The City of Birmingham, Ala., and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham is partnering with Via to provide a six-month, on-demand shared ride service that will complement the existing public transit infrastructure, the mobility solutions company announced.
According to local stakeholders, Birmingham's current public transit infrastructure prevents residents in high need and underserved communities from accessing jobs, healthcare, education, and other local opportunities. An on-demand service, powered by Via's technology and using six-seater vehicles, presents an opportunity for the city to provide improve mobility options for residents.
Via’s algorithm enables multiple riders to share a single vehicle. The technology directs passengers to a nearby corner — a virtual bus stop — for pick up and drop off, allowing for shared trips without lengthy detours or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules. The service zone was designed to provide affordable and efficient transportation for high-need and underserved communities and will operate Monday through Saturday. Riders can request a wheelchair-accessible vehicle if it is needed.
The cost for riders is $1.50 per ride.