our average, our 75th percentile (p75), and our max (p100). At our max, we are able to move nearly 30 passengers per vehicle hour, which demonstrates our algorithmic advantage in action.
Further, the data showed users consistently rating Pingo™ 4.9 out of 5.0 stars, maintaining extreme “customer love” while delivering operational efficiency. The average wait time for a shared ride is less than 15 minutes, with less than five minutes of in-car delay for shared rides once in transit.
These are metrics we’re proud of and can stand behind, and we strive to continue improving them every day, in every deployment we operate.
We launched two more game changing products: Pingo Access™ and Pingo Analytics™
We continued innovating our products throughout 2023, but our most exciting moment was launching Pingo Access™ – a game changer in delivering paratransit services, improving operational efficiency, and enhancing the paratransit rider experience.
Pingo Access™ has already proven effective in dramatically changing the rider experience for the better, and we’ve continued evolving it since launching last July (read more on our lessons learned here). The FAST deployment is one example of turning the paratransit experience into a more responsive, empowering, and better quality transportation experience for its riders.
We also launched Pingo Analytics™, our next generation customer transit analytics and reporting tool, with customizable reports that meet National Transit Database (or “NTD”) reporting requirements. We’ve continuously improved this product by adding self-serve reporting capabilities, and have exciting updates in store for 2024.
We overhauled the Pingo™ rider and driver app as well as the operator dashboard
In 2023, we unveiled new Pingo™ branding and completely redesigned rider app, driver app, and dashboard.
Last spring we launched our new Pingo™ brand via the all new ridepingo.com website and redesigned Ride Pingo™ app, and we’ve continually enhanced and updated the app since. This includes better user experience (“UX”) and user interface (“UI”) design with optimized features, improved accessibility, and updated branding.
We applauded increased funding for ODT and commingled services
We saw an exciting shift in policy and funding for ODT throughout 2023. Just some of the positive indicators of industry support for continued ODT adoption and commingled paratransit services came in the form of new funding opportunities and amendments to existing ones to more explicitly include ODT.
It includes the Federal Transit Administration’s (“FTA”) Dear Colleague Letter issued last fall, clarifying that several existing funding programs can be used to support enhanced paratransit services, including real-time service and intermediate stops. It also includes the FTA’s $120 million Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation program, and its $4.7 million Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility program – both of which support ODT and commingled paratransit deployments (read more about them here).
Lastly, it also includes the New York Innovative Mobility Initiative, which allocated $10 million for state agencies to deploy ODT projects.
We sought to make ODT accessible to all and integrated into fixed route transit networks
We care about making transit accessible for all, and empowering operators to do so. We unfortunately also know not every agency has the means to test out ODT, and we wanted to help communities bridge the gap.
As a result, we ended 2023 by launching the TRC Pilot Search – a six month pilot using our Pingo platform. The purpose was to prove the value we can add to our customer’s transit systems by working with them closely in a pilot.
I’m happy to say we’ve got some exciting projects launching in 2024.
At TRC, our mantra remains to “move the world” and we continue to do so. The only difference between this and last year’s update is that we’ve added customers, languages, verticals, milestones, countries, products, people, and ridership records.
This is all due to our incredible partners who have placed their trust in TRC and who have innovated alongside our team, resulting in products that are changing the way we move around the world. From the TRC team, please accept our sincere thanks for the opportunity to make a difference in your community.
The coming year has opened the doors for our most exciting chapter yet. We hope you’ll stay along for the ride.
Chief Executive Officer
The Routing Company