Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced Jersey City’s on-demand microtransit service, Via, just surpassed one million rides since it was introduced in February 2020 as part of the city’s public transit system.
Mayor Fulop launched Via with the goal of extending the reach of existing public transportation by providing on-demand shared rides to serve areas formerly considered “transit deserts.” Via is a form of transit for around 50,000 Jersey City residents and visitors per month, most of whom are lower-income and people of color.
“The record ridership for our Via microtransit service is just one measure of its incredible success. The service continues to provide vital transportation for exactly the communities that it was intended to uplift. A recent survey of riders showed that 51% of riders reported an annual household income below $50,000, 88% of riders identified as non-white, and 58% of riders identified as women,” said Mayor Fulop. “In addition, over 70% of the rides are shared, with each vehicle completing an average of 4.2 trips per hour, and more electric vehicles are being added to the fleet, which supports our city’s climate and sustainability goals.”
Any rider in the city’s designated service zones can book a ride at a moment’s notice through the Via app. Via’s algorithms match riders headed in the same direction into one vehicle. Riders without smartphones can also book by calling a phone number, and wheelchair-accessible vehicles are available upon request.
Recent data has proven that most Jersey City Via trips are considered “essential” — 61% of riders reporting they primarily use the service to get to work, school, or for doctor appointments and healthcare. Additionally, the most common pickup and dropoff points include Jersey City’s public transit hubs that connect with nearby New York City and neighboring Hudson County cities. As a result of the service, low-to-moderate income residents have access to 35% more jobs, schools, and hospitals within 30 minutes’ travel than they did before it existed.