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ViaVan and Milton Keynes Council launch innovate shared ride program

Partners seek to establish electric, on-demand shared rides as a complement to existing public transit

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31 January 2020 (Milton Keynes)– Electric powered shared rides could be the way forward to help people get around the borough of Milton Keynes.

Councillor Martin Gowans, Cabinet Member for Transport, has approved an innovative new trial with ViaVan, Europe’s leader in public mobility solutions, to accept concessionary bus passes as payment on journeys in Emerson Valley, Furzton and Tattenhoe.

This project, only on specific journeys in those areas, will help the council understand whether shared ride services could complement MK’s bus network as part of its bus network review later this year. As part of the project, concessionary pass holders will simply book their travel through the ViaVan app or by telephone.

ViaVan currently runs a shared ride service across MK using a fleet of electric vehicles. ViaVan will cap its normal fare during the trial at £2.50. MK Council will pay the remainder.

Councillor Martin Gowans, Cabinet Member for Transport said, “This is another example of how we’re taking action on climate change and looking to widen options for public transport. The trial will help us understand if this could enhance our existing concessionary bus services.”

ViaVan CEO Chris Snyder said, “Together with Milton Keynes Council, we are excited to expand public transport options in Milton Keynes with on-demand, electric shared rides. ViaVan and Milton Keynes Council share the belief that technology can help create smarter, more sustainable public transport options, and this service is the next step towards that future.” 

In October, ViaVan and Milton Keynes Council announced a voluntary cooperation to establish a meaningful framework within the city to enable the success of zero-emission, on-demand shared ride services. Through this cooperation, ViaVan and Milton Keynes Council will identify opportunities to expand access and infrastructure for on-demand shared rides, gather insights and data to support the delivery of innovative transport solutions, and  collaborate on “Mobility as a Service” (MaaS) offerings.

About ViaVan:

ViaVan is the leading provider of innovative on-demand shared transit services in Europe. ViaVan was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Via, the world’s most sophisticated developer of dynamic shared rides technology, and Mercedes-Benz Vans, the leading manufacturer of iconic passenger and cargo vans. Working closely with cities and public transit operators, ViaVan powers dynamic mobility services that complement existing transportation infrastructure. ViaVan currently operates direct-to-consumer services in London, Amsterdam, Berlin and Milton Keynes. Globally, ViaVan and parent company Via have been tapped by cities and transportation players to help re-engineer public transit from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. With more than 90 launched and pending deployments in 20 countries, Via and ViaVan have provided more than 70 million rides to date.

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