UTA debuts pilot program with Via

Nov. 26, 2019
The program aims to provide more transit service and improve connections to TRAX and FrontRunner.

The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) Innovative Mobility team has debuted a new pilot program, UTA on Demand by Via, to provide more transit service and improve connections to TRAX and FrontRunner.

The Basics

UTA On Demand is a rideshare service operated by Via. If the needed trip starts and ends in the specified geographic area, just download the Via app and book a ride, or call 385-217-8191. The fare is $1.00 through Dec. 31, 2019. After that, fares and transfers are the same as the rest of UTA’s system. The Via vehicles are also wheelchair accessible.

Why rideshare?

The pilot is focused on southern Salt Lake County where it’s challenging for UTA to provide regular, frequent service. With seven rail stations in the service area, this type of on demand, shared ride service provides first and last-mile connections to UTA’s other services. It’s also a great solution for short, irregular trips like visits to the grocery store, doctor appointments and other destinations.

“We are very excited about UTA On Demand and our partnership with Via. By using new technologies, UTA and Via are able to improve mobility in southern Salt Lake County,” said Jaron Robertson, UTA Innovative Mobility acting director. “This pilot will do many things – increase coverage, provide more flexible trip planning and in general, provide a more convenient way to connect to transit and other popular places.” 

Looking Ahead

The Innovative Mobility team’s job is to look ahead for ways to use new and emerging technologies to increase mobility. This pilot project will run through November 2020. UTA will be collecting feedback via an online survey and through contacting UTA Customer Service.

UTA is offering two promotions to motivate riders to try the new service. Riders can get their first two rides free using the code RIDEVIA in the Via app. After that, UTA is offering all rides for $1.00 through Dec. 31, 2019.

If the pilot is successful, it could become part of UTA’s regular, ongoing transit services and possibly expand into other communities along the Wasatch Front.

“As a Draper resident, I’ve seen this community go through rapid growth. It’s time for new solutions that allow people to get around affordably and with ease,” said Shaina Quinn, UTA Innovative Mobility researcher. “We really think UTA On Demand by Via will be a good fit for southern Salt Lake County.” 

 UTA on Demand by Via is a first and last mile solution that aims to increase transit use by creating an easy to use connecting service that works for everyone.