California’s Metrolink commuter rail riders boarding or detraining at the Burbank Airport-South, Burbank-Downtown and El Monte stations can now use the Via on-demand shared ride-hailing service for free to complete their trip.
The free ride option is for a limited time, with the ongoing fare set to be announced once the free promotion is complete. The on-demand service is part of a test program designed to make Metrolink easier for commuters to use, while enticing new riders.
Travelers can book a shared ride through the Via app, available at the App Store or Google Play, or by calling the company directly. The Via service is available Monday – Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Via is wheelchair accessible with specially-equipped vehicles to assist persons with mobility limitations.
“This service and partnership is a step toward creating a much-needed solution to one of the biggest challenges facing public transportation, which is bridging transit centers to people’s homes and final destinations,” said Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “Microtransit solutions are needed to help travelers with the first- and last-mile portions of their commutes and this pilot program helps us gauge various solutions under consideration.”
The program’s service zones connecting to Metrolink consist of a 13-square-mile area around the Burbank Airport-South and Burbank-Downtown stations, and a 23-square-mile area around the El Monte Station.
Metrolink joins an existing one-year pilot program launched by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in January.
The pilot program is funded through a $1.35 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration for its Mobility on Demand Sandbox Demonstration program.