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ViaVan and Stagecoach launch new on-demand transport service in Tees Valley
The new service, Tees Flex, brings demand responsive transport to the region, joining other services throughout the UK powered by ViaVan, including in London, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Oxford, and Leicester.
2 March 2020 (TEES VALLEY, UK) — ViaVan, the joint venture between global on-demand shared transport experts Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans, today announced a new demand responsive transport system in Tees Valley in partnership with Stagecoach Group, a leading public transport provider in the United Kingdom. Called Tees Flex, the new service aims to provide a new form of public transport focused on comfort, flexibility, and affordability, while reducing traffic congestion and pollution caused by carbon emissions.
Tees Flex is powered by nine new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, funded by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority. The service aims to provide reliable, convenient transport for residents in more isolated communities across the region, with rides costing as little as 50p — or even free for some residents.
Using the all-new Tees Flex app (iOS and Android), riders will be able to hail a ride in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter directly from their smartphone, via a website, or over the phone. ViaVan’s advanced algorithms will enable multiple riders to seamlessly share the vehicle. The powerful technology will direct passengers to a nearby virtual bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules.
“Over the next few years, we’re increasingly going to see cities and towns asking how they can provide their residents with transportation that provides the same ease and convenience as private car ownership, and yet still achieves the same environmental and congestion-reducing benefits of mass transport,” said Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan. “We are proud to partner with Stagecoach to provide residents of Tees Valley with a convenient, affordable, and congestion-reducing shared transportation alternative that creates a viable alternative to private car usage.”
Service began on 24 February across three zones: Darlington and Stockton; Hartlepool; and Redcar and Cleveland. Users can request a ride within the service areas, and to destinations outside the designated zones, including train stations and hospitals. Tees Flex will also serve Teesside International Airport.
With the launch of Tees Flex, local residents in more rural communities, from students and families to the elderly, will have the opportunities to get around the region region quickly, easily, cheaply and in comfort.
The pilot, which will run for three years, and has the potential to be extended across the region if successful.
Tees Valley now joins cities across the UK partnering with ViaVan to power on-demand transport networks, including London, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Oxford, and Leicester.
Beyond the UK, Via and ViaVan have been tapped by cities and transportation players around the world to help re-engineer public transport from a regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to a fully dynamic, on-demand network. Via and ViaVan now have nearly 100 partnerships in more than 20 countries. To learn more, visit www.viavan.com.
ViaVan is a leading provider of innovative on-demand shared transport services in Europe. ViaVan was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Via, the world’s leading provider and developer of on-demand public mobility, and Mercedes-Benz Vans, the leading manufacturer of iconic passenger and cargo vans. Working closely with cities and public transport operators, ViaVan powers dynamic mobility services that complement existing transportation infrastructure. Through their partnership, Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via are also collaborating on the development of advanced mobility solutions, from sensor technology, to electric vehicle fleet management, to autonomous driving. For more information, visit www.viavan.com.