Newcastle is the first city in Australia to introduce Via’s on-demand shared rides. Photo courtesy of Via.

Newcastle is the first city in Australia to introduce Via’s on-demand shared rides. Photo courtesy of Via. 

New York City-based ride-sharing startup Via launched a new app-based, on-demand service in Newcastle, Australia, in partnership with Keolis Downer, the company announced.

Leveraging its experience providing over 25 million shared rides to date, Via partners with transportation providers around the world, enabling the integration of dynamically-routed shared ride shuttles to supplement traditional fixed-route solutions.

Newcastle is the first city in Australia to introduce Via’s on-demand shared rides.

Via’s technology is already powering transport solutions across the U.S. and Europe, and is quickly expanding its presence in Oceania with the recent launch of Savy, a popular on-demand shuttle service in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The Newcastle Transport On Demand, which launched Jan. 14, allows customers to instantly book a ride from their chosen pick up location to their destination within the on-demand area; Via’s algorithm instantly matching customers with a dynamically routed vehicle and other passengers going their way.

The Newcastle service will initially span the neighborhoods of Warners Bay, Gateshead, Charlestown, and Dudley; if successful, it will expand to other areas.

Customers can pay for their rides directly through the Newcastle Transport On Demand app. Credit card payments will be accepted over the phone, and cash payments will be accepted on buses.

The Newcastle Transport On-Demand service is part of Newcastle Transport’s overhaul of the bus and ferry network.

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