The City of Cupertino will soon offer a new on-demand public transportation network in partnership with Via, a cutting-edge provider of on-demand public mobility solutions. Starting October 29, residents and commuters in Cupertino will be able to use the Via app (or phone reservation system) to hail a shuttle directly from their mobile devices, providing more efficient connections to CalTrain and increasing connectivity across the city.
Unlike traditional bus networks that rely on routes and schedules, Cupertino’s new partnership with Via allows riders to hail a shared ride right when they need it. The on-demand transit network will span 11-square-miles — the entirety of the City of Cupertino — with a satellite zone surrounding the Sunnyvale CalTrain station for commuters. By making public transportation more comfortable, convenient and affordable, city leaders hope to encourage residents to leave their private vehicles at home, reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions.
“This partnership with Via is the next generation of what public transportation can be, allowing us to increase mobility while taking a step toward our larger goal of reducing traffic congestion across Cupertino,” said Mayor Steven Scharf.
Using the Via app (iOS and Android), riders will be able to hail a shuttle directly from their smartphone or tablet. Via’s advanced algorithms will enable multiple riders to seamlessly share the same vehicle. The powerful 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.
“Via’s powerful technology is seamlessly integrating with public transit infrastructure around the globe, redefining the way people get around cities,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via. “We’re delighted to join forces with city leadership to bring this cutting-edge, on-demand shuttle system to Cupertino, providing residents with a convenient, affordable, and congestion-reducing dynamic transportation alternative.”
Via will operate at $5 per ride, with weekly and monthly passes available for just $17 a week and $60 a month. Service will operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In partnership with Avis Budget Group, the service will start with six Cupertino-branded Mercedes Metris vans, which seat six passengers in addition to a driver, growing to 10 vehicles over time. The fleet will also include a wheelchair accessible vehicle for riders needing greater accessibility. Avis Budget Group helps to provide turnkey fleet management service, including maintaining the vehicles to ensure they are ready to hit the road and provide on-demand public mobility solutions to the City of Cupertino.
Via has been tapped by cities and transportation players around the world to help re-engineer public transit from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Neighboring cities like Los Angeles, Pacifica, Marin, West Sacramento and Orange County also use Via’s technology to operate on-demand transit networks, as do some of the world’s largest transportation authorities. Via now has more than 80 launched and pending deployments in over 20 countries, providing more than 60 million rides to date.