City of Birmingham, Alabama, launches Via ride-sharing pilot

Posted: 5 December 2019 |

The service uses a smartphone application and a fleet of ride-share vehicles to provide a service that is said to have no fixed schedules, no fixed routes and an infinite number of on-demand stops.

City of Birmingham, Alabama, launches Via ridesharing pilot

The City of Birmingham, Alabama, US, has launched a new six-month transportation pilot programme with Via. ‘Birmingham On-Demand’ is said to provide an additional layer of services for residents in the city by booking a shared ride for a flat rate fee of $1.50.

In a partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the city entered into an agreement with Via to develop and operate an on-demand shared ride service that is said to complement and extend public transportation for select areas of the city.

The fleet is comprised of Mercedes Metris vans that can accommodate up to six passengers each, and wait times for passengers are said to be 15 minutes or less, on average. The programme, which launched on 3 December 2019, serves riders Monday through Saturday, and provides access for riders with disabilities or of reduced mobility. 

The Birmingham On-Demand service is said to provide access to:

  • 45+ medical facilities
  • 10+ schools and colleges/universities
  • 3+ grocery stores
  • 8+ pharmacies
  • 13+ banks and credit unions
  • 20+ hotels
  • 10+ parks.

District Five Councillor, Darrell O’Quinn, who chairs the Transportation Committee, said: “Having a lack of public transportation options available to our residents is one of the biggest issues we face in this city. We’re going to continue to find solutions to address these needs. Having this service available will be crucial to help the approximately 13 percent of our population that does not have access to a vehicle. We’re going to keep bringing forward additional options to help fill that need.”