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Bus ridership has plunged nationwide since ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft appeared, but about 30 cities have found ways to partner with the new companies to reach their transit goals in cheaper and easier ways.

It may be too early to say whether these partnerships can stop riders from fleeing public transit, but transportation experts say the partnerships offer a glimpse into transit's very-different future.

"Given the magnitude of the declines across the industry, millions and millions of trips per year, I don't think we're at a point yet where the partnerships—still limited to thirty or so examples that you all have found around the country—are yet reversing that," said Christopher Kopp of the transportation planning firm HTNB. "However, I think the potential here is that they're a way forward.”

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