Arlington, TX, and West Sacramento, CA, have selected rideshare provider Via to launch an on-demand public transit solution for both cities.
In Arlington, the new Via service will launch within a month, replacing the city's single-route bus service and offering transportation options in areas of Arlington where none reportedly exist currently. In West Sacramento, Via is working closely with city staff to design a fully dynamic citywide service that will complement other public transportation options.
Residents across both cities will soon be able to use the Via app to book a seat in a shared, dynamically routed vehicle. Via's algorithm is intended to instantly match passengers with others going their way in a vehicle following an optimized flexible route designed to minimize detours and delays.
"In the city of the future, everyone will be getting around in dynamically routed shared vehicles. We are excited to partner with these two innovative cities that share our vision, and help them provide the first ever fully on-demand public transit service," said Daniel Ramot, Co-Founder and CEO of Via.
Via was selected through a competitive procurement process and will be working closely with the cities to develop and customize every aspect of the services, from operating hours and service zones to fare structure and wheelchair accessibility. The company will share data with the cities to help inform future planning and investments.
"The partnership with Via is a reaffirmation of West Sacramento's commitment to provide residents of all ages with access to an array of transportation options close to where they live, work, and play," said City of West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon. "This initiative will not only save residents money on gas and parking, but will also provide cleaner air, reduce congestion, and promote overall livability."
"For Arlington, Via's comprehensive ridesharing service is an exciting and innovative pilot project providing an alternative to a traditional fixed-route bus system, allowing us to provide a higher-quality transportation option that is relevant to even more of our residents and visitors," Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said.
Service in Arlington will launch in early December following the Arlington City Council's approval on November 7. Service in West Sacramento, California is expected to begin operating in the spring of 2018, pending City Council approval in December.