The City of Salem, Massachusetts, is launching a new on-demand service, called Salem Skipper, to provide residents and commuters with more convenient and affordable travel.
Powered by technology from Via, Salem Skipper will allow riders to enter a desired pickup and drop-off address to book a ride. From there, riders will receive vehicle information and an estimated pickup time and location.
Via’s advanced algorithms will enable multiple riders to share the same vehicle, directing passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off. Starting Dec. 16, Salem residents will be able to hail a ride on their mobile device using the Salem Skipper app, available in the App Store or Google Play, or by calling (844) 983-1842.
New riders will get their first 10 trips free until Feb. 16. After that, rides are $2 for the general public and $1 for senior citizens, students, and people with disabilities. The service will be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. There will be four Salem Skipper vehicles in service, two Chrysler Pacificas and two Dodge Caravans that are wheelchair accessible.
All vehicles will be equipped with plexiglass partitions, capped at three passengers to ensure social distancing, and frequently sanitized by the drivers. Additionally, passengers and drivers will be required to wear masks or face coverings while onboard.
Salem Skipper is being supported by a $75,000 Workforce Transit Grant from Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), $75,000 from the city transportation enhancement fund, and $150,000 from Footprint Power as part of their community agreement. The Salem Skipper service is also made possible through the efforts of the Salem for All Ages initiative.
Learn more about the Salem Skipper service.