Case Study

Newton in Motion

Newton, Massachusetts, USA

Geography

Suburban

Use Case

NEMT, General transportation, Microtransit

Fleet

4 vehicles

22,871

rides provided since launch

4.9/5

average ride rating

Overview

In spring 2019, the City of Newton selected Via to design, launch, and operate an on-demand transit service exclusively for the City’s senior population. Just two months later, “Newton in Motion'' or NewMo was launched. It replaced a legacy dial-a-ride service, which required seniors to book trips 72 hours in advance. After many reported missed trips and driver supply issues, Newton sought an enhanced mobility option for its senior population.

Solution

Via manages day-to-day operations, and provides the City with ongoing customer service support and data analysis to continuously optimize the service.

With NewMo, any resident aged 60 or older can travel to key destinations around Newton, including the senior center, doctors' offices, and places of worship. To accommodate seniors with limited mobility, NewMo includes wheelchair-accessible vehicles in its custom-branded fleet and offers both curb-to-curb and door-to-door service. All vehicles are retrofitted with a stepping stool and additional handles to facilitate an easy and safe boarding experience. In collaboration with Newton’s Senior Center, Via trains all drivers to provide high-touch support, including proactively assisting riders with bags and automatically opening the van’s sliding door upon arrival. In recognition of lower smartphone adoption among older adults, Via allows riders to book on-demand or pre-scheduled rides through the mobile app or by phone. All phone operators receive senior sensitivity training.


Reliable, safe, affordable transportation is a key to giving people options for staying involved in their community as they phase out driving. This is a ground-breaking program that I really think can be a game-changer.”

Ruthanne Fuller
Mayor, Newton

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