Doesn't this violate social distancing by forcing people close together?
If you have taken the subway in NYC, chances are you know what being really close together means...The premise of Mission Transit is that you are close with other commuters but the number of commuters you are close to is many, many, times fewer than what you would experience on old transportation systems. Just ask yourself how many people you actually recognize on your way to work each day. Unless you already take express buses, you very rarely see the same person ever. That means that you come in contact with hundreds of people every week on your way to and from work. Each of those hundreds of people you come in contact with, come into contact with their own hundreds of people each week as well...That means that you could potentially infect, or be infected by, tens of thousands of people each week. In a city like New York, it's good to be the Virus.
With Mission Transit, you travel with the same group of 49 people in the morning and the same (but different group) 49 people in the commute home. If someone on a bus gets sick, the potential for spreading is strongly confined to that bus. Tracking the epidemic becomes a much less daunting task than if the entire public transit system needed to be traced.
What if I am late to the pick up point?
Mission Transit recommends that each member carry a common transit pass to account for these rare events. This system is not designed to replace the public transit system. This system was designed to improve rush hour transit performance for everyone by collecting commuters and reducing surge traffic flows. One corollary is that only one bus can be scheduled to run a given route.
There can't be that many people near me that are traveling to the same location I travel to each day.
Yes...yes there are. Mission Transit has researched bulk commuter data to determine general starting and ending points of over 1 million commuters. Making a few assumptions, we have determined the viability of this enterprise as not only plausible but long overdue. The two major questions are "what percentage of them are using public transit?" and "how many of these common-route people traverse those common routes at a similar enough time to be grouped onto the same express bus?". The answer to both of these questions is "Enough".