Arlington, Texas, is a large suburb about 20 miles west of Dallas. Its last census count was almost 400,000. It plays host to the Texas Rangers’ baseball stadium, the Dallas Cowboys’ football stadium and the original Six Flags theme park.
And now, it can add another notch to its belt: Arlington just became the first city in the United States to replace its entire municipal bus system with a fleet of vans from ridesharing provider Via.
The partnership is the latest evidence of a recent push toward app-based ridesharing services in favor of traditional public transit. Summit, N.J., and Altamonte Springs, Fla., have joined forces with Uber to provide subsidized rides to commuters, saving the cities hundreds of thousands of dollars while keeping costs down for customers.
In Arlington, Via vans pick up passengers on demand for a $3 fare. The company’s technology connects multiple passengers who are headed the same way, allowing riders to request a ride in real time and share a conveniently routed vehicle.
And it’s not just the good old U.S. of A that’s getting in on the rideshare game. Via has also been tapped to develop an on-demand public bus service in Singapore, a venture that Via CEO and co-founder Daniel Ramot is “thrilled” to begin.
“We are very excited to partner with the Land Transit Authority to bring an innovative on-demand public bus service to Singapore powered by Via’s tried and tested shared ride technology,” said Ramot, a native of Israel and a graduate of Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Stanford University who has a Ph.D in neuroscience.
“Singapore is at the forefront of mobility innovation in the region, and we are thrilled to see Via’s technology in Southeast Asia for the first time.”
In addition to Singapore and Arlington, Via has launched on-demand transit services in Queenstown, New Zealand, and Newcastle, Australia, with operations in Berlin, Germany; and Los Angeles and West Sacramento, Calif., coming later in 2018.