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How we reduce cost per rider without sacrificing service quality


Transportation programs offer communities a multitude of benefits, from emissions and traffic reduction to better quality of life. One of the key metrics in assessing program efficiency is Cost Per Rider (CPR). At Circuit, we are able to achieve one of the lowest CPRs in the industry through our carefully designed services that create high demand for lower costs to the city.


What is Cost Per Rider?

In the world of public transportation and transit programs, cost per passenger or cost per rider is how much it costs the provider (like a city or transit agency) to move one person. It is calculated by dividing the cost of the transportation service by the total number of riders. 

cpr calculation graphic-01-1

The cost of a transit system is the sum of the investment in planning, vehicles, infrastructure, operations, and wages for workers. If a transportation service has revenue from fares or advertising, that offsets the total cost of the service. 


Cost Per Rider across the Industry

Circuit has achieved some of the industry's lowest CPRs by running efficient services that provide great, on-demand experiences for riders. Circuit’s Cost Per Rider across a majority of the company’s on-demand microtransit service locations averages 4 times lower than comparable programs. 

High-utilization fixed-route programs in Broward County, Florida and LA Metro, CA have a CPR of ~$7.00/rider. However, on-demand microtransit programs in the same markets have cost per riders of $46.00 and $63.00 respectively.

Cost Per Rider in Key Markets


How is Circuit able to have such a low CPR?

By using small electric vehicles with a specialized ride pooling algorithm, Circuit can be more economical and convenient, circulating more people in a more efficient way.

Choosing the Fleet: Electric NEVs

At Circuit we use flexible fleets of neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs). Without the costs of extensive infrastructure (like bus stops and train stations), Circuit can activate services quickly and at a low implementation cost. Since we use electric vehicles, we save on gas too! 

Thoughtfully Designed Service Areas

Circuit operates in designated service areas, which are designed with each community in mind. We focus on transit hubs, downtown districts, and local hot spots to design services that serve the most amount of people. We keep our service areas small to reduce wait times and boost efficiency, thus increasing the amount of rides we can give.

Cost Mitigating Factors: Advertising & Fares 

Circuit’s unique vehicle fleet offers brands an eye-catching platform to advertise. Advertising revenue offsets the total cost of the system, saving the city money and ensuring the financial sustainability of the program. Nominal rider fares also allow Circuit to return revenue back to the City through farebox recovery. 

Encouraging High Ridership 

At Circuit, high utilization rate helps lower our cost per rider. Through ride pooling and designing based on demand, we’re able to move tens of thousands of people a month at competitive rates compared to other providers. 


Connecting Communities

Investment in transit infrastructure is crucial for transforming our cities into more human-centric environments and reducing reliance on cars. Public transit is a cornerstone for saving money, time, space, and preserving our environment. Circuit's services complement these main transit systems by providing flexible, efficient last mile transportation solutions specifically designed for the unique demands of bustling downtown areas.

We partner with public and private transit operators like DART and Brightline to close first/last mile gaps between stations and final destinations. In helping riders get to and from their stop or station, Circuit boosts ridership on their existing transit systems and improves those service’s CPR as a result. In West Dallas, transit stops within Circuit’s coverage area were some of the top performing routes in the whole DART system.


At Circuit we’re transforming community mobility with affordable, all-electric microtransit solutions. If you’re interested in revamping short-distance transportation in your community, reach out to the Circuit team today


Circuit Team

Circuit Team

Your Local Electric Shuttle
Dedicated to improving the sustainability and connectivity of communities one ride at a time

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