Metro is working diligently to build out our rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) system to help riders quickly get where they’re going. But what if you don’t live or work near a BRT or train station? What if there is no frequent, reliable bus option to get there? What if you don’t feel safe or comfortable walking there?
Metro is pursuing a partnership with Via, a provider of on-demand shared rides, to offer service to and from three transit stations in Los Angeles County. The service will be affordable, equitable and accessible to everyone. This pilot program will launch in summer 2018 and will operate for 12 months. It is funded in part by a $1.35-million Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstrations grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
Via will match passengers with other riders going their way to the same transit station. Anyone can use the service, including people without smartphones. The cost of the ride should be less than a similar privately operated and funded service.
Metro and Via will ensure that the service is affordable, equitable and compliant with the transit requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Metro will provide a call center that allows customers to request a ride without using a smartphone. Customers who use wheelchairs or need additional support getting into and out of their rides will be able to request rides that meet their individual needs. Customers without bank accounts will have options for payment.
To emphasize, the rides will be:
- Shared. Customers will share rides with other passengers going to the same station.
- Affordable. Metro will cover some of the cost of getting to and from the transit station.
- Accessible. Customers with disabilities including those with service animals, wheelchairs or other mobility aids or who need additional assistance to board and exit vehicles will be able to request rides that meet their needs.
- On-Demand . Customers will be able to request a ride to and from participating transit stations either by using Via’s smartphone app or by calling the call-center.