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May Mobility and SouthWest Transit announce first autonomous microtransit service in the Twin Cities area

May Mobility and SouthWest Transit today announced they are partnering to provide autonomous microtransit service in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 8, 2024—May Mobility, a leader in the development and deployment of autonomous driving (AD) technology, and SouthWest Transit, an award-winning transit agency serving the SouthWest Metro of Minneapolis, today announced they are partnering to provide autonomous microtransit service in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. May Mobility’s autonomous vehicles (AVs) are scheduled to be integrated into SouthWest Transit’s transportation ecosystem in the fall of this year, providing the public with an additional on-demand option for reliable transportation.

Looking to enhance its existing microtransit service, SouthWest Prime, with an innovative transportation solution, SouthWest Transit has signed a 3-year contract with May Mobility. May Mobility’s AVs will connect the public to residential, employment and shopping districts while also providing essential first- and last-mile transportation to key mobility hubs in Eden Prairie. Riders will be able to conveniently travel to and from pre-determined stops by using their current Prime mobile app, powered by Spare, the leader in on-demand transit software. The service will also include a stop at the Southwest Light Rail, which connects downtown Minneapolis, downtown Saint Paul and places in between.

Over the last five years, Spare has powered SouthWest Transit’s microtransit service. Now, by leveraging the technology and expertise of both Spare and May Mobility, SouthWest Transit will be able to deliver an enhanced and highly reliable transportation experience to their current riders in Eden Prairie and expand those services to those who currently don’t have access.

“We’re excited to be the first to bring this innovative transit solution to the Twin Cities. By expanding on our wildly popular Southwest Prime microtransit service, we will stay on the cutting edge and ensure that we can provide a premium transit service for years to come,” said Erik Hansen, CEO of SouthWest Transit.

May Mobility will deploy five wheelchair-accessible AVs that feature an ADA-compliant wheelchair ramp and securement system. By using a fully wheelchair-accessible fleet, the service will give both wheelchair users and other riders greater access to safe, convenient and comfortable transportation.

“Our autonomous driving technology has proven its ability to scale well across diverse circumstances and even navigate under the state’s harsh winter climates,” said Manik Dhar, chief commercial officer for May Mobility. “Our experience in deploying safe and equitable autonomous rides will enhance the city’s public transportation system and connect even more people to essential destinations both near and far.”

"SouthWest Transit's embrace of autonomous vehicles truly sets a standard in transportation innovation,” said Kristoffer Vik Hansen, co-founder and CEO at Spare. “We're excited to collaborate with May Mobility and SouthWest Transit, offering Minnesota residents a novel and, ultimately, more efficient way to travel. This partnership is extending the freedom of mobility to more people, especially those without access to a personal vehicle.”

SouthWest Transit and May Mobility plan to engage with the community in the upcoming months to educate future riders about autonomous vehicles and how the service will work. Residents of Eden Prairie will have the opportunity to see one of the vehicles up close at SouthWest Station during SouthWest Transit’s public shuttle service to the Minnesota State Fair at the end of August.

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Media Contacts:

Karsten Kutterer, Senior Communications Manager at May Mobility

734-369-8874 ext. 1343

[email protected]

Erica Schulte King, Director of Marketing at SouthWest Transit

952-974-3110

[email protected]

About May Mobility

May Mobility develops autonomous driving (AD) technology and deploys fleets of vehicles to municipal and business customers as part of its mission to make cities safer, greener and more accessible. Its Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) system sets it apart in the AV space. MPDM analyzes thousands of potential scenarios every second, enabling it to quickly make safe maneuvers even in newly experienced situations. MPDM's proven track record has delivered more than 350,000 autonomous rides to date in public transit applications across the U.S. and Japan. By forming key strategic partnerships with top-class automotive and technology companies, such as Toyota Motor Corporation and NTT, May Mobility is successfully improving transportation across the globe. For more information, visit www.maymobility.com.

About SouthWest Transit

SouthWest Transit is an award-winning Transit agency serving the SouthWest Twin Cities area through fixed route transportation, microtransit, and shuttle services. The agency is committed to serving the needs of their customers through diverse and innovative transit solutions that build the community and connect customers from where they are to where they want to go. Visit www.swtransit.org for more information, and follow along on LinkedIn

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