The Flyer’s popularity continues to increase among students. Photo of a Dayton RTA bus from Wikimedia Commons
News Staff Writer
The Flyer is a free shuttle-style service that offers rides around the city of Dayton, including several stops on UD’s campus.
With stops throughout downtown, The Flyer has provided easy access to a variety of local restaurants, hotels, offices, parks, entertainment and more to students since it started in October 2018.
Vince Lewis, director of the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and president/operating manager for the Arcade Innovation Hub, played a key role in creating The Flyer.
As plans were made to expand UD’s reach to the Arcade, a downtown building that’s undergoing revitalization and will house certain UD programs, one of the things that Lewis and many others addressed was how to get students to the Arcade.
The Flyer was partly created in order to resolve these transportation issues from UD’s campus to the downtown area.
The Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) then started to raise money to fund The Flyer since the project was not funded by the university.
The Flyer’s route was adjusted last summer to go through UD’s campus, which expanded access for UD students, especially those living on Kiefaber and Frericks Way.
Over half a million rides have been given by The Flyer since its launch in November 2018, according to Jessica Olson, communications manager for Dayton RTA. This number is “well over what we expected for a service launched in the late fall,” she said.
Olson added that RTA has received praise from a variety of organizations, including the city of Dayton, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, Downtown Dayton Partnership and the University of Dayton.
The access to free transportation provided by The Flyer has increased the number of people who visit the stretch between RiverScape and UD, Olson said. It has also been commended for expanding access to the downtown area as well as increasing opportunities for economic development.
There are some upcoming developments in the downtown area that will increase ridership, including the opening of the Arcade and UD’s use of the building for classes.
The Flyer will serve as a fast and reliable trip for students to utilize as they head from the main campus to the downtown area for classes, Olson said.
Additionally, as president of the Arcade Innovation Hub, Lewis does a lot of work downtown. With his office in Miriam Hall, Lewis often walks down to Brown Street to catch the Flyer, making his life much easier, he noted.
The Flyer is not just helpful for UD students, faculty and staff. Many other organizations benefit from The Flyer’s route.
CareSource, a large provider of Medicaid insurance in Dayton, is one of these companies. Many employees park at a transportation garage at the Dayton Convention Center and take The Flyer the rest of the way to work.
Premier Health employees also take advantage of the Flyer. Lewis stated how The Flyer has “become more of a community project in terms of supporting a lot of different entities.”
The Flyer is an attractive option for students and non-students alike because of its versatile benefits, Olson said. Riders don’t have to pay to ride and they don’t have to pay for parking, making it especially useful for college students on a budget.
Due to The Flyer’s success, RTA added a permanent fourth bus to the route. Starting Feb. 16, the additional bus began running on Saturdays to mitigate the increased volume of riders.
Information about using the Flyer can be found here