April 26, 2021 (VALDOSTA) — The City of Valdosta will launch Valdosta On-Demand, a dynamically-routed on-demand public transit service on April 27. In partnership with Via, the leader in TransitTech, Valdosta On-Demand will expand access to affordable, efficient, and convenient public transit for all riders within the city limits.
“Providing Valdosta residents public transportation has been a consistent goal of elected officials and city administration. This On-Demand service is the perfect way for us to test out a new, more flexible way for riders to make trips to the store, to school, to the doctor or other locations in the city,” said Valdosta City Manager Mark Barber. “I’m thrilled to implement this affordable and convenient transit system to our community. We hope to continue finding creative ways to reduce traffic on our roadways while also attracting new riders to this transit system.”
Using the Valdosta On-Demand mobile app, anyone within the city limits, residents, and workers will be able to hail a vehicle directly from their smartphone or by calling the call center at (229) 441-2940. Via’s advanced algorithms create quick and efficient trips by matching passengers and vehicles together in real time and directing riders to a nearby “virtual bus stop” for pick up and drop off. The service will offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles and offer door-to-door service for those with limited mobility.
“We believe this microtransit, on-demand model is a perfect fit for Valdosta and communities similar in size. We were able to think outside the box and partner with Via, to offer this new innovative public transit solution to residents and visitors in the City of Valdosta,” said Mayor Scott James Matheson. “We hope this service will have high ridership and be a quick and efficient option for anyone in our community. What’s so great about this system and working with Via is that our on-demand service will be flexible. Overtime as we monitor ridership and common destinations, ride times, etc. we can expand and make changes to accommodate demands.”
The partnership with the City of Valdosta is Via’s first in Georgia. Via is already working with more than 200 partners in over 20 countries to help connect more people to transit, including Green Bay Metro, Columbus Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), and Sydney’s Transport for New South Wales.
How to book a ride:
- Create an account. Download the Valdosta On-Demand app from the App Store or Google Play store and follow the simple signup steps.
- Book a ride. Enter your pick up and drop off address and choose the ride option that works for you — 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.
- Meet your driver. Check the app to find out exactly where to meet the vehicle, which may be a short walk from the address you gave us.
Valdosta On-Demand has implemented safety to lessen COVID-19 exposure to ensure every trip is as safe and worry-free as possible.
- Face masks or face coverings are required on board for all passengers and drivers. Passengers not wearing a face mask may be refused service.
- In-app wellness checks help to make sure passengers and drivers are symptom-free and ready to ride. Passengers are reminded to please stay home if they have either been diagnosed with COVID-19, think they exhibiting symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has recently tested positive.
- Vehicle capacity is limited in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Additionally, in vehicles with automatic doors, riders are asked to wait for the driver to open and close the door to avoid touching the handles.
- Vehicles are regularly and professionally cleaned, and drivers are provided with cleaning supplies in order to perform frequent and thorough wipe downs of the vehicle interior, with extra focus on common surfaces and high-contact areas. They are also equipped with plastic partitions between drivers and riders.
Valdosta is a network of diverse citizens and businesses--celebrated and valued. Valdosta is located midway between Atlanta and Orlando in the heart of South Georgia. Named one of six America's Friendliest Cities by Rand McNally and USA Today's Best of the Road contest in 2011, and a Georgia Trend and Georgia Municipal Association Live, Work, Play award winning city, Valdosta is a vibrant and scenic city, where southern charm meets twenty-first-century innovation. Today Valdosta is home to more than 56,000 residents. The local economy is driven by tourism, education, industries, and healthcare. Learn more at valdostacity.com
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.