During a press conference in Camden July 13, Camden County Partnership and Via announced the launch of the Camden Loop — an innovative, on-demand, app-based public transit service designed at filling transportation access gaps in the city.
The new service utilizes innovative technology to expand access to affordable, efficient and equitable public transportation for the Camden community, helping connect residents to their employment in, as well as outside, the city. Stakeholders say it also looks to support residents with transportation to access health care appointments, healthy food options and any other needs.
Camden Loop uses advanced software from Via, a global leader in TransitTech. Through the app, which is available from the Apple Store and Google Play, residents and workers in the service zone area can book an on-demand public transit ride to easily and affordably connect with NJ Transit and PATCO stations, work, errands and more. Riders heading in the same direction are matched into one electric vehicle, creating quick and efficient shared trips.
Via powers a number of similar “micro-transit” programs around the world, including one in Jersey City that launched in 2020.
“In Camden, we believe that every resident deserves access to good jobs and a chance to build a better future,” said Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen. “The Camden Loop plays a vital role in achieving that vision, as it connects our residents to employment centers and unlocks doors to new opportunities. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to ensuring Camden’s continued upward trajectory and an improved quality of life for our citizens.”
“We believe that transportation should never be a barrier to accessing meaningful job opportunities or having reliable access to other services that impact the social determinants of health for Camden residents,” said Dana Redd, former Camden mayor and president and CEO of Camden Community Partnership. “With the launch of the Camden Loop, we are breaking down these barriers and providing our residents with a convenient and reliable way to commute.”
The service, which costs $2 per ride, will operate Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Last month, Camden Loop soft-launched to introduce the program to residents. Now fully integrated, residents are able to utilize the service, which is provided through branded mini vans that are highly visible across the city. Camden Loop will also develop and offer monthly passes and a bundle package for reduced rate rides in an effort to provide affordable options, which will be rolled out in the near future.
“Via is thrilled to partner with Camden County Partnership to bring 21st-century public transportation to the people of Camden,” said Via East Coast Partnerships Director Eric Gardiner. “Camden Loop will make it easier for the Camden community to live, work, and play by providing a flexible and equitable way to get from Point A to Point B without needing a private car. We are confident that this program will transform mobility in the city and look forward to seeing other New Jersey communities follow Camden’s lead.”
Camden resident Tameeka Mason described her first experience using Camden Loop as “truly remarkable.”
“Not only was it convenient and easy to book a ride through the app, but I also had the pleasure of meeting a driver who lived in Camden too, fostering a sense of community that made the experience even more special,” said Mason.
More information on Camden Loop can be found here.