Rideshare startup to launch on-demand public transit in 2 U.S. cities

Posted on November 9, 2017

Residents in Arlington, Texas and West Sacramento, Calif., will soon be able to use the Via app to instantly book a seat in a shared, dynamically-routed vehicle. Photo: Via
Residents in Arlington, Texas and West Sacramento, Calif., will soon be able to use the Via app to instantly book a seat in a shared, dynamically-routed vehicle. Photo: Via

Arlington, Texas and West Sacramento, Calif. have selected Via, a technology developer and provider of dynamic on-demand shared rides, to launch a pioneering comprehensive on-demand public transit solution for both cities.

In Arlington, the new Via service will launch within a month, replacing the city's single-route bus service and offering transportation options in areas of Arlington where none existed before. In West Sacramento, Via is working closely with City staff to design a fully dynamic city-wide service that will complement other public transportation options.

Residents across both cities will soon be able to use the Via app to instantly book a seat in a shared, dynamically-routed vehicle. The company's algorithm will instantly match passengers with others going their way in a vehicle following an optimized flexible route that minimizes detours and delays.

"In the city of the future, everyone will be getting around in dynamically-routed shared vehicles," said Daniel Ramot, Co-founder and CEO of Via.

Via was selected through a competitive procurement process to provide a comprehensive turnkey solution, including its mobile apps and operating system. The rideshare company will be working closely with the cities to develop and customize every aspect of the services, from operating hours and service zones to fare structure and wheelchair accessibility, and will share data with the cities to help inform future planning and investments.

The new Via services will connect residents to jobs, healthcare, education, and entertainment, while reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles on the road and minimizing congestion and pollution.

"If a city wants to launch a new subway service or fixed-route bus system, the investment required would be many millions if not billions of dollars. With Via's solution, cities can now provide their residents with a city-wide transit system without any of the physical infrastructure costs and with minimal risk," said Zachary Wasserman, Via's Head of Global Business Development.

Service in Arlington, Texas will launch in early December following the Arlington City Council approval on November 7. Service in West Sacramento, Calif. is expected to begin operating in the spring of 2018, pending City Council approval in December.

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