Go Connect, an on-demand transit service, is coming to Miami-Dade County Oct. 28, thanks to a partnership between the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) and Via.
The vision of the partnership is to use technology to expand access to public transit countywide, alleviating congestion, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving affordable mobility options without the need for a private vehicle.
Using the GO Connect mobile app (iOS and Android), provided by Miami-Dade County and powered by Via, residents and visitors will be able to book an on-demand ride to connect with Miami-Dade Transit hubs or to travel to nearby destinations. GO Connect will complement and extend the existing mass transit infrastructure, while providing flexible and affordable mobility options when and where passengers need to go.
"Working with the private sector to enhance mass transit for the community is a win-win-win decision for commuters, local businesses and our development partners," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "I am thrilled that we are launching GO Connect, Miami-Dade County's first-ever on-demand public transit network. This project offers the county yet another much-needed transit solution, and it's a great example of how we are spearheading results-driven change for public transportation in a cost-effective way for our county."
GO Connect will roll out in phases in Miami-Dade County beginning Oct. 28 with the Dadeland/South Miami area. Users will have the option of requesting trips to/from the Dadeland South, Dadeland North or South Miami Metrorail stations as well as along the TransitWay, in addition to nearby destinations in the service area. In the near future, GO Connect will expand to additional communities, including the town of Cutler Bay, the Civic Center area and the West Kendall area.
"By thinking outside the box, we are introducing a new on-demand option with near door-to-door rides as an innovative mobility solution for mass transit in Miami-Dade County," said DTPW Director Alice N. Bravo. "This is how we are connecting the dots and continuing to make our county a car-optional community. I am pleased to implement, quickly and efficiently, this new service for Miami-Dade Transit riders."
"We are proud to work with the innovative team at Miami-Dade Transit to introduce GO Connect, the first on-demand public transit network in Miami-Dade County," said Daniel Ramot, Via CEO and co-founder. "It's exciting to collaborate on a shared vision for the positive social, economic and environmental impact that digitally powered transit solutions can bring the community."
Through this partnership with Via, DTPW will be able to harness real-time data, rider feedback and ride ratings to create a responsive service that meets the changing needs and travel patterns of Miami-Dade County residents and visitors.
Via's algorithms will enable multiple riders to seamlessly and safely share the same vehicle, directing 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. Although trips may be shared, the maximum number of riders per vehicle has been limited in compliance with social distancing guidelines set forth by Miami-Dade County and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Riders and drivers will also be required to wear a face covering while on board.
Rides will be available from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday in Dadeland/South Miami. All rides in the Dadeland/South Miami zone will be free for an introductory period, and then the fare for each trip will be a flat $2.25, the same cost as a one-way Metrobus or Metrorail ride.
For non-English speakers, the GO Connect app will be available in Spanish and Creole. The service will offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and those without access to a smartphone can book a ride by calling.