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Blackfeet Reservation launches on-demand public transit service powered by Via

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October 12, 2021 (Browning, MT) — On August 25, Blackfeet Transit partnered with Via, the leader in TransitTech, to launch a dynamically-routed, door-to-door public transit service that will expand access to affordable, efficient, and convenient transportation for riders traveling within The Blackfeet Reservation and Browning and to and from nearby towns.

Blackfeet Transit’s partnership with Via represents the first time Blackfeet Transit has incorporated software technology into its transportation services. With this technology, the service’s vehicle routing and dispatching will become more efficient — ultimately empowering citizens to travel more easily to healthcare, jobs, education, voting, and commercial opportunities than ever before. 

Using the Blackfeet Transit mobile app, or by calling a dedicated phone line for riders without a smartphone, riders can book an on-demand or pre-scheduled ride when and where they need it. Upon booking a ride, Via’s advanced algorithms create quick and efficient trips by pooling multiple passengers headed in the same direction into a single vehicle in real time.

The service operates from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday within Browning, and provides trips to-and-from neighboring areas including Kalispell, Great Falls, Shelby and Cutbank. The service also includes wheelchair-accessible vehicles. 

“Via’s mission is to create equitable, flexible access to transportation, and Blackfeet Reservation is an amazing example of a community using tech-enabled transit to help its residents affordably and easily connect with essential services and leisure opportunities, without the need for a private vehicle,” said Dillon Twombly, Chief Revenue Officer at Via. 

“Blackfeet Transit will be able to reach more people than ever with Via’s technology,” said Warren Blackman, Blackfeet Transit Director. “We’re excited this partnership is bringing people better access to transportation and helping meet the different transportation needs in the community. The majority of riders we serve are elderly or people with disabilities, and this technology empowers them to book a ride on their own to get wherever they need to go.”

To book a ride, either: 

  1. Download the custom “Blackfeet Transit” app from the Apple/Google Play Store. 
    1. Open the app.
    2. Select your pickup and dropoff location within the zone.
    3. If you’re ready to leave right away, tap “Book This Ride”. If you want to schedule a ride in advance, hit the “Schedule” button and choose the day/time you want to travel.
    4. Check the mobile app to find out exactly where to meet the vehicle, and to track your vehicle’s location and estimated time of approval in real time .
    5. Pay your fare with cash when you board (soon, you can pay with a credit or debit card). 
  2. Or, call (406) 338-5604 to have Blackfeet dispatchers book a ride on your behalf. 

Pricing: 

  • Adults: $1 flat fare per ride
  • Seniors: free
  • Passengers with disabilities: free
  • Children under the age of 17: free, but must be accompanied by an adult.

More information about the booking process, pricing and passes can be found on the Blackfeet Transit website

The partnership with Blackfeet Transit is Via’s second in Montana, following the July launch of Mountain Climber by Via in Flathead County. Outside of Montana, Via works with more than 500 partners on six continents to use technology to introduce efficient and equitable public transit solutions. 

About Via:

Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to power public mobility systems, optimizing networks of dynamic shuttles, buses, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, and autonomous vehicles around the globe. Building the world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all riders — including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and unbanked populations — Via works with its partners to lower the cost of public transit and provide accessible options that rival the convenience of a personal car at a much reduced environmental impact. At the intersection of transportation and technology, Via is a visionary market leader that combines software innovation with sophisticated service design and operational expertise to fundamentally improve the way the world moves, with more than 500 global partners on six continents, and counting.

About Blackfeet Transit 

Blackfeet Transit is a transportation service that offers on-demand and pre-booking rides within the Blackfeet Nation and to and from neighboring cities. It specifically services Browning and trips that go to and from Kalispell, Great Falls, Shelby, Cutbank and more.

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