On demand services powered by Via set to launch in Texas and Georgia

April 14, 2022
A rideshare service in Grand Prairie and an app-based shuttle service in Atlanta will expand access to public transit options. 

Two new on-demand shared public transit options, powered by Via, are coming to the cities of Grand Prairie, Texas, and Atlanta.  

The city of Grand Prairie launched its new minibus service, Via Grand Prairie, that people can take for $3 a ride.  

To book a ride, riders can use the mobile app or call 214-253-0874. Once a ride is entered with pickup and drop-off locations, the system will provide ride options. Once an option is selected, riders are directed to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance, and a driver is dispatched to meet them at that location.  

The goal of Via Grand Prairie is to use technology to expand access to convenient, affordable and sustainable transportation for residents and visitors to Grand Prairie. Via’s algorithms create quick, efficient shared trips that provide more flexibility for riders than traditional public transportation options with fixed routes and schedules.  

“The city is thrilled to be able to offer this ride share, low-cost transportation option to residents, students, workers and visitors,” said Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen. “For a very reasonable cost, now you can get from here to there when you want. Decades ago, voters elected to use the penny that could’ve gone to DART for other purposes, which is how the city has built Lone Star Park, The Summit, The Epic, EpicWaters, EpicCentral and the Public Safety Building; established continual park and street improvements; and more. Via Grand Prairie helps fill that need for transportation for people who may not have a car, may not drive or just want to leave the driving to someone else.”   

"Via Grand Prairie represents the forefront of innovative mobility in Texas, and we are proud to partner with the city to use Via's software to expand convenient and equitable access to public transit for residents," said Dillon Twombly, chief revenue officer at Via. "Services like Via Grand Prairie create new opportunities to generate positive social, environmental and economic impact, and we look forward to seeing how residents will use the service in their daily lives." 

Via Grand PrairieVia Grand Prairie operates Monday-Saturday, 6:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.  Add additional passengers for just $1. Seniors (65+) ride for $2 per trip.  Wheelchair accessible vehicles are available. 

Via Grand Prairie will also serve four nearby college campuses (two of which are a $4 trip due to the longer distance): 

Tarrant County Community College $3/trip 

University of Texas at Arlington $3/trip 

Dallas Baptist University $4/trip 

Mountain Creek Community College $4/trip  

When setting up an account, riders can add a credit/debit card. When a ride is booked, the rider can choose whether to pay using the card on file or with exact cash on board. Drivers do not have change. Credit cards are charged after completing a ride.  

Via Grand Prairie will serve as a complement to the city’s existing Grand Connection bus service, which is specifically for elderly and disabled residents. 

New shuttle service in Atlanta 

On April 19, Buckhead will launch the first on-demand, app-based transportation service in a major Atlanta business district. The new Buc offers the sustainability and affordability of transit with the convenience and flexibility of a ride-hailing service. Using the Buc app, riders can book an on-demand, shared ride to any destination within the service zone.  

The goal of the service is to use technology to expand access to convenient, affordable, sustainable transportation for residents, visitors and workers in Buckhead. Rides to and from Buckhead’s two MARTA train stations are free and other trips are $3 each. 

The Buc shuttle was the first service of its kind when it launched in 2003, offering commuters a convenient way to travel the last mile between a transit stop and a workplace.  

“We could not be more thrilled to get this new service off the ground,” said Denise Starling, executive director of Livable Buckhead, the nonprofit organization managing the Buc. “We were two weeks away from our launch date in 2020 when the pandemic hit and put everything on hold. Two years later we are even more convinced that the flexibility of an on-demand rideshare service is the best solution, and we can’t wait to get it started in Buckhead.”  

Riders can book an on-demand Buc shuttle ride through the Buc app, which is powered by Via. The app’s intelligent algorithms will match multiple passengers headed in the same direction to provide quick and efficient shared trips, without lengthy detours or inconvenient schedules. Riders without smartphones can also book a ride by calling. 

After selecting pick-up and drop-off points in the Buc app, riders are directed to a nearby virtual bus stop for pick up. The Buc will proceed toward the rider’s destination, picking up and dropping off additional passengers on the way if nearby rides are requested. Riders can track the shuttle’s progress in the app, and they will be picked up by one of four Buc-branded Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans. 

The Buc will operate weekdays during the morning commute (7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.), lunchtime (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and evening commute (3:30 to 7:00 p.m.) with an extra hour of evening service on Thursdays and Fridays. The service zone covers most of central Buckhead, stretching from the Buckhead Village up to Piedmont Center, and across GA 400 to the Lenox MARTA Station. A wheelchair accessible vehicle is available for request in the app.  

The free Buc app is available for download from the Apple App Store and Google Play. After downloading, users must follow a few simple sign-up steps to create an account and prepare to request their first ride. To encourage new riders to try the service, the first six rides on the Buc are free regardless of the pick-up and drop-off locations. 

The Buc offers a convenient, cost-effective way for people to get around Buckhead without a car, helping to reduce emissions and traffic. Livable Buckhead is going a step further by partnering with GreenPrint, a global environmental technology company, to offset the Buc’s tailpipe emissions through the GreenerMiles program. 

The new Buc service is funded by the Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID), with a one-year contract approved by the CID board that was awarded to Via. Livable Buckhead manages the operations and communications of the shuttle system. 

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