Via launches On-demand Planning, now offering end-to-end software platform for transit planning

Nov. 3, 2021
On-demand Planning is the first product launch after Via’s acquisition of Remix, and will allow cities to use data to plan efficient and equitable transportation networks, including both on demand and fixed route.

Via, a global leader in TransitTech, has launched its new On-demand Planning, the first product that allows cities and transit agencies to use data to visualize how and where on-demand transit solutions can work within their existing fixed-route transit network to create the greatest impact.

Via team members attended APTA EXPO Nov. 8-10 in Orlando, Fla., to demo and educate attendees about the new product offering. 

For the first time, planners will be able to model on-demand transit operating costs, service-area demographics and service quality scenarios before implementation.

On-demand Planning fills a critical need for transportation planners seeking a holistic planning solution. Through the product, transportation experts can visualize where service gaps exist within their networks, evaluate demographic information to inform which communities will most benefit from on-demand programs and determine how on-demand programs can complement and help optimize existing fixed-route services. Additionally, many cities and agencies are looking to implement cost-effective and flexible transit services that can dynamically adapt in response to changing travel patterns and historically siloed modes of transit.

The product combines expertise and existing data from Via’s 500-plus global partnerships and nearly 100 million rides with Remix’s intelligent transportation planning software. On-demand Planning is the first joint product offering since Via’s acquisition of Remix in March. It is a critical addition to the Remix suite of planning products, and is a key element in offering an end-to-end TransitTech software solution for cities and transit agencies. Via now can offer partners software to plan, operate and optimize their complete transportation networks — including on demand and fixed route — all in one place.

“After receiving hundreds of customer requests about this need over the years, we knew On-demand Planning would be the first joint product launch after Remix’s acquisition by Via in March 2021,” said Tiffany Chu, senior vice president of Remix at Via. “Since our beta release a few weeks ago, we’ve heard only overwhelmingly positive feedback about this completely new ability to plan both fixed-route and on-demand services across the same platform. The launch of On-demand Planning represents the next step in Via’s vision to create the digital infrastructure to transform the way the world moves.”

Several transit agency customers, including partners in Seattle and Miami-Dade County, have shown how On-demand Planning has helped them visualize the community impact and potential ROI of flexible mobility options.

With Link light-rail stations opening in the Seattle, Wash., region, King County Metro is turning to flexible mobility to fill service gaps. Innovative Mobility Senior Planner Casey Gifford uses Remix to understand what an on-demand zone around a new light-rail station would look like.

“Overall, On-demand Planning was super helpful as a starting point for understanding where to draw our service areas and how much service we can provide with our current budget," Gifford said. "As a non-service planner, I was able to draft proposals and have data-driven, educated conversations with my service planning colleagues.”

For its upcoming network redesign, Better Bus Network, Miami-Dade County is leveraging multimodal planning to connect more people to more places. Carlos Cruz-Casas, assistant director of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation, recently brought a multimodal lens to an executive conversation by showing fixed-route and on-demand options, on the fly, during a budget meeting.

“I sat down next to the director, drew an on-demand zone to substitute a low-performing fixed route. I was able to show that with the same number of vehicles, we can offer better service and save resources that could be reallocated into increasing fixed-route frequency on higher demand routes," Cruz-Casas said.

Key benefits of Via’s On-Demand Planning product include:

  • Elevate data-driven insights: Easy to understand the demographic makeup of a community, allowing users to design transportation services that will have the biggest impact. Users can access data about a select area’s population, car ownership status, and job makeup — all indicators that inform which communities are most in need of additional transportation services.
  • Uncover where transit efficiencies can be created: Agencies are looking to find the most efficient and cost-effective mix of fixed-routes and flexible mobility services. The product, as part of the Remix planning suite, can model which routes can be truncated or replaced with flexible mobility, and which routes would benefit from increased service.
  • Gain a holistic view of an entire transport network: On-demand Planning completes a user’s holistic view of how all modes of public transportation — whether that be on-demand programs or fixed route services — can be connected and optimized.

Via’s On-demand Planning product signifies the next step in Via’s mission to help cities and transit authorities introduce intelligent, flexible and equitable transit systems in their communities for years to come.