Austin, Texas’ Capital Metro will launch a free ridehailing bus service, called Pickup, beginning June 6, which will allow riders to arrange on-demand transit trips in three neighborhoods using a mobile app.
The service will be available three days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. It will be available free of charge for a limited time during the initial pilot phase. The Pickup service replaces another pilot program, the Upper Eastside Flex route.
To access the service, riders need to download the app from their app store (both iOS and Android), register for an account, and request a trip from their pickup point at a time they want and to a destination of their choosing. Their trip will then be matched with other travelers heading to the same destination, and the Pickup vehicle will arrive within 15 minutes. Riders without access to the smartphone app can also call the Capitol Metro call center.
The Pickup app was developed in partnership with Via, which operates on-demand ridesharing platforms in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., and licenses its technology to transportation providers globally.
“Capital Metro is thrilled to be able to work with Via and take part in an innovative pilot project like this,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson. “It’s an exciting time to be in transportation, when so many new options are right around the corner. We’re committed to taking advantage of every opportunity we can to improve the way we move people around Central Texas.”