Sept. 16, 2022 (CHINO CITY, JAPAN) — Via, the leader in TransitTech, is proud to announce a new partnership with Chino City, Japan to launch “Noraza," an AI-enabled, demand-responsive shared ride service to help the city reach its commitment to build innovative and flexible public transportation for all people, including the elderly and students.
The official deployment of Noraza follows a six-month pilot program, after which the Chino City New Regional Public Transportation Committee evaluated its success and concluded the need to make the service a permanent transportation fixture in the region.
Using microtransit to become a “smarter city”
Through the use of Via’s TransitTech platform, Noraza will help Chino City achieve its five public transportation goals as a way to strengthen its reputation as a world-class smart city:
- Expand mobility access for local students and the elderly
- Create a lively city that fosters growth and opportunity
- Support convenient mobility for visitors
- Reduce the need for taxi services, particularly given the driver shortage
- Alleviate traffic congestion and implement more sustainable transit options
The launch of Noraza signifies Via’s continued support of Japanese cities as they seek to accomplish their tech-enabled transit objectives, which align with the Japanese Ministry in Land and Transportation (MILT)’s national guidance that cities should create their own urban development plans to improve the efficiency and sustainability of local public transportation. Via’s launch of Noraza in Chino City follows the company’s growing footprint in Japan, which includes existing microtransit services in Tokyo, Obihiro, Takahagi, and the Aizu Olympus employee shuttle service.
“Via Japan is proud to partner with Chino City to power the Noraza microtransit service using our software,” said Shinobu Kato, Partnerships Principal at Via Japan. “During the pilot program, Noraza proved that it can successfully help this city meet its needs and goals for public mobility, and we’re thrilled it will now become a long-term fixture of the community. Other localities can look to Chino City as a leader when it comes to following Japan’s national guidance around building innovative public transportation.”
How Noraza works
Passengers can book a ride through the Nozara app, or by calling a customer booking telephone number. Once a passenger enters their pickup and drop off location through the Noraza app and books an on-demand ride option, Via directs them to a nearby “virtual bus stop” located a short walk away. Physical bus stops are also available at popular points of interest (e.g. Chino Station, Suwa Central Hospital, and commercial facilities).
Via’s AI-based algorithms match multiple riders heading in the same direction into one vehicle — creating quick and efficient routes that reduce traffic congestion and emissions, while delivering a convenient experience for the passenger.
Noraza will be available 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Sunday, and rides can be booked from one week to one hour before the ride. Passengers can book a ride through the Noraza app, or by calling a phone number.
Via builds innovative software to enable our customers—cities, transit agencies, transport operators, school districts, universities, and corporations—to transform their legacy transportation systems into advanced digital networks. As pioneers of the TransitTech category, Via’s mission is to expand access to efficient, affordable, and sustainable transportation. Via’s software enables organizations to digitize their existing transportation networks and launch new and innovative services, simultaneously lowering operating costs and increasing quality of service. Our software is used in over 600 communities in more than 35 countries around the world.