Jersey City’s on-demand transit service, Via, surpasses one million rides
Jersey City’s on-demand microtransit service, Via, has exceeded one million rides since its introduction in February 2020 as part of the city’s transit system.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop launched Via in an effort to expand the reach of existing public transportation by offering on-demand shared rides to serve areas once considered “transit wastelands.” Despite launching at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when global public transport use plummeted, the service has maintained its resilience thanks to its flexible and technological model. Today, Via is a go-to mode of transportation for approximately 50,000 Jersey City residents and visitors per month, most of whom are low-income people and people of color.
“The record ridership of our Via microtransit service is just one measure of its incredible success. The service continues to provide vital transportation for exactly the communities it was intended to uplift. A recent driver survey showed that 51% of drivers reported an annual household income of less than $50,000, 88% of drivers identified as non-white, and 58% of drivers identified as female,” Mayor Fulop said. “In addition, more than 70% of trips are shared, with each vehicle making an average of 4.2 trips per hour, and more electric vehicles are being added to the fleet, supporting our city’s climate and sustainability goals. sustainability.
Via Jersey City is recognized as a model for how urban environments can expand mobility access through city-funded microtransit. Any passenger in the city’s designated service areas can book a ride at any time through the Via app. Via’s intelligent algorithms combine passengers heading in the same direction into a single vehicle, creating efficient and sustainable routes without long detours. To underscore Jersey City’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion, passengers without smartphones can also book by calling a phone number, and wheelchair accessible vehicles are available upon request.
Recent data has proven that most Jersey City Via journeys are considered ‘essential’, with 61% of passengers saying they primarily use the service to get to work, school or doctor’s appointments and health care. Additionally, the most common pick-up and drop-off points include Jersey City Transit Centers that connect to New York City and nearby cities in Hudson County. With this service, low- to middle-income residents have access to 35% more jobs, schools and hospitals within a 30-minute commute than before.
Via Jersey City continues to regularly optimize service, including expanding service to Saturdays, increasing the size of the fleet to accommodate more passengers, and introducing electric vehicles to meet the city’s sustainability goals.