Via and SacRT launch America’s largest microtransit system
Posted: 14 January 2020 | Sam Mehmet (Intelligent Transport)
The collaborative service has been provided through a $12 million grant by the Sacramento Transportation Authority to help expand microtransit into new communities throughout the Sacramento region.
Via, the public mobility solutions company, has announced a new public transportation deployment in partnership with the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT). The service is now said to be the largest on-demand microtransit system in America with 42 vehicles.
Called SmaRT Ride, the new on-demand shared transit network serves nine zones throughout Sacramento, California. The service aims to provide residents with an unparalleled level of access to more convenient and comfortable public transportation, with SmaRT Ride also acting as a link to existing transit hubs.
Either by calling, or using the SmaRT Ride app (iOS and Android), riders will be able to hail a vehicle directly from their smartphone. Via’s algorithms will reportedly enable multiple riders to share the vehicle – the technology will direct passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules.
“We have seen great success with our other SmaRT Ride zones and we are excited to be able to provide this innovative mobility option to more communities,” said SacRT General Manager/CEO, Henry Li. “This expansion is a huge milestone for SacRT as we continue to explore new transit options and improve access and mobility for our riders.”
“SacRT is truly embracing the future of mobility by providing a more comfortable, convenient, and affordable way to move around their community,” said Sacramento Board Chair and SacRT Board Chair, Patrick Kennedy.
The cost to ride is $2.50 per trip, $1.25 for those eligible for discount fare (seniors and persons with disabilities) or free for youth with the RydeFreeRT sticker or pass. Riders can also use their SacRT monthly pass. Groups of five or more are free; all riders must travel in a group of five or more from the same pick-up location to the same destination.
As part of the SmaRT Ride expansion, SacRT also rolled out six electric SmaRT Ride shuttles in the Downtown-Midtown-East Sacramento service area. In the next six months, three additional electric SmaRT Ride shuttles will be operating in the Franklin-South Sacramento zone, which are being provided by Electrify America.