Developer of on-demand public mobility solutions Via has announced a partnership with the City of Birmingham and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham for a six-month dynamic, on-demand shared ride service.
The service intends to complement, extend and fill the gaps in existing public transit infrastructure in select areas of the city that need it most.
“We’re delighted to partner with the City of Birmingham to provide an affordable, convenient, and reliable transportation option for residents,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via. “Via’s powerful passenger matching and vehicle routing algorithm is the solution to improving access in transportation deserts, seamlessly integrating into the existing public transit infrastructure to connect residents to work, education, healthcare, and opportunities in their communities.”
“We have been looking for additional layers of service to support the transportation needs of our residents. Through this partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, we are confident Via’s innovative transportation system will offer an additional option for on-demand transportation to our residents with an emphasis on connecting them with the services they need on a daily basis,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said. “We are proud to add another tool to our toolbox as well as joining more than 80 cities and partners who have worked with Via to provide innovation to public transportation.”
Via said its advanced algorithm enables multiple riders to seamlessly share a single vehicle. The powerful technology directs passengers to a nearby corner – a virtual bus stop – for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules. The service zone was specifically designed to provide affordable and efficient transportation for high-need and underserved communities, and will operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Riders can request a wheelchair accessible vehicle should they indicate it is needed.
“The on-demand and curbside service allows more flexibility and convenience for me in traveling from my home to the doctor and shopping,” said Amy Thornton of Elyton Village. “I’m particularly pleased that it will also service disabled travelers as well.”
“I’m particularly happy this will serve the western communities,” said Dora Sims, president of the Five Points West Community. “We have a number of seniors who can really benefit from it. It enhances our mobility to get to jobs and important visits like doctor’s appointments. This is a big plus.”