2 cities partner with ride-share service Via for public transit alternatives – Smart Cities Dive


Dive Brief:

  • West Sacramento, CA and Arlington, TX have partnered with ride-share enterprise Via to offer clients with an on-demand public transit choice, according to PR Newswire and others. 
  • The service is marketed as a ride-share/transit hybrid. Customers will set decide-up and drop-off places on the Via app identical to different journey-shares, after which a van will decide up a number of riders headed in the identical course and make a number of stops alongside a route devised in actual time.
  • Service in Arlington will value $three per experience and can start subsequent month. West Sacramento continues to be understanding its payment construction and expects to launch the service in spring 2018.

Dive Insight:

Via’s service in Arlington will start in December and can substitute the town’s one present bus line, “the Max,” which runs one route connecting the University of Texas at Arlington and with transit middle south of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The Max bus service was a pilot program that expires on the finish of this yr, and metropolis leaders say ridership has all the time been low. They consider that increasing its service wouldn’t profit the group as a lot as a brand new, trendy choice.

Arlington leaders consider including Via will fill the void left when the Max ceases to exist, and it is going to be extra handy for riders than having to get to a bus cease. With Via, a rider may need to stroll a block or two to get to the group pickup level, however many riders will discover that the on-demand pickup factors might be far nearer than touring to a bus cease.

West Sacramento’s leaders report they don’t need to make buses out of date or to compete with ride-share providers like Uber and Lyft. They do, nevertheless, need to minimize down the period of time a single journey can value every buyer, which is a standard grievance about bus service. Via may even be out there in lots of areas the place buses do not attain. 

Via’s service is just like first mile/final mile ride-share choices that different cities are testing, together with the partnership between Lyft and the city of Phoenix. Municipalities’ willingness to partner with ride-share companies exhibits that they are taking note of tendencies and residents’ preferences relatively than making an attempt to drive residents to evolve to previous transit enterprise fashions. Citizens more and more need the comfort that smartphone apps and on-demand providers supply. With lagging bus ridership evident in lots of markets throughout the nation, modernizing the transit system and making it extra versatile might draw new riders. Plus, partnering with personal ride-share suppliers eliminates the massive up-entrance value of including or updating transit infrastructure.

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