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Via revolutionizes transportation in Australia with on-demand shared rides

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Via, the leading developer of shared ride technology, is launching a new app-based on demand service in Newcastle, Australia, in partnership with Keolis Downer, proud operator of Newcastle Transport. The new service is a first of its kind and integrates Via-powered on-demand shuttles with a large scale public transportation system.

Newcastle is the first city in Australia to introduce Via’s dynamic on-demand shared rides. Via’s revolutionary technology already powers transport solutions across the United States and Europe, and is quickly expanding its presence in Oceania with the recent launch of Savy, a popular on-demand shuttle service in Queenstown, New Zealand. Leveraging its experience providing over 25 million shared rides to date, Via partners with transportation providers around the world, enabling the seamless integration of dynamically-routed shared ride shuttles to supplement traditional fixed-route solutions.

“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at Keolis Downer to bring Via’s premiere shared ride service to Australia for the first time. Via’s vision is to power public transportation that is smart, affordable, and sustainable across the globe. We are excited to see cities like Newcastle leverage our technology to provide innovative mobility solutions to the local community,” said Daniel Ramot, Co-founder and CEO of Via.

The Newcastle Transport On Demand service launched on January 14.

> Customers instantly book a ride from their chosen pick up location to their destination within the on demand area.

> Rides are booked on demand, with Via’s powerful algorithm instantly matching customers with a dynamically routed vehicle and other passengers going their way.

> The Newcastle service will span the neighborhoods of Warners Bay, Gateshead, Charlestown and Dudley, and if successful will expand to other areas.

> Customers can pay for their rides directly through the Newcastle Transport On Demand app. Credit card payments will be accepted over the phone, and cash payments will be accepted on buses.

The On Demand service is part of Newcastle Transport’s overhaul of the bus and ferry network, which will see a substantially increased quality and frequency of service.

“Via’s sophisticated on demand ride-matching technology will provide a faster and completely personalised service to people within our local community,” Keolis Downer Hunter General Manager Mark Dunlop said. “The new Newcastle Transport On Demand service will take customers where they want to go, when they want to travel, and encourages the use of public transport by complementing our existing routes.”

About Via

Via is re-engineering public transit, from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Via’s mobile app connects multiple passengers who are headed the same way, allowing riders to seamlessly share a dynamically-routed vehicle. First launched in New York City in September 2013, the Via platform currently operates in New York City, Chicago, and Washington DC, providing over 1.5 million rides per month, and is growing rapidly. Via also licenses its revolutionary on-demand transit technology to transportation operators, and partners with cities and transit authorities globally.

About Keolis Downer

Keolis Downer is an Australian registered company and the country’s largest private multimodal transport operator. With 4,000 employees and a presence in five states, Keolis Downer enables 250 million passenger journeys per year. Keolis Downer operates and maintains the largest tram network in the world in Melbourne (Yarra Trams), the newest light rail network in Australia on the Gold Coast (G:link), and more than 1,000 buses in NSW, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland. Established in 2009, Keolis Downer is a joint venture between Keolis, a leading public transport operator established in 16 countries, and Downer, the leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand.

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