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Cooee Growth Booms in the Sydney Suburbs, Drawing Thousands to New On-Demand Transport

In less than three months, the on-demand public transportation network drew thousands of customers and the project has met its utilization goals well ahead of schedule. 

September 3, 2019 (New South Wales, Australia) — Via, the world’s leading provider and developer of on-demand public mobility solutions, today released milestone metrics for its new Cooee Busways transport system, launched in partnership with Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) and Busways, a leading Australian transportation provider. Despite only starting operations on May 27, residents are already flocking to the new service by the thousands, with ridership exceeding targets, and vehicle utilization well ahead of the project’s goals.

Called Cooee Busways, the new on-demand shared transit network provides first- and last- mile connections for residents in The Ponds, Schofields and Kellyville Ridge, linking more residents with the new Sydney Metro public transportation hubs. Residents in the western Sydney suburbs have proved their eagerness to leave their private vehicles at home and take public transport, with more than 20,000 rides taken on the Cooee service in less than three months.

Ridership increased by more than 50 percent between June and July, with 55 percent of riders saying they previously used a private vehicle to make the journey. Thus far, of the 55 percent riders that previously used their private vehicle, 50 percent stated it was primarily used for commuting. From this, 4 percent stated they had sold their car since using Cooee Busways, with a further 43 percent considering selling their vehicle.

What’s more is that the Cooee service maintains a significant utilization rate, seeing a 75 percent increase in the first 11 weeks. During the morning and evening commuting hours, more than twice as many riders use Cooee Busways than originally projected. Because of its high utilization rate, Cooee Busways has thus far saved more than 21,000 vehicle kilometers by sharing a ride compared to driving a private vehicle, saving nearly five metric tons of CO2 vehicle emissions.

To date, the Cooee Busways app has been downloaded more than 8,500 times, garnering a 4.8 star review from users. This equates to a third of the residents in the service area having the app.

“Via’s technology is redefining mobility across the globe, and we’re thrilled to see such a positive reaction from Cooee Busways riders since launching the new on-demand service,” Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via, said. “This project proves that the easier it is to take public transport, the more people will reliably choose it over their private vehicle.”

Cooee Busways operates Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m., connecting commuters with Schofields Train Station and the new Sydney Metro stations at Tallawong and Rouse Hill. With the opening of Sydney Metro Northwest, Via’s timely deployment provides an affordable, convenient, and reliable transportation option for those commuting through these new major transit hubs.

“We are ecstatic over the success of the Cooee Busways service so far. To see ridership grow this quickly in a short space of time has been nothing short of a great achievement for the teams behind the project. It wouldn’t have been possible without Transport for NSW and Via working with us to deliver this futuristic passenger transport service, now,” Busways’ Managing Director, Byron Rowe, said.

“We’re getting people out of their cars, easing traffic congestion, freeing up parking spots, and making the integrated transport network work better for people. The execution from the teams involved has been outstanding — from using the right technology, to picking the area, designing the service, choosing the vehicles and kicking it all off with a proper marketing campaign.”

Commuters can use the service by downloading the Cooee Busways smartphone app powered by Via, available on iOS and Android. Users can book rides between Schofields Train Station, Tallawong Metro station, or Rouse Hill Metro station, and anywhere within the service zone highlighted within the app.

Cooee Busways is Via’s fourth microtransit deployment in New South Wales, Australia, joining services in Newcastle, Northern Beaches and Macquarie Park. Via also partnered with Busways to launch the world’s first on-demand shared autonomous deployment, BusBot, in Toormina, a suburb of Coffs Harbour.

Via has been tapped by cities and transportation players around the world to help re-engineer public transit from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Via now has more than 80 launched and pending deployments in 20 countries. To learn more about Via, visit www.platform.ridewithvia.com.

About Via

Via is re-engineering public transit, from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. 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 September 2013, the Via platform operates in the United States and in Europe through its joint venture with Mercedes-Benz Vans, ViaVan. Via’s technology is also deployed worldwide through dozens of partner projects with public transportation agencies, private transit operators, taxi fleets, private companies, and universities, seamlessly integrating with public transit infrastructure to power cutting-edge on-demand mobility. For more information, visit www.platform.ridewithvia.com.

About Busways

Busways is a transport solution provider that partners with Government agencies to bring innovative, reliable and flexible services to the Australian people. We’re unencumbered, flexible and fast with a leadership team that is both forward thinking and responsive to the changing nature of the domestic transport industry. With a team of over 1,500 people, committed to transporting over 21 million passengers each year, we pride ourselves on taking a proactive approach to public transport delivery to ensure the customer’s journey is as seamless as possible. Busways is interested in how innovative transport solutions can enhance mobility and access for customers groups in different communities.

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