Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Via Chief Executive Officer and founder Daniel Ramot lauded on Tuesday the recent launch of Via – New Jersey’s first on-demand public bus service – at a press conference at Jersey City Hall Annex.
Fulop and Ramot said the on-demand bus service has already provided more than 5,000 rides in Jersey City, with top routes and rider feedback indicating that residents and visitors are using the service to fill gaps in the existing public transit infrastructure for both commuting and leisure purposes—key goals of the service.
Via has experienced steady daily growth and high demand since launching in Jersey City in February, with an increasing number of both new and repeat riders. Ridership is strong during commuter hours, with more than 30 percent of trips to or from core transit hubs. Throughout the day, the service has a high volume of rides to major commercial destinations. The average wait times are less than 12 to 15 minutes.
The company’s partnership with Jersey City follows on the heels of several new deployments of its technology in the region. Via recently launched LGA Connect with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to reduce congestion at LaGuardia Airport, and announced a partnership with the New York City Department of Education to power its school bus system.
Using its mobile app, or a dedicated phone line for riders without access to a smartphone, residents, visitors and commuters can book a shared ride. Via says its advanced technology matches multiple passengers headed in the same direction into one of 15 high-capacity vehicles, and directs passengers to a nearby corner, or “virtual bus stop” for pickup. Vehicles are routed in real-time, minimizing detours to reduce congestion and emissions, while providing an efficient rider experience.
Rides to-or-from downtown cost $2 and rides within the outer service zone start at $2, plus $0.50 per mile. The service operates Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Riders can request a wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the Via service launched in Jersey City in September. Story was updated to reflect a February launch date on March 10, 2020 at 12:25 p.m. EST.