WEST SACRAMENTO — It’s a ride sharing service that puts the emphasis on sharing.
“Via” rideshare is a New York based company and the lesser-known competitor to Uber and lyft and other ridesharing services.
The City of West Sacramento will likely soon team up with Via starting in the spring of 2018 as a one-year trial to see how the idea catches on within the city limits.
“You are going to get there a lot faster than you would have on a bus — way faster — but really for the same fair as a bus,” West Sacramento Mayor Chris Cabaldon said.
The partnership will include via’s fleet of ten Mercedes-Benz vans.
Via works like Uber and Lyft, through an app on a smart phone. The difference, though, is price and strangers.
In New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., three metropolitan areas were Via currently serves customers, the average price of a ride is around $5. However, Cabaldon says they are working on a deal were residents would pay a $2.50 flat rate to go anywhere in the city.
The catch is Via uses an algorithm to connect passengers with this fleet of cars, meaning there could be multiple other stops to pick up other passengers along your route, depending on where you’re going.
The City of West Sacramento recently received a $400,000 grant from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments for the trial program.
Some of that money has been sent to Via to begin the one-year trial phase and bring them to the city. The remaining money will be dedicated to analyzing the operation to see how it would or would not be a good deal for the city and residents moving forward after the one-year trial period has ended.
Mayor Cabaldon says the city council has given their initial approval of the service but will officially vote on it in December.