WRTA Receives $460,000 in Discretionary Funding from MassDOT to Pilot an On-Demand Micro-transit Service with Via
Worcester, Mass., January 6, 2020: The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) is pleased to announce they have received $459,430 in Discretionary Funding from MassDOT to pilot an on-demand microtransit service with Via in Westborough starting mid-2020.
This project will be the first Public-Private Transit Partnership in the Central Massachusetts region that will introduce on-demand micro-transit. The project will replace the community shuttle the WRTA currently operates in Town of Westborough, and it will provide a ‘Transportation-as-a-Service’ (TaaS) model to the WRTA using Via, a private provider.
Via is a global transportation technology company that has created technical solutions to move passengers through shared-rides in a more efficient, convenient, and affordable way. Via’s advanced algorithms enable multiple riders to seamlessly share a vehicle, working with cities and public transportation agencies around the world to connect more people to transit.
The powerful technology directs passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules. Via is not only a technology provider, but has the operational know-how to create a scalable, customizable technology to offer to the public sector.
- On-demand service allows for easy switch from personal vehicle to the transit service;
- Coverage area increases to the entire town of Westborough vs. the existing fixed route network;
- Reduction in overall daily cost for commuters who are currently using the MBTA parking lots;
- Easier to pay fare using mobile apps.
WRTA Administrator, Dennis Lipka, said “We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Via and provide commuters with a new service in Westborough. It is important to give our riders access to the best service possible and we feel this partnership will do just that. This on-demand transit service will provide residents and employees much needed flexibility and ensure that there are affordable and convenient transportation options available.”
Via has already partnered with some of the world’s largest public transit agencies to solve pressing transportation needs, including the Los Angeles Metro, Transport for London (TfL), Sydney’s Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), and Berlin’s Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG).
The Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) is a regional transit system that services the City of Worcester and the surrounding 36 communities in the Central Massachusetts area with a bus fleet that includes all-electric buses as well as many diesel-electric hybrid buses. The second largest regional transit authority in Massachusetts, the WRTA offers reliable, comfortable, and safe transportation for traveling to work, shopping, school, medical appointments, and leisure activities. The WRTA also provides paratransit service for the elderly and disabled, as well as a variety of special services for those groups in the entire service area. For more information, visit www.TheRTA.com.
Via is reimagining how the world moves, from regulated systems with rigid routes and schedules to fully dynamic networks. Via’s mobile app connects multiple passengers who are headed the same way, allowing riders to seamlessly share a premium vehicle. First launched in New York City in 2013, Via’s technology is now deployed globally, including in Europe as ViaVan. Today Via and ViaVan partner with nearly 100 public transportation agencies, private transit operators, taxi fleets, private companies, school districts, and universities, seamlessly integrating with transportation infrastructure to power cutting-edge mobility. For more information, visit ridewithvia.com.