The Washington D.C. Department of Public Works has launched a new ride sharing service in partnership with Via Transportation to provide district employees a faster, cheaper, and easier option to travel to meetings and other work-related activities, the department announced.
District government fleet employees can now book rides for official business through Via, an on-demand shared mobility provider. Via’s algorithm matches multiple passengers headed in the same direction in real-time. Ride expenses are billed electronically to their agencies. More than 10 different departments have already enrolled, with more coming on this week.
The Department of Public Works and the Department of For-Hire Vehicles piloted a similar program using a different vendor in 2017 and 2018, with 30 agencies and more than 1,000 employees participating. It was an alternative to the DPW’s Fleet Share program or leasing/owning their own vehicles. DPW’s partnership with Via is expected to result in a 20% savings from the per-mile rate of the pilot.
The department estimates costs for using Via are $0.56 to $1.06 per mile, while costs for an agency-owned or leased vehicle is approximately $3. Fleet Share is the most expensive option, costing $3.82 per mile.
The DPW stated that another benefit is greater vehicle availability. DPW maintains and fuels more than 3,000 vehicles.