Jersey City Transforms Transit With Affordable On-Demand Program

Jersey City Transforms Transit With Affordable On-Demand Program, Via — At 2M Rides, Low-Income and Minority Riders Benefit Most

The two million rides milestone underscores Via Jersey City’s status as one of the most successful city-run microtransit programs in the nation.

A purple car with a white Via logo is parked on the side of the road. A woman in a grey jumper and jeans stands next to the car looking at her phone.
The Via fleet uses a combination of high-capacity vans and electric vehicles to maximize use and reduce vehicle emissions

Mayor Steven M. Fulop is proud to announce Jersey City’s affordable, on-demand, app-based public transit service, Via, is surpassing two million rides, with 80% of all rides serving people of color. The program also achieved record-high efficiency in 2023.

The Fulop Administration introduced Via nearly four years ago to expand access to equitable transportation by addressing “transit deserts.” Since then, Via Jersey City has established itself as one of the nation’s most successful programs of its kind in terms of ridership, efficiency, and impact.

Mayor Fulop said:

“We are already shattering records and exceeding our goals of providing an affordable transit option that is proven to encourage more people onto mass transit and significantly expands mobility, especially for low-income and minority populations. With Via Jersey City, we have created a blueprint for how public transportation should look across New Jersey, further establishing Jersey City as a coveted place to live, work, and play.”

Despite launching during one of the most challenging times for public transit in history – the COVID-19 pandemic – Via has established itself as a resilient and crucial part of the city’s infrastructure, with one in five Jersey City residents having taken a Via ride. Half of riders report using Via to connect with other forms of public transit regularly, proving its effectiveness in extending the reach of NJ Transit, PATH, and ferry lines and, in turn, reducing congestion and traffic.  The tech-based program averages over 14,000 rides per week.

Service metrics from 2023 validate that Via is achieving exactly what it set out to do in terms of providing a highly efficient and equitable transit connection to the community:

  • 60% of all rides serving low-income residents.
  • 1/3 of riders say they travel more often with Via.
  • 2/3 of riders do not have access to a personal car.
  • 85% of riders use the service for essential needs.
  • Avoided 28,000 gallons of gas and 483,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide in the past 3 months.
  • 63,000 rides in September alone, the highest to date, with historically low wait times.

As a “microtransit” service, Via Jersey City uses intelligent software from Via, the global leader in TransitTech, to match multiple riders headed in the same direction into one shared minivan at just $2 per ride (or free for trips to and from the newly-reopened Port Liberte ferry terminal). The result is a convenient, highly flexible model that can provide transportation in areas where traditional mass transit cannot efficiently reach, meaning that residents in Jersey City now have nearly universal transportation coverage.

Mike Vaccarino, Vice President of Partnerships at Via said:

“Via is proud of Jersey City for achieving two million on-demand transit rides in just under four years. This incredible feat is a testament to Jersey City’s leadership in using technology to solve transit inequities and truly imagine a greater future for its community – we look forward to seeing the program continue to meet its goals in 2024.”

Recent feedback from riders reveals how Via is making a positive impact on the lives of locals:

Ben:

“Via has made a big improvement in my life. First of all, financially. (Fares) are so reasonable. I'm glad the city supports this so that prices can be so low. When I tell my friends about it, a lot of them think it’s too good to be true.”

Diane:

“Via is a reliable and convenient commute option that fills the gap between bus routes and light rail stations.”

Shakeema:

“I'm definitely grateful for Via because it is very convenient and it's safe. Ubers are fine, but it’s better to have a choice about how you get around. It’s a cheaper way for people (to travel)…I’m happy that Jersey City is starting to make more changes around here and Via is the beginning.”

The Via fleet uses a combination of high-capacity vans and electric vehicles to maximize use and reduce vehicle emissions.  For more information on how to use Via Jersey City, please click here.

This article was originally published by Via.

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