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CATCH A RIDE: LeeTran launches Uber-style app for Bonita Springs, Lehigh Acres

LeeTran’s “ULTRA On-Demand” offers residents “curb-to-curb” service in Lehigh Acres and Bonita Springs
Posted at 4:14 PM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 17:56:09-04

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Waiting for public transportation has taken a new turn in Lehigh and Bonita Springs. LeeTran's “ULTRA On-Demand" service has a new app that allows residents of Lehigh Acres and Bonita Springs to call a mini-bus directly to their doorstep.

Fox 4’s Austin Schargorodski recently took a ride to show how LeeTran hopes the service will make the public transit experience better.

If you’re familiar with Uber or Lyft apps, you’ll be right at home. You enter your pick-up and drop-off points, then schedule a ride. The vehicle is tracked in real time, and in a few minutes the ‘ULTRA’ mini-bus shows up.

Booking a ride on LeeTrans "ULTRA On-Demand" ride sharing app.
Booking a ride on LeeTrans "ULTRA On-Demand" ride sharing app.

Inside the bus, there are three rows of seats with room for up to 11 people.

One of the passengers, Jack, explained he uses this service for all his commuting needs, saying, "It’s been great! Especially for getting to doctors appointments like I’m doing now."

Right now, it costs $1.50 for every ride, but that price will go up to $3.00 in June. Still, Jack told me it’s an affordable and convenient option for him.

Inside an "ULTRA On-Demand" mini-bus, which seats up to 11 people.
Inside an "ULTRA On-Demand" mini-bus, which seats up to 11 people.

In the past, people had to use the Uber app to book the rides. LeeTran’s Marketing Communications Manager, Stacey Perkins, explained the app aims to streamline the booking process and service.

“Our proprietary app now matches the branding of our vehicles. So, there’s a security element that’s involved in that. Our algorithm improvements with this particular app have helped with the on-time performance and frequency of our vehicles,” said Perkins.

Stacey Perkins, LeeTran's Marketing Communications Manager.
Stacey Perkins, LeeTran's Marketing Communications Manager.

Perkins said this service rolled out to Bonita Springs in 2022, then Lehigh last year, but it’s just not getting its own app. Perkins said these two locations made great pilot program’s due to the landscape, the demand, and need for transportation.

Since the app launched on Monday, May 6th, Perkins said the buses have been getting filled up, with a 25% increase in riders in the first two days.

Going forward, Perkins said LeeTran will continue expanding the service.

“We’re definitely looking at other markets. Constantly we look at markets as far as the need , and we’re constantly evaluating those demands,” said Perkins.