Mayor Fulop Praises Via Jersey City As State’s 1st Municipally-Subsidized, On-Demand Rideshare Service

Via Jersey City ridership eclipsed pre-pandemic levels with a 78% increase and it is growing.  Due to demand, the city’s Via fleet was expanded in the third quarter from 17 to 26 vehicles, including electric vehicles.

Most Via riders originate from the west and south sides of Jersey City, with top destinations being key transportation hubs and shopping/business districts. In the 3rd Quarter, Ward F had the highest pickup requests (22,612) and the 2nd highest drop off requests (20,637).

More details are provided in the following press release from City Hall:

 

Mayor Fulop Hails Via as “Jersey City Success Story” with Low Income and Diverse Communities Benefiting Most from the Innovative Reliable Rideshare

Rapid Ridership Growth Breaks Records while Closing Transit Gaps and Expanding Jersey City’s Transportation Infrastructure

JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop has announced New Jersey’s first municipal-subsidized, on-demand rideshare service, Via Jersey City, is a major success for the community, breaking records in ridership and exceeding the city’s goals of effectively closing transit desserts in communities that need it most. At $2 a ride, in the third quarter of this year (August 24 – November 20)

“Despite launching right as the pandemic struck, Via Jersey City is breaking ridership records and connecting the exact communities we targeted with more affordable service to close transit gaps, increased access to jobs and education, improved connectivity, among countless other opportunities. The data shows our low income and diverse populations are benefiting most,” said Mayor Fulop. “Via is one of many examples of how we are addressing the most stubborn of issues that urban areas traditionally face by taking an outside-the-box approach to overcome these difficulties and improve quality of life for our community.”

“We partnered with Via to expand and improve transportation options throughout the city, with a focus on neighborhoods that had inadequate service. Via JC continues to meet and exceed our ridership, efficiency, and quality of service goals,” said Brian Platt, former Business Administrator.

The City set a goal of 1,000 completed rides per week when the service launched in February, 2020. With a peak of 1,200 rides completed in a single day, and over 6,000 rides completed in the final Q3 week of November, Via Jersey City continues to break ridership records. Despite launching the innovative rideshare system as the pandemic struck our region, since the February launch, Via drivers have completed over 138,000 rides, with high utilization rates and decreasing wait times.

In Jersey City, low income and minority groups make up a majority of the riders based on a rider survey. Preliminary results show that more than half of all participants fall into the income bracket of $50,000 or under. Additionally, the highest share of participants identify as Black or African American.

“The initial survey results speak to the success of Via JC in serving the people who have historically been underserved by transit. We are committed to improving mobility in Jersey City by making it easy for residents to use more efficient and sustainable modes of transportation like Via,” said Barkha Patel, Director of Transportation Planning.

“Mayor Fulop and his team have set an example for municipalities across the country as they take on unprecedented social and economic challenges and work tirelessly to improve quality of life for those with the greatest need,” said Daniel Ramot, CEO and co-founder of Via. “This starts with providing accessible and equitable public transportation, and we are proud to see the clear, positive impact that on-demand public transit, powered by Via’s technology, is having on the community in Jersey City.”

About Via:

Via maximizes routes, connecting riders to their final destinations, reducing trips taken by single-occupancy vehicles, and thereby significantly reducing the city’s carbon footprint. In fact, nearly 2,500 gallons of gas and 54,000 miles of driving was avoided in just the third quarter of this year. More than 10% of the program’s fleet is made up of fully electric vehicles, with a focus on increasing the number of electric vehicles in the upcoming years.

Amid the pandemic, the city’s partnership with Via extended beyond public transportation to ensure food security for vulnerable populations by recruiting Via drivers to deliver meals to families in need as the city experienced a 300% increase in demand for Meals on Wheels.

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.platform.ridewithvia.com.

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