A pilot project that offers shared, on-demand rides to and from three busy Metro stations — Artesia, El Monte and North Hollywood — was launched today by Metro and the private firm Via.
Riders can summon rides with Via’s smartphone app or by calling Via at (619) 731-0710, which will provide a nearby intersection where riders can meet their rides. Each ride begins or ends at one of the three stations. The rides can be within a defined service area around each station.
Riders who input TAP cards while creating an account with Via will ride for $1.75 (have your TAP card handy when signing up — it’s easier that way). Riders without TAP cards can ride for $3.75. Riders who are registered with Metro’s low-income fare program, LIFE, can ride for free.
The idea of the program is to extend the benefits of on-demand services to a wider audience and to make it easier for riders to connect with a growing Metro system.
Via will accept payment by credit, debit, or pre-paid card. These features allow passengers without smartphones or bank accounts to use the service. The call center has translation services available.
Via’s service will also be fully wheelchair accessible, with special vehicles able to easily accommodate those who are non-ambulatory, allowing many to finally use an on-demand, ride-hailing service.
The pilot is funded in part by a $1.35-million grant from the Federal Transit Administration for its Mobility on Demand Sandbox Demonstration program.
The shared rides are in line Metro’s Vision 2028 Strategic Plan to reduce single occupancy car trips. Via will provide Metro with data on how riders use the service. That will help Metro measure the success of this partnership and help inform future ride sharing innovations at Metro.
For more information about the service, please visit http://www.metro.net/via.