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New London Parking Authority Launches Innovative On-Demand Ride Share Service

December 03, 2021


New London Parking Authority Launches Innovative On-Demand Ride Share Service



Passengers Schedule Customized Trips Through Smartphone App



NEW LONDON, CT, December 1st, 2021 – The New London Parking Authority and Southeast Area Transit are excited to announce the launch of NL SmartRide, a flexible, dynamic, on-demand micro-transit shuttle service for passengers in New London.

An Uber-like service, NL SmartRide uses a smartphone app for riders to schedule customized curb-to-curb transportation. Small, neighborhood-friendly mini-buses will pick up riders and drop them off wherever they wish to travel within the City of New London. Along the way, the shuttle may pick up other passengers who also request a ride. The shuttle’s mini-buses are ADA compliant to accommodate people with disabilities.

“We are excited to be able to offer residents NL SmartRide, a flexible, on-demand, curb-to-curb service,” said Mayor Michael Passero. “This new program will enhance the City’s current public transportation offerings, allowing riders to schedule trips on demand.”


The pilot program will be implemented in partnership with the New London Parking Authority, Southeast Area Transit, and 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. Following a NL SmartRide request, the Spare Rider app will provide passengers with an estimated pick-up time, track their bus in real-time, and alert them when their ride is about to arrive. Passengers also will be notified when their ride is about to reach their desired destination. With accessibility being a critical component to the micro-transit service, NL SmartRide customers without smartphones will also be able to request same-day rides by calling 860-934-5234 or by going online to www.parkinnewlondon.com.



NL SmartRide will be free during the pilot program, which will operate within the City of New London and will run six months from Dec. 8, 2021, through May 8, 2022. 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, $0.85 for those eligible for discounted fares (seniors, students, and persons with disabilities) with proper ID. With success of the pilot program, the micro-transit service will expand and become a part of the New London Parking Authority’s regular service.


“We are thrilled to bring this exciting public transportation service to the City of New London,” said Carey E. Redd, Director of Parking and CEO for the New London Parking Authority. “The new on-demand ride share service will begin Monday, Dec. 6, and provide a vital public transportation solution for our City’s residents and visitors. Our goal is to bring affordable public transportation to the ridership from their front door to their final destination, whether that destination is The Garde, employment, appointments, shopping, dining, or to New London’s Transportation Hub from which they can travel on to Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, or other locales in New England, New York, or Boston by bus, ferry or train.


As American cities grapple with surges in growth and shifting demographics, municipal transit agencies are rethinking how to address greater accessibility and mobility within their metropolitan areas by implementing agency-owned, micro-transit. The past couple of years has seen a surge in adoption of this new class of flexible, on-demand service. The new micro-transit services are intended to complement existing fixed-route bus, light rail and train services and close gaps within transit regions.



About the New London Parking Authority

The New London Parking Authority was created in June 2015 by a City Council ordinance that amended the New London Municipal Code. The New London Parking Authority is responsible for creating, establishing, maintaining, and operating the City’s dedicated parking facilities. For more information, contact the New London Parking Authority at 860-443-1775.