October 24, 2018 (Milton Keynes, UK)-- ViaVan, the joint venture between Via, the world’s experts in ondemand shared transit, and Mercedes-Benz Vans, announced today the launch of its shared ride service in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. This is the fourth city launch for ViaVan, following on the heels of its successful debut in Amsterdam and London earlier this year and its partnership with Berlin’s public transit authority, BerlinerVerkehrsbetriebe (BVG).
“ViaVan was formed to reengineer urban transit in Europe,” said Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan. “Milton Keynes is an innovation-forward city and we’re delighted to launch this ground-breaking on-demand service, providing residents with a convenient, affordable, and congestion-reducing dynamic transportation alternative.”
The service will utilise Via’s sophisticated algorithm to dynamically route Mercedes-Benz Vito Tourers, allowing passengers to seamlessly book a shared van through the ViaVan app. Via's world-renowned dynamic ride-pooling technology, developed initially for New York City, has powered more than 35 million shared rides globally throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
In the United Kingdom, Via’s technology powers services in Liverpool and Sittingbourne in partnership with Arriva, and in Oxford in partnership with Go-Ahead. Since launching in London in April, ViaVan has already provided more than 2.5 million shared rides.
By grouping multiple passengers into a single shared vehicle, ViaVan reduces congestion and emissions, providing an inexpensive, eco-friendly, and convenient transportation alternative.
“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 mass transit,” said Snyder. “ViaVan is the solution, a platform that integrates with existing transit infrastructure and enables residents to seamlessly travel within the greater London-Milton Keynes area.”
Steve Hayes, Head of Transport at MK Council, added: “Milton Keynes is a great place for transport initiatives with its fast moving grid roads, unique Redway network and a history of trialling new technologies like the driverless pods.
“MK Council is very proactive towards transport innovation and working in partnership with innovative, commercial companies so ViaVan fits in perfectly with our aims to offer a wide range of travel options to everyone. “Sharing journeys is something we fully support as one of our key objectives is to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce traffic growth so that MK remains easy and quick to travel around as it continues to grow rapidly.”
Simon Neill, Sales Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, said: “We are very proud to be working closely with our ViaVan colleagues to help establish Milton Keynes as the first city outside of London in the UK to benefit from this service. The bundling of rides will play its part in helping to ease the traffic in the city and at the same time, many commuters to the Capital will see a real benefit in terms of end-to-end mobility.”
About ViaVan: ViaVan is a 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.
Working closely with cities and public transit operators, ViaVan powers dynamic shared mobility services that complement existing transportation infrastructure, and currently operates in London, Amsterdam, and in Berlin in partnership with the city’s public transit authority.
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.
About Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd:
Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd is the sales and marketing organisation responsible for all Daimler Van products and services in Britain.
In 2017, Mercedes-Benz Vans celebrated its best ever year in the UK, with 41,404 vehicles registered – an eighth consecutive year of growth.
The team at Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd have a combined 1,151 years of service, each averaging more than 10 years direct experience with the brand. The nationwide Dealer network of 116 sites employs more than 4,000 colleagues.