Monday January 28, 2019
The yearlong pilot project allows Metro riders to hail shared rides to or from three stations: Artesia, El Monte and North Hollywood Stations. Riders can summon rides with Via’s smartphone app or by calling Via, which will provide a nearby intersection where riders can meet their rides. Each ride begins or ends at one of the three stations within a defined service area around each station.
This is a ride-hailing service that has been designed for those who have been excluded from using existing services. A goal of the partnership is to extend the benefits of on-demand services to a wider audience and to make it easier for riders to connect with a growing Metro system.
This new service will be more affordable than typical ride-hailing services, thanks to Metro subsidizing the cost of each ride. Riders who are registered with Metro’s low-income fare program, LIFE, can ride for free. Riders who input TAP cards during account creation will ride for $1.75 and riders without TAP cards can ride for $3.75.
“This innovative pilot program will give riders another glimpse into LA’s comprehensive future transportation system. Many Metro users face a challenge getting from home to station and vice versa,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Sheila Kuehl. “They need a quick, easy, and inexpensive door-to-door solution and this new pilot is one to consider.”
Riders can create an account and hail a ride either through Via’s app or by calling Via’s call center. Via will accept payment by credit, debit or pre-paid card. These features allow passengers without smartphones or bank accounts to use the service. The call center has translation services available.
Via’s service will also be fully wheelchair accessible, with special vehicles able to easily accommodate those who are non-ambulatory, allowing many to finally use an on-demand, ride-hailing service.
“Via’s technology is redefining mobility across the globe and we are thrilled to partner with LA Metro, an innovation-forward agency, to provide residents with a convenient and affordable transportation alternative,” said Daniel Ramot, CEO and co-founder of Via. “Via’s powerful passenger matching, and vehicle routing algorithm is the solution to solving the first/last mile challenge and seamlessly connects customers with these three transit hubs in their communities.”
The pilot is funded in part by a $1.35-million grant from the Federal Transit Administration for its Mobility on Demand Sandbox Demonstration program.
The shared rides are a key distinction from other ride-hailing services and are in line Metro’s Vision 2028 Strategic Plan to reduce single-occupancy car trips. This partnership with Via will also provide Metro with data on how riders use the service. That will help Metro measure the success of this partnership and help inform future innovations at Metro.
"Our goal at Metro, as part of our Vision 2028 Strategic Plan, is to provide high-quality mobility options for all riders, regardless of socioeconomic status or disability," said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. "This is an exciting partnership and we believe this service will offer a truly innovative, affordable and accessible service to L.A. County to better serve Metro riders' first/last-mile needs."
For more information about the service, please visit http://www.metro.net/via.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.