Photo courtesy of Via
Commuters in Jersey City will soon be able to hail a city bus from their smartphones. In a partnership with ride-sharing app Via, the city will launch on-demand bus service as an alternative to often delayed-plagued New Jersey Transit, Mayor Steven Fulop announced Thursday. Passengers can request a shared trip using Via’s app and then will be given a “virtual” bus stop within walking distance from both pickup and drop-off locations.
“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,” Fulop said in a press release.
“This is the latest step towards our larger vision of getting cars off the road, while creating mobility in the neighborhoods that sometimes lack connectivity to other parts of the city.”
Via plans to operate 14 vehicles in Greenville and The Heights on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., shuttling residents between the northern and southern parts of the city, as well as to main shopping and business districts as well as PATH and ferry stations. The bus will cost $2 per ride with a discounted $1 ride or less for low-income residents and seniors.
As Politico New Jersey reported, Jersey City will pay Via $2 million each year to create the system. This will be the first such service in the state of New Jersey; Via currently operates transit in Los Angeles, Seattle, West Sacramento, and Arlington, Texas, with the technology planned for more than 20 countries.
“Via’s powerful technology is seamlessly integrating with public transit infrastructure around the globe, redefining the way people get around cities,” Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via.
“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.”
Despite being home to Hudson-Bergen Light Trail, NJ Transit buses, and the PATH train that connects to Manhattan, Fulop told Politico it still isn’t enough for Jersey City’s 265,000 residents. “New Jersey Transit is terrible,” the mayor said. “We’re going to push them to do what they’re required to do. But it’s really hard to work with them.”
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