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New on-demand public transit service Groove On-Demand launches in Memphis

MATA, Downtown Memphis Commission, Memphis Medical District Collaborative see role for Via’s flexible technology to expand access to transit in the Downtown Core

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February 3, 2021 (MEMPHIS) — Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA), the Downtown Memphis Commission, and the Memphis Medical District Collaborative will launch Groove On-Demand, a dynamically-routed on-demand public transit service on February 10. In partnership with Via, the leader in TransitTech, Groove On-Demand will expand access to affordable, efficient, and convenient public transit for all riders in the greater Downtown Memphis area, including the Medical District and New Chicago.

The goal of the service is to support access to jobs, commercial, and medical opportunities in Downtown Memphis without the need for a private vehicle. Development in Downtown is growing rapidly, with $5 billion in the development pipeline, and a 15 percent increase in population since 2000.

With Groove On-Demand, residents and workers will be able to commute to-and-from area transit hubs for seamless first-and-last mile connections, and book a ride directly to and around the downtown core of the city.

Riders will be able to hail a vehicle directly from their smartphone using the Groove On-Demand mobile app, powered by technology from Via, and can travel to any location within the service area during operating hours. Groove On-Demand is a shared ride service, and Via’s advanced algorithms match multiple passengers headed in the same direction to provide quick and efficient shared trips, without lengthy detours or inconvenient schedules. At the time of launch and until otherwise communicated, vehicles and bookings will be limited to a capacity of three riders to allow for in-vehicle social distancing.

“Nearly three years ago, MATA was selected to receive free technical assistance to help develop mobility on-demand projects such as this one,” said Gary Rosenfeld, Chief Executive Officer at MATA. “The launch of Groove On-Demand is another opportunity for MATA to improve how people connect to their destinations using an on demand-response service that transports riders directly from their doorstep to their destination. Another great benefit of this service is that it will greatly improve transit service to people who live in density challenged neighborhoods.”

“We are proud to play a role in the transformation of public transit in Memphis and to provide the community with a flexible, digitally-powered transportation solution,” said Daniel Ramot, CEO and co-founder of Via. “Groove On-Demand will be a seamless transit option for residents, and represents an opportunity for technology to usher in the next generation of mass transit.”

Requesting a ride on Groove On-Demand is easy. Using the Groove On-Demand mobile app, transit riders can book their ride by selecting a pickup and dropoff location within the service area. Once a ride is booked, passengers are directed to their exact pickup spot, and they can see the real-time location of their vehicle, the driver’s name and other information to help them spot their ride.

The on-demand service will be available in the service zone on Monday through Friday from 7 am to 8 pm. Rides are similar to the cost of a bus trip, and cost $1.25, with additional passengers at $0.75 each. Concessions for seniors, students, and riders with disabilities are $0.50 per ride.

“Our work to create a ‘Downtown for Everyone’ includes increasing mobility options across this geography. Working with MATA and MMDC to provide equitable transit options in Downtown just makes sense. Whether you are a commuter, resident, patient, or student the new Groove On-Demand provides a low cost shared-transit opportunity,” said Lauren Crabtree, Transportation Program Manager, Downtown Memphis Commission. “Additionally, increasing mobility choice is a core function of Downtown’s new Transportation Management Association, or TMA. Providing an on-demand transit service like this a great start.”

To ensure accessibility for all riders, Groove On-Demand will include wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and booking for those without a smartphone by calling 901-763-8422. For more information about the new on-demand service, visit https://downtownmemphis.com/groove-on-demand/. The Groove On-Demand app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.

Via works with more than 150 partners around the globe to provide flexible transit solutions. Groove On-Demand is Via’s first service in Tennessee, adding to Via’s presence in the southeast, including Birmingham, AL, St. Louis, MO, Miami, FL, and Wilson, NC.

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About MATA:

The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) is the public transportation provider for the Memphis area. As one of the largest transit operators in the state of Tennessee, MATA transports customers in the City of Memphis and parts of Shelby County on fixed-route buses, paratransit vehicles and vintage rail trolleys. For more information, visit www.matatransit.com.

About Downtown Memphis Commission:

The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) drives Downtown’s role as the economic, cultural, and governmental core of our city and county. The DMC is funded by an assessment on commercial property in the Central Business Improvement District (CBID), which is reinvested into fueling incentives and activations designed to support the growth of Downtown’s population and appraised commercial property values.

Through our investment in Downtown development, infrastructure, vibrancy, and activation, we are creating a stronger Downtown Memphis—a Downtown for everyone.

Learn more on the DMC’s State of Downtown Dashboard.  | www.downtownmemphis.com

 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 150 global partners on six continents, and counting.

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