Via, City of Arlington Launch Innovative, On-Demand Rideshare Pilot Program

The City of Arlington, in partnership with Via, is proud to be among the first cities in the nation to offer on-demand ridesharing as a public transportation solution.

The Via rideshare program, which officially launched December 11, 2017, in Arlington, provides affordable transportation to key areas of the city, allowing riders to access entertainment, shopping and dining options, work or school, and even medical appointments. Customers can book a seat in a six-passenger Mercedes-Benz van through the Via app, and Via’s sophisticated technology will match them with others going their way. Rides are just $3 per trip.

“We are at the beginning of an exciting transportation technology revolution. And Arlington’s Via Rideshare Pilot Program is the latest example of our City’s willingness to explore innovative transportation technology solutions for our residents, employees, students and visitors,” Mayor Jeff Williams said during Monday’s launch celebration in Downtown Arlington.

“Via is thrilled to be partnering with the City of Arlington to launch the first ever fully dynamic on-demand public transportation solution. With Via’s technology and Arlington’s commitment to innovation, we are reimagining the future of transportation,” said Daniel Ramot, Via’s CEO and co-founder.

The Arlington City Council approved a contract with Via in November to develop and operate the pilot program. This project, which was supported by the citizen-led Transportation Advisory Committee, aligns with the Arlington City Council’s Put Technology to Work and Enhance Regional Mobility priorities.

“When the TAC was appointed by the Mayor and Council, they strongly emphasized their desire for innovative, technology-based transportation solutions,” TAC Chairman Bill Verkest said. “We spent a year learning about transportation options and determining what we thought was best for the City’s future. In the end, our recommendations included Rideshare as an excellent near-term solution and part of the city’s overall long-term solution.”

Click here for a list of Frequently Asked Questions

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

First launched in New York City in September 2013, Via currently operates in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., providing more than 1.5 million rides per month, and is growing rapidly. Via also licenses its revolutionary on-demand transit technology to transportation operators globally.

The Via rideshare service is available in Arlington Monday through Saturday, with service hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. Accessible vehicles are available for customers who use wheelchairs.

In addition to the app, customers may call Via at 817-784-7382 to book a ride.

The Via service area will initially encompass Downtown and the City’s vibrant Cultural Arts District, the University of Texas at Arlington, the Entertainment District, and the area around Arlington Memorial Hospital. Customers can also connect to the TRE Centreport/DFW Airport Station, where they can then catch a commuter train to Dallas or Fort Worth.

By next summer, the service area will include a large portion of the City between I-30 and I-20, which will allow customers to reach major retail destinations such as the Parks Mall and Arlington Highlands.

Service areas may shift over time as information is gathered about demand for service. Up-to-date service area maps and operating hours will always be available through the free Via app or the Via website at www.ridewithvia.com/arlington.

The City of Arlington will contribute approximately one third of the project cost, in the amount of $322,500, with the remainder coming from the Federal Transit Administration. The contract period is for one-year, with four one-year renewal options. Data collected through the rideshare service will help shape the City Council’s future transportation planning decisions.

The rideshare pilot program replaces and expands the Metro Arlington Xpress, or MAX, commuter bus service, which ends Dec. 31.

Other transportation news in Arlington