27 January 2020 (HELSINKI)-- ViaVan, Europe’s leader in public mobility, and Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL), report strong ridership growth and high customer satisfaction for the partners’ on-demand transit service in the City of Espoo following three months of operation. In response to customer feedback, the ViaVan service zone was recently expanded to provide further access to on-demand shared rides in the Espoo area.
Launched in September 2019 as a project to complement and extend traditional public transport in Espoo, ViaVan’s ride volume has grown steadily, now exceeding 1,000 rides per week. Average wait time is less than 10 minutes, and riders give the dynamic shared ride service a customer satisfaction rating of 4.8 out of 5. The ViaVan service has been adopted by both commuters and riders traveling to leisure activities in the city. To date, the service has provided more than 10,000 rides and rider engagement continues to increase steadily. The areas with the highest ride volume include Leppävaara, Keilaniemi, and Otaniemi.
For the first three months, the service offered a launch price of 2 euros a ride. This launch pricing was complemented by promotional offers available for new users to try the service for free.
According to specific customer feedback, an increasing number of riders have started to choose shared rides with ViaVan as opposed to single-occupancy vehicle trips, a key goal of the service at launch.
Following demand from riders to expand the service, ViaVan and HSL added a Saturday service and extended the service zone to the area of Matinkylä and Olari. In addition, to allow for more flexible mobility for families.the service is now available to riders over the age of 13 who have received parental consent to travel alone.
ViaVan launched the service after being selected as a winner of HSL’s IdeaLab competition, which aimed at finding new and innovative mobility solutions for the Helsinki region. As a result, ViaVan received half a million euros for the service program, which leverages ViaVan’s technology and expertise to drive ridership to public transit train lines that connect into Helsinki. The program also is focused on reducing the need for private vehicles to commute in and around Espoo.
“ViaVan’s vision is to work with cities to launch efficient technology-based public transport solutions that have the power to reduce congestion and emissions in cities,” said Chris Snyder, ViaVan CEO. “The response from riders in Espoo has been extraordinarily positive, and through our partnership with HSL, we are one step closer to achieving our joint goal to make the private car obsolete."
“We are happy to see that as the volume of the rides grow, rides are also increasingly being shared. We’re also pleased to see that metro and train stations are popular pickup and drop-off locations for ViaVan riders,” said Tero Anttila, Director of Public Transport Department at HSL.
ViaVan has already launched similar services in cooperation with leading public transport authorities across Europe, including Konsentra in Oslo, Transport for London (TfL) in the Borough of Sutton in London, and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) in Berlin.
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.