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Arlington expands on-demand transportation network to cover entire city

Posted: 19 January 2021 | | No comments yet

The on-demand transport service is expanding in Arlington to include almost every area of the city, as the Texan city celebrates its “gold standard” transportation model.

Arlington Texas At&T Stadium

Could Arlington residents soon be hitching a Via ride to watch the Dallas Cowboys?

Arlington’s on-demand public transit service, Via Rideshare, will soon reach all neighbourhoods, shopping centres, offices, restaurants, medical facilities and other key destinations across the Texan city.

Over the past three years, Arlington, in partnership with Via, has continually expanded the Via Rideshare service area to make affordable, on-demand public transportation accessible to even more residents, employees and visitors.

The service area, which currently covers about 41 per cent of Arlington, will expand citywide starting today.

In 2017, Arlington and Via launched Via Rideshare and became one of the first cities in the US to use on-demand technology as their primary public transportation solution to expand access to affordable, efficient, and convenient transit solutions.

Via’s platform routes passengers in real time to “virtual bus stops” within just a couple blocks for pickup and drop off, enabling multiple passengers headed in the same direction to efficiently share a single vehicle.

“Every city in America is looking at ways to improve public transportation and mayors across the country continue to recognise Arlington’s ride-share programme with Via as the gold standard for transportation solutions,” Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said.

“We are so excited about the citywide expansion and the difference that Via continues to make in our community. On-demand ride-share also improves overall equity here in Arlington, making sure all of our residents have cost-effective access to transportation so they can make it to work, appointments or shopping destinations.”

One of the benefits of the partnership with Via is the ability for the City to scale service up or down nimbly based on data about ridership demands, City Manager Trey Yelverton said. For example, he claimed Arlington was able to save roughly $1 million in expected costs in 2020 by scaling back the service to align with the reduced ridership demands during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are able to track point-to-point pick-ups and drop-offs, fare revenue and whether they were shared rides. This data allows us to refine our service almost on a daily basis as we learn how our service is being consumed by the public,” Yelverton said.

“The data tells us if we have too much or too little capacity, and we can scale our operation to better optimise service.”

With the citywide expansion, a new fare structure will go into effect in February. The new fares will be based on trip distance, with a minimum of $3 per trip for rides up to 1.5 miles in length and a maximum of $5 per ride for trips over 6 miles in length. The detailed pricing schedule is available on the City’s Via website at www.arlingtontx.gov/via.

Trips to and from the CentrePort TRE Station will remain at the $3 flat fare rate, no matter the distance from the point of origin. The weekly ViaPass, which allows for up to four trips per day, Monday through Saturday, will increase from $15 to $25 per pass.  

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