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Chino City and Via announce partnership to launch the City’s first on-demand public transit service

November 5, 2020 (CHINO CITY, Japan)-- Chino City, with support from Mayor Imai-san, and Via, the leading TransitTech provider for public mobility solutions, are proud to announce a partnership that will introduce the first on-demand public transit service in the city.

The partnership plays a key role in Chino City’s vision to become a “Super-City”, an initiative led by the Japanese government to provide funding for cities with a focus on the acceleration of technologically-advanced solutions, including on-demand public transit.

The service, called “Noraza”, is expected to launch in December, and will be powered by world-class technology for dynamic, on-demand transit from Via. Noraza will complement and extend the existing public transit infrastructure, filling the gaps where traditional public transport options are more limited.

The on-demand service supports Chino City’s goal to use technology to expand access to affordable, convenient, and efficient public transportation offerings in the City, without the need for a private vehicle.

“Via is ushering in a new era for mobility in Japan by building the infrastructure for on-demand transit networks,” said Hiroshi Nishijimia, CEO of Via Japan. “Via’s partnership with Chino City represents the value that technology can bring to support municipalities as they seek to increase efficiency, demand, and affordability of public transit, while expanding equitable access to mobility where it is needed most.”

“We are proud to announce our partnership with Chino City and Mayor Mr. Imai as we seek to advance innovative, digitally-powered mobility solutions across Japan,” said Daniel Ramot, Via’s CEO and co-founder. “Chino City is a pioneer on the next frontier of mobility in Japan, and the introduction of on-demand transit with Noraza will be an example for other municipalities to follow.”

As a result of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on transportation, Chino City aims to grow ridership and increase efficiency in public transport through the partnership with Via.

Chino City and Via have worked closely to design a service that meets the needs of the community, with a particular focus on rural mobility and safe and convenient access for seniors.

Via’s technology will enable passengers and caregivers to book a ride on-demand through a mobile app or by calling a dedicated phone line, and will include all public transit concessions for seniors. Payment will be handled directly through the app or with cash. Noraza will also provide both virtual bus stop rides, as well as door-to-door service for seniors. Chino City will be the first municipality to use this unique set of features tailored to seniors in Japan.

The need for this type of solution is evident in a country where the population is aging rapidly. Being able to develop a senior-friendly, technology-driven transportation system could be the answer to solve some key challenges many municipalities face.

Chino City is Via’s first direct partnership with a municipality in Japan, and immediately follows both the launch of Japan’s first on-demand transit service for mid-sized buses, in partnership with Michinori, and the partnership with Hinomaru in August to improve the efficiency of their vehicle dispatch operations. Via also powers and operates on-demand commuter services in partnership with ITOCHU Corporation.

Via has been tapped by cities and transportation operators around the world to use software solutions to re-engineer public transit from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic network. Via now has more than 150 launched partnerships in more than 25 countries using on-demand solutions to reimagine transport.

About Via:
Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to develop public mobility systems — optimizing networks of buses, shuttles, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, autonomous vehicles, and electric 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 costs of public transit while providing transportation options that rival the convenience of a personal car while reducing the 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 150 global partners on six continents, and counting.