Via to manage city of Sioux Falls transit management services beginning in 2024

Dec. 7, 2023
Via's contract is effective Jan. 1, 2024, and lasts through 2028, with options to extend for up to five years.

The Sioux Falls' City Council approved a five-year contract with Via to provide the city of Sioux Falls, S.D., transit management services, starting Jan. 1, 2024. The agreement lasts through 2028, with options to extend for up to five years.

“Thank you to the city councilors for helping us reimagine transit in Sioux Falls through this partnership with Via. We look forward to the innovation they will bring to our community, particularly through technology,” said Jeff Eckhoff, director of planning and development services for the city of Sioux Falls. “Although the contract was just approved, Via has been a committed partner since they were selected, ensuring they are ready to take over operations on Jan. 1, 2024. Their focus has been on a smooth transition for the staff at Sioux Area Metro and our riders who rely on public transit every day.”

Throughout the last two months, the city and Via have communicated daily, with multiple Via team members visiting Sioux Falls regularly to learn about Sioux Falls, familiarize themselves with the current system and work with Sioux Area Metro (SAM) staff. All current SAM employees will receive offers to continue employment and the Via team is actively searching for a Sioux Falls-based general manager.

“We are extremely proud to partner with the city of Sioux Falls to help reimagine transit for the community and would like to thank the Sioux Falls City Council for supporting this vision,” said Alex Lavoie, co-COO at Via. “We have worked closely with the city during the past few months to get to know the community, the existing network, riders and transit and city staff and we look forward to helping to bring a technology-enabled and rider-centric approach to the Sioux Falls transit system in the coming years.”

The city’s current management agreement with First Transit/Transdev expires on Dec. 31, 2023. The city issued a Request for Proposal in late June to solicit proposals to provide transit management services from a qualified, experienced and innovative firm(s) interested in partnering with the city to comprehensively reimagine, plan, execute and operate its public transit system. In September, the selection committee ranked Via the highest.

Members of the selection committee included city staff from Planning and Development Services, Finance and the Mayor’s Office, members of the Public Transportation Advisory Board and City Councilor Greg Neitzert.