NewMo, Newton’s low-cost rideshare service, will add another car and extend its weekday hours for senior citizens due to increased demand and complaints of long wait times, according to Mayor Ruthanne Fuller’s Wednesday newsletter.
“We’ve added a ninth vehicle to the fleet and brought on more drivers to keep within the 20-minute waits for which we strive,” Fuller wrote.
The city launched NewMo, also known as Newton in Motion, in 2019 to provide door-to-door transit service for seniors, but it has since expanded to a citywide transportation option for residents of all ages.
Resident feedback prompted the new additional vehicle and extended hours, Fuller wrote.
NewMo also instituted other changes earlier in 2022 based on past feedback, according to a survey that asks residents to describe their experiences with the service.
“Based on the suggestions you provided in our last survey, we made numerous improvements to NewMo,” Nicole Freedman, director of transportation planning in Newton, wrote in the survey. “We added vehicles, extended the hours, reduced the fare to $2, and, most importantly, now serve everyone in Newton.”
With its previous adjustments, NewMo began using two electric Kia Niros, making it one of the first rideshare services to incorporate electric vehicles, according to Fuller.
The city also plans to transition all vehicles—excluding two wheelchair-accessible vans that require gasoline—to electric over the next year, Fuller wrote.
Fuller emphasized the importance of using resident advice as a tool to make adjustments to NewMo and inform future expansions.
“Help us get even better,” she said. “Whether you’ve taken NewMo once or rely on it regularly, let us know what you think of the experience.”