NJ Transit Unreliability Forces Cities to Consider Alternatives; Tech-based Bus Network to Expand Public Transportation access Citywide with On-Demand System, Reducing Congestion while Increasing Access
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the City Council will announce today at 10 a.m. outside the City Hall Annex that Jersey City will become the first in New Jersey to offer an on-demand bus system in partnership with Via, the world’s leading provider and developer of on-demand public mobility solutions. The new commuting network looks to ease frustration among commuters often left dealing with overcrowded buses and unreliable NJ Transit schedules, while also filling the transit desert by providing more efficient connections between the North and South regions of the City.
“As NJ Transit continues to neglect the City’s mass transit systems, and without help from the state, we are now creating our own innovative solutions that will meet the needs of our residents,” said Mayor Fulop. “This is the latest step towards our larger vision of getting cars off the road, while creating mobility in neighborhoods that sometimes lack connectivity to other parts of the City.”
The unique vendor partnership will create an innovative transit system with virtual stops and routes based on passenger demand. This technology-based transit system would be the first of its kind in the State. Areas of Jersey City identified as primary service areas will increase connectivity to other key shopping and business districts, government facilities, as well as PATH, ferry and light rail stations.
“Via’s powerful technology is seamlessly integrating with public transit infrastructure around the globe, redefining the way people get around cities,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via. “We’re delighted to join forces with Mayor Fulop and the City Council to bring this cutting-edge, on-demand shuttle system to Jersey City, providing residents with a convenient, affordable, and congestion-reducing dynamic transportation alternative.”
Using the Via app, riders will be able to hail a shuttle directly from their smartphone. Via’s advanced algorithms will enable multiple riders to seamlessly share the vehicle. The powerful technology will direct passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules.
Via will operate at $2 per ride, with discounts for seniors and low-income residents at $1 or less. Service will operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. While Via will operate with 14 vehicles in Greenville and the Heights, at least 10% of the program’s fleet will be fully electric vehicles, with a focus on increasing the number of electric vehicles in the upcoming years. Riders can request a wheelchair accessible vehicle should they indicate it is needed. This will also bring additional job opportunities to Jersey City, with Via drivers making well above the State’s minimum wage.
Via is re-engineering public transit, from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Via’s mobile app connects multiple passengers who are headed the same way, allowing riders to seamlessly share a premium vehicle. First launched in New York City in September 2013, the Via platform operates in the United States and in Europe through its joint venture with Mercedes-Benz Vans, ViaVan. Via’s technology is also deployed worldwide through dozens of partner projects with public transportation agencies, private transit operators, taxi fleets, private companies, and universities, seamlessly integrating with public transit infrastructure to power cutting-edge on-demand mobility. For more information, visit www.ridewithvia.com.