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‘Link On Demand’ popularity surges as Colorado commuters turn to on-demand public transit
The on-demand service draws hundreds of customers every week, letting riders leave their cars at home during daily commutes.
September 17, 2019 (LONE TREE, COLORADO) — Via, the world’s leading provider and developer of on-demand public mobility solutions, today released milestone metrics for the City of Lone Tree’s Link On Demand transportation system, which launched in partnership with Via in February 2019. In the last six months, residents and area commuters have taken tens of thousands of rides, with vehicle utilization well beyond projected goals.
“Expanded transportation options and congestion relief are top priorities for Lone Tree residents and businesses. Link On Demand allowed the City to optimize its transportation infrastructure investments and improve access and mobility throughout Lone Tree,” said Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet. “Demand for the service continues to grow and our partnership with Via has resulted in improved customer service, ridership and data collection.”
The City of Lone Tree originally piloted Link On Demand in 2018 and transitioned to its current partnership with Via earlier this year. The on-demand transportation system serves as a free shuttle anywhere within the city limits, providing riders with a convenient and comfortable way to access anything in Lone Tree while reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions caused by single-occupancy vehicles.
Since partnering with Via, however, residents have proved their eagerness to leave their private vehicles at home and take public transportation. Riders took more than 28,000 trips on Link On Demand in less than six months, with ridership demand actually increasing after the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) southeast rail extension in Lone Tree in May 2019. It now averages more than 1,000 rides per week in a city with fewer than 15,000 residents.
And while Link On Demand serves as a connection to anywhere within the city limits, the service is most popular with daily commuters getting to and from the office. In fact, the Charles Schwab and Kaiser Permanente’s corporate campuses account for 25 percent of all pick-ups since launching in February, and 24.8 percent of all drop-offs.
What’s more is that ridership to and from those corporate campuses actually increased in the 12 weeks after the RTD extended its E, F and R light-rail service into Lone Tree. The volume of pick-ups increased by 18.2% and drop-offs by 15.2%, with Link On Demand likely acting as a first- and last-mile connection for the increasing volume of commuters taking the train.
This all accounts for the on-demand network’s significant utilization rate, as the number of people requesting rides more than triples during the morning and evening commuting hours. Because of its high utilization rate, Link On Demand has now saved nearly 35,000 vehicle miles by sharing a ride compared to driving a private vehicle, equivalent to eliminating more than 11 tons of CO2 vehicle emissions.
“Via’s technology is redefining mobility across the globe, and we’re thrilled to see such a positive reaction from Lone Tree Link 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.”
To date, the Link On Demand app has been downloaded more than 3,400 times. This equates to nearly a quarter of Lone Tree’s population having the app.
Commuters can use the service by downloading the Link On Demand smartphone app powered by Via, available on iOS and Android. Link On Demand operates Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.; Friday from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
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.