Via announced a new public transportation deployment in partnership with the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT), with the service now the largest on-demand microtransit system in America with 42 vehicles.
Called SmaRT Ride, the new on-demand shared transit network officially launched to the public on January 6, serving nine zones throughout Sacramento, Calif. The city now provides residents an unparalleled level of access to more convenient and comfortable public transportation, with SmaRT Ride also acting as a link to existing transit hubs.
Using the all-new SmaRT Ride app, riders will be able to hail a vehicle directly from their smartphone. Riders will also just as easily be able to book a ride via telephone. Via’s advanced algorithms will enable multiple riders to seamlessly share the 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.
The SmaRT Ride program first launched in February 2018 and, due to its popularity and success, is growing across the city to bring dynamic shared transportation to even more residents. The City of Sacramento tapped Via to power the new service starting in 2020, updating the existing SmaRT Ride system, and bringing new functionality for riders.
The service relies on small, neighborhood-friendly shuttle buses to easily maneuver on residential streets, and the vehicles are equipped to accommodate people with disabilities. SmaRT Ride now services zones in Citrus Heights, Franklin-South Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Arden, Carmichael, Downtown-Midtown-East Sacramento, Gerber-Calvine, Folsom, and North Sacramento.
The cost to ride is only $2.50 per trip, $1.25 for those eligible for discount fare — seniors and persons with disabilities — or free for youth with the RydeFreeRT sticker or pass. Riders can also use their SacRT monthly pass. Groups of five or more are free; all riders must travel in a group of five or more from the same pick-up location to the same destination.
The new SmaRT Ride service is provided through Measure A funding. SacRT was awarded with a $12 million grant by the Sacramento Transportation Authority to help expand microtransit into new communities throughout the region.
As part of the SmaRT Ride expansion, SacRT also rolled out six electric SmaRT Ride shuttles in the Downtown-Midtown-East Sacramento service area. In the next six months, three additional electric SmaRT Ride shuttles will be operating in the Franklin-South Sacramento zone. Those three shuttles are being provided by Electrify America.