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News Texas City Ditches its Buses for Via Ride-Sharing Vans

17:09  14 march  2018
17:09  14 march  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Arlington, Texas , will subsidize Via ride - sharing vans as a replacement for buses .

Via , the app-based ride - sharing service, is replacing bus services for an entire town in Texas , according to CBS This Morning. It ’ s the latest evidence of US cities forgoing investments in public transportation in favor of partnerships with privately held technology startups.

a car parked on the side of a building© Mercedes-Benz

Ride-sharing services may compete with public transportation in some cities, but in one Texas city, ride sharing is replacing it. Via, a startup with ties to Mercedes-Benz, is replacing bus service in the town of Arlington, reports CBS.

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CBS This Morning. Texas city ditches buses for Via ride - share . In its first month, Via provided more than 5,000 rides at a 97 percent customer approval rating. The city is planning on expanding the program to cover 120,000 of its residents by this summer, and if they are filling up the Via vans

Arlington, Texas , is trading public buses for ride - sharing . Via vans pick up passengers on demand for a ride. Arlington is the first U.S. city to experiment with this kind of venture. Kris Van Cleave reports.

Under a new arrangement with Arlington, Via will deploy 10 of its vans, primarily in the city's downtown area. Residents will be able to hail the vans using a smartphone app, just like in any other city where Via operates. But the fares will be subsidized, keeping them relatively low. Passengers will pay $3.00 per ride, or $10.00 for a weekly pass.

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Arlington mayor Jeff Williams told CBS that subsidizing Via was much cheaper than other potential public-transit projects, such as a light-rail line. The city will contribute $322,500, or about one-third of the project cost. The rest will come from the Federal Transit Administration. Via has a one-year contract with Arlington, with four one-year renewal options. As part of the deal, Via will supply Arlington with data in order to "shape future transportation planning decisions."

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Arlington, Texas , is trading public buses for ride - sharing . Via vans pick up passengers on demand for a ride. Arlington is the first U.S. city to

Arlington, Texas , is trading public buses for ride - sharing . Via vans pick up passengers on demand for a ride. Arlington is the first U.S. city to experiment with this kind of venture. Kris Van Cleave reports.

Other cities and towns have experimented with subsidizing ride sharing. In 2016, the town of Summit, New Jersey, began subsidizing Uber as an alternative to building a new parking lot for its commuter-rail station. The city of Altamonte Springs, Florida, has tried to completely eliminate bus service by subsidizing Uber rides. But Via's vans can carry more people, potentially making them more effective at reducing traffic.

Via was founded in September 2013 and counts New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., among its major markets. Last year, it teamed up with Mercedes to launch an on-demand shuttle service in certain European cities. Mercedes parent Daimler just led a $250 million funding round for the startup.

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