The City of Jersey City has announced a new city-run bus service that will cost about $2 per ride as part of a cooperative effort with transportation company Via.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“As NJ Transit continues to neglect the City’s mass transit systems, and without help from the state, we are now creating our own innovative solutions that will meet the needs of our residents,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“This is the latest step towards our larger vision of getting cars off the road, while creating mobility in neighborhoods that sometimes lack connectivity to other parts of the City.”
The vendor partnership, the first of its kind in New Jersey, will create an innovative transit system with virtual stops and routes based on passenger demand.
Areas of Jersey City identified as primary service areas will increase connectivity to other key shopping and business districts, government facilities, as well as PATH, ferry and light rail stations.
“Via’s powerful technology is seamlessly integrating with public transit infrastructure around the globe, redefining the way people get around cities,” added Via co-founder and CEO Daniel Ramot.
“We’re delighted to join forces with Mayor Fulop and the City Council to bring this cutting-edge, on-demand shuttle system to Jersey City, providing residents with a convenient, affordable, and congestion-reducing dynamic transportation alternative.”
While Via operates in city’s across the country, they are best known for starting a similar networks using vans to shuttle commuters between uptown and downtown Manhattan.
Using the Via app, riders will be able to hail a shuttle directly from their smartphone. Via’s advanced algorithms will enable multiple riders to also share the vehicle.
Additionally, the technology will direct passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules.
Via will operate at approximately $2 per ride, with discounts for seniors and low-income residents at $1 or less.
Service will operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. While Via will operate with 14 vehicles in Greenville and the Heights, at least 10 percent of the program’s fleet will be fully electric vehicles – with a focus on increasing the number of electric vehicles in the upcoming years.
Furthermore, riders can request a wheelchair accessible vehicle should they indicate it is needed. This will also bring additional job opportunities to Jersey City, with Via drivers being paid well above the state minimum wage.