Arlington’s Via On-Demand Rideshare Service Area Continues to Grow

Arlington’s on-demand rideshare program with Via continues to grow.

Arlington: the American Dream City, is in partnership with Via, is excited to be among the first cities in the nation to offer on-demand ridesharing as an innovative public transportation solution.

Via rideshare, which launched in December 2017, is designed to provide affordable transportation to key areas of Arlington, allowing riders to access entertainment, shopping and dining options, work or school, and even medical appointments.

As part of a one-year pilot program, 10 Via vans are operating Monday through Saturday within a service area that currently includes Downtown, the Entertainment District, the area around Arlington Memorial Hospital and the TRE CentrePort/DFW Airport Station, where they can then catch a commuter train to Fort Worth or Dallas. 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.

“As opposed to a traditional fixed-route bus system, Via will pick you up in a smaller vehicle, where you want to be picked up and when you want to be picked up,” said Alicia Winkelblech, Community Development and Planning assistant director. “It’s a much more personalized transportation option.”

Via is available Monday through Saturday, with service hours running from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. In addition to the app, customers may call Via at 817-784-7382 to book a ride. Rides are $3 per person, per trip, or customers can purchase a ViaPass for a promotional rate of $10 per week.

Click here to see the Via service area map.

More than 11,800 trips have been booked on Via vans since the service launched. About 70 percent of those who ride Via are repeat customers, according to the latest data. The service also has a 97 percent satisfaction rating, with customers saying they appreciate the on-demand system’s affordability and flexibility.

“Via’s technology was built from the ground-up, for ridesharing, making it an extremely efficient transportation option for users. The technology also allows for easy communication between riders and Via, creating an easy channel for customer feedback,” Winkelblech said.

On-demand rideshare was one of several recommendations presented by the citizen-led Transportation Advisory Council to the Arlington City Council late last year. Other recommended transportation modes focused on newer transportation technologies such as autonomous shuttles and people mover systems. In August 2017, the City debuted it’s low-speed autonomous shuttle pilot project, making Arlington the first in the nation to offer ongoing, autonomous vehicle service to the general public.

“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.

This pilot program has received interest not only from local and national media outlets, including CBS This Morning, but also from cities ranging from San Jose to Boston.

Arlington’s rideshare service area continues to grow based on demand. Presently, the service area extends north of Interstate 30 to Lamar Boulevard and just south to Arkansas Lane in east Arlington. By this summer, this area will include a large portion of the City between Interstate 30 and Interstate 20, which will allow customers to reach major retail destinations such as the Parks Mall and Arlington Highlands.

The City of Arlington is contributing 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 Arlington City Council’s future transportation planning decisions.

Click here to learn more about the Via Rideshare Service in Arlington.

 

2 thoughts on “Arlington’s Via On-Demand Rideshare Service Area Continues to Grow”

  1. One of the drivers named Saleh decided to not pick me up on Friday and left me stranded in Arlington, since he decided to do that near the end of the 9pm service time and there was no way to get another driver to take me to the TRE. I was shocked that it is at a driver’s discretion to just end service when he wants and strand a passenger, especially since the city pays for the service, making it representative of the quality of the city. The driver just had the option to say he couldn’t find me standing at the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau Center at East Randol Mill and Arlington Downs Road, though he never drove within 4 minutes of the pickup location, according to the Via app. I waited there while talking with a police officer and watching the app’s map, and the driver never came in the vicinity or tried to contact me. He just sent a text saying he couldn’t find me.

    1. Thank you for reaching out to us. The Via system does not include an option for riders to be refused service in this way during any of our hours of operation. Anytime Via receives feedback as serious as this, they take the time to specifically investigate the matter on their end, including by following up directly with the driver partner involved. Via would like to offer its sincere apologies that you weren’t picked up in this case. Via will follow up with you directly.

Comments are closed.