Starting later this month, residents and commuters in Cupertino, Calif., will be able to use the Via app, or phone reservation system, to hail a shuttle directly from their mobile devices, providing more efficient connections to CalTrain and increasing connectivity across the city.
Unlike traditional bus networks that rely on routes and schedules, Cupertino’s new partnership with Via allows riders to hail a shared ride right when they need it. The on-demand transit network will span 11-square-miles — the entirety of the City of Cupertino — with a satellite zone surrounding the Sunnyvale CalTrain station for commuters. By making public transportation more comfortable, convenient, and affordable, city leaders hope to encourage residents to leave their private vehicles at home, reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions.
Using the Via app, riders will be able to hail a shuttle directly from their smartphone or tablet. Via’s advanced algorithms will enable multiple riders to seamlessly share the same vehicle. The powerful technology will direct passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules.
In partnership with Avis Budget Group, the service will start with six Cupertino-branded Mercedes Metris vans, which seat six passengers in addition to a driver, growing to 10 vehicles over time. The fleet will also include a wheelchair accessible vehicle for riders needing greater accessibility. Avis Budget Group helps to provide turnkey fleet management service, including maintaining the vehicles to ensure they are ready to hit the road and provide on-demand public mobility solutions to the City of Cupertino.