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Cooee Busways Integrates On-Demand Transport with Australia’s New Multi-Modal ‘Opal Connect’ Platform

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Cooee Busways riders can now pay using Opal Connect, making Via one of the first technology providers to integrate with TfNSW’s new account-based ticketing system. 

October 22, 2019 (SYDNEY) — Via, the world’s leading provider and developer of public mobility solutions, today announced the on-demand transport service Cooee Busways is officially one of the first demand-responsive transportation providers in Australia to fully integrate with Opal Connect, a new account-based ticketing system by Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW).

In partnership with leading Australian transportation provider Busways, Cooee provides first- and last- mile connections to three Sydney Metro public transportation hubs and the local shopping centre, all completely on-demand. Commuters in The Ponds, Schofields, and Kellyville Ridge use the Via-powered Cooee Busways smartphone app (iOS and Android) to request quick and efficient shared trips, enabling them to leave their personal vehicles at home.

Now Cooee Busways users will have even more flexibility with Opal Connect, a new ticketing solution that aims to provide an integrated and convenient experience for customers through a singular, trusted digital account.

Going forward, residents using Cooee Busways who sign up for Opal Connect will receive a $2 travel credit each time they transfer to Opal services like the bus, train, or Metro. They can then use that travel credit towards any future on-demand services that accept Opal, an incentive transport leaders say will turn occasional riders into daily users, further reducing congestion and emissions caused by driving single-occupancy vehicles.

“The biggest hurdle for people catching public transport is often that first and last mile,” said New South Wales Transport Minister Andrew Constance. “Our goal is to make this key part of the journey as simple and integrated as possible. This first stage of Opal Connect provides another incentive to leave the car at home and enjoy a ride on our new, state of the art Metro system.”

With Opal Connect, customers create an account via the transportnsw.info website, and then securely link their Opal card, along with their credit or debit card. Customers can then use their Opal Connect account to sign in to different transport operator’s apps to book and pay for their travel, including Via’s Cooee Busways app.

Residents using Cooee Busways have already proven their eagerness to leave their private vehicles at home, too. Riders took more than 40,000 trips with Cooee in less than five months, with 55 percent of riders saying they previously used a private vehicle to make the journey. From this, 4 percent stated they had sold their car since using Cooee Busways, with a further 43 percent considering selling their vehicle.

By integrating with Opal Connect, both Busways and Via hope to see an even larger number of commuters turn to Cooee Busways to make their journeys. Into the future, Opal Connect has the capability to become a one-stop-shop for all transport transactions and information, whether public transport, rideshare, taxis, parking,and even tolling.

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, digital network. Via now has more than 90 launched and pending deployments in more than 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, digital 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 Group is the largest family owned bus operator in New South Wales, Australia with 77 years’ experience providing exceptional standards of public transportation to hundreds of communities on the east coast. Busways is interested in how innovative transport solutions can enhance mobility and access for different customer groups.

With a team of over 1,500 people, committed to transporting over 21 million passengers each year, Busways prides itself on taking a proactive approach to public transport delivery to ensure the customer’s journey is as seamless as possible.