With the touch of a screen, riders can call a six-passenger bus to pick them up and drop them off at their destination for just $2.
Jersey City announced its partnership with the ride-sharing company Via on Thursday, making the on-demand bus venture the state’s first city-run bus system. The idea comes in the wake of Mayor Steven Fulop saying NJ TRANSIT continues to provide unreliable service to the city.
“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 neighborhoods that sometimes lack connectivity to other parts of the city.”
“It’s a form of ride sharing but has a few notable differences. As Mayor Fulop alluded to, you walk a few blocks to a nearby pick-up and that makes the overall system much more efficient,” said Alex Lavoie, head of Via’s U.S. operations.
It’s important to note the service will only be available outside downtown, as it aims to serve those that have less access to public transportation. Ultimately, the city said it wants to cut back on its carbon footprint, encourage carpooling and eventually reduce congestion.
“We view it as one of our responsibilities as government is to provide services and mass transit, is one of those key services,” Fulop said on Thursday. “If people can’t get to work, they won’t be able to perform well or have access to those jobs and they won’t be able to move forward or upwards in life.”
Fulop said the new system is really aimed at helping commuters who have been dealing with overcrowded buses and NJ TRANSIT scheduling issues.
Jersey City ushered in a new era of public transportation Thursday with the unveiling of the citys on-demand transit system.
Through a partnership with the ride-sharing company, Via, the city will offer an on-demand bus system allowing Jersey City residents to access any neighborhood in the city for just $2 a ride.
As NJ Transit continues to neglect the citys 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 Steve Fulop said. 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.
While Fulop said NJ Transit has become increasingly difficult to work with” and has left residents stranded, a spokeswoman for the transportation agency touted the service available in Jersey City.
For decades, NJ Transit has been proud to serve Jersey City with robust bus and light rail service, making it one of the most transit-rich cities in the country, NJ Transit spokeswoman Nancy Snyder said. We have 20 bus routes serving Jersey City providing more than one million passenger trips per month. The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR), which provides approximately 1.3 million passenger trips per month, has 13 stations in Jersey City alone with convenient connections to NJ Transit rail, PATH and ferry service.
The partnership between Jersey City and Via will create an innovative transit system with virtual stops and routes based on passenger demand. Officials say the technology-based transit system would be the first of its kind in the state.
Meanwhile, the system will aim to provide more transit options in the northern and southern neighborhoods of the city. Officials identify these neighborhoods as transit deserts,” which lack the options and transportation hubs found in Downtown Jersey City and Journal Square.
Parts 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.
Using the Via app, riders will be able to hail a shuttle directly from their smartphone. Vias technology will direct passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off. Vias algorithms will enable multiple riders to share a vehicle without fixed routes and schedules.
Standard fares will be $2 per ride, but seniors and low-income residents will be able to ride for $1 or less. Service will operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Via will operate 14 vehicles in Greenville and the Heights, but at least 10% of the programs fleet will be fully electric vehicles, with a focus on increasing the number of electric vehicles in the upcoming years.