Dakota County’s Lyft ride-sharing pilot

GoDakota logo: Connecting people to communities

In May, Dakota County mobility manager Robyn Bernardy shared information about several county mobility-management initiatives, including the partnership between Dakota County Social Services and Lyft. In Minnesota, transportation is a billable service under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services home- and community-based services (HCBS) waivers. With the Dakota County pilot program, individuals with HCBS waivers can take Lyft to get to and from employment and to access the community. Dakota County then bills the individual's Medicaid Waiver directly for the cost of the rides taken.

The pilot began with 23 riders in March 2019, slowly grew to 158 riders in November 2019, and up to 435 riders in May 2020. Each rider took an average of 24 trips a month, with an average cost of $13.40 per one-way trip.

The team evaluated the pilot through one-month and six-month surveys, focus groups, and case studies. Prior to the pilot, 60% of individuals were either dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied with their transportation, with the remaining 40% neutral. One month into the pilot, nearly 92% of individuals were either satisfied or extremely satisfied with their transportation. Other outcomes that individuals report include:

  • Can get to work and leave when they need to = 71%
  • Friends and family no longer have to drive = 63%
  • Transportation is less stressful = 63%
  • Transportation is more reliable = 61%
  • Spending less time on transportation = 61%
  • Can work more hours = 43%
  • Got a new job! = 25%

The county highlights several success stories from the pilot in videos on its website.

See the GoDakota website for information about the Lyft Ridesharing Program and other transportation initiatives in Dakota County, including its Transportation Finder, Travel Training, and DakotaLink.