Via partners with TARTA on first on-demand microtransit program through NEORide membership

Jan. 25, 2023
TARTA Flex’s microtransit model will expand access to convenient, equitable and sustainable public transit in Lucas County and Rossford, Ohio.

Via launched “TARTA Flex,” a new on-demand public transit service booked through a mobile app in partnership with the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) – signifying the first microtransit launch made possible through a transit agency’s membership to NEORide, an Ohio-based consortium designed to accelerate mobility innovation in the U.S.

TARTA Flex’s microtransit model will expand access to convenient, equitable, and sustainable public transit in Lucas County and Rossford, Ohio, allowing anyone in the TARTA Flex service zones to order a pre-booked or on-demand shared ride through the TARTA Flex app. Special service for paratransit and senior riders will also be available through TARTA Flex.

TARTA Flex is designed to fill in “transit deserts” by providing coverage in areas where TARTA’s 30 fixed-route lines do not reach.

TARTA’s membership to NEORide made the expedited launch of TARTA Flex possible. With NEORide’s partnership agreement with Via (effective as of November 2022), NEORide members can introduce Via’s TransitTech solutions into their public transportation networks without undergoing a separate formalized Request for Proposal (RFP) process. They also benefit from NEORide’s cooperative agreements, joint purchasing power and strategic management offerings.

As a result of the new partnership with Via, NEORide’s 20-plus transit agency members (including those from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, West Virginia and Arkansas) gain substantial support to deploy innovative public transportation options like TARTA Flex, including on-demand microtransit and paratransit services.

“Via and NEORide share a vision that technology is the key to catalyzing equitable transportation for communities of all sizes,” said Laney Cloud, central regional lead at Via. “Our partnership with NEORide will make it easier for transit agencies to discover Via’s innovative and impactful software solutions, and we hope to see membership of this revolutionary organization continue to grow.”

“NEORide is excited to bring this innovative technology powered by Via to its member agencies, including both large urban and small rural transit agencies,” said Katherine Conrad, director for NEORide. “By building on the cooperative buying power of multiple transit agencies, transit customers across the region will benefit from stronger and more innovative public transit service.”

NEORide’s new microtransit and paratransit launch offering with Via follows several other integrations to advance the implementation of innovative transit – including EZfare’s consolidated ticketing platform, the largest multi-county, multi-state ticketing system in the country. In addition, NEORide will be utilizing the Via system in its next major project, EZConnect, for joint scheduling, dispatching and customer service.

NEORide’s projects are supported by substantial grant funding from the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration and Ohio Department of Transportation, which seeks to advance tech-enabled, on-demand public transportation projects.