Sept. 6, 2023 (KEY WEST, FL) — The City of Key West’s on-demand, app-based public transit service, Key West Rides, has surpassed 40,000 rides since launching just eight months ago.
The City of Key West launched Key West Rides in December 2022 with the goal of using technology to expand access to flexible transportation in the community for residents, workers, and visitors. The program has continued to see climbing ridership month over month, with ridership growing more than 3x between December and July.
Thanks to its flexible design, Key West Rides provides nearly universal public transit coverage in Key West – allowing citizens to access thousands more jobs than what was previously available with only bus lines while also saving time One of the most popular Key West Rides trips is from Key Plaza to the Key West Transit Hub, which takes an average of 13 minutes. Before Key West Rides existed, this trip would have taken an average of 45-60 minutes to complete using only buses – meaning that riders are traveling 3x more quickly.
Key West Rides is the first program of its kind in the Keys, but on-demand public transit is quickly picking up steam across Florida and the U.S. as consumers seek a transportation option that rivals the flexibility of the private car while being as affordable and sustainable as the bus.
Recent rider reviews underscore the convenience and comfort of the service:
- "Wendy is a pleasure to ride with. She's professional, safe, and has a great sense of humor. A real asset to the KW Rides team, in my opinion."
- "Linda, as well as all of the other drivers are courteous, professional and a pleasure to ride with. My rides are always quick, comfortable and safe. I love this transportation option!”
- "David is always very professional, very nice, and very safe. It's a pleasure to ride with him, as it is with all of the drivers. I really appreciate you making this service available.”
Key West Rides uses intelligent software from TransitTech provider Via to allow riders to book on-demand public transit rides through the Key West Rides app or by calling a phone number. Via’s tech matches riders headed in the same direction into one vehicle, creating quick and efficient shared trips that provide greater flexibility than traditional public transit modes, which use fixed routes and schedules.
How to use Key West Rides:
- Download the “Key West Rides” app from the App Store or Google Play and follow the sign-up steps. Enter pickup and drop-off addresses in the app.
- You will receive an ETA for your vehicle, and can follow along in real time in the app to see when and where to meet the driver.
- Phone booking: Regular rides can be requested by calling 305-809-3910.
Key West Rides is available Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Rides cost $2. Wheelchair accessible vehicles are available upon request.
For more information on Key West Rides, please visit https://www.cityofkeywest-fl.gov/888/Key-West-Rides-On-Demand-Bus-Service
Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the transportation technology category (TransitTech) by using new technologies to develop public mobility systems, optimizing networks of buses, shuttles, vehicles for the disabled, school buses, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles around the world. By building the world's most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all passengers-including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and people without bank accounts-Via works with its partners to lower public transportation costs and provide transportation options that can rival the convenience of a personal car while reducing 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 radically improve the way the world moves, delivering technology in 600 cities and more than 35 countries.