Rider profile: Meet Chinaemere• 2 min read
A project manager in Arlington, Texas develops passion for sustainable mobility through her experiences with on-demand transit.
These days, Chinaemere is a sponge for all things electric transit and infrastructure: she follows developments in battery technology, knows how transit providers manage charging for EVs, and can explain the ins and outs of the hybrid and electric vehicles available on the market. Currently a project manager at a web development firm, and with a strong STEM educational background, Chinaemere is looking to break into the sustainable transit and clean energy industries — a career move that is all the more notable in light of the transit environment in which she grew up.
“Arlington was a transit desert,” Chinaemere explains of her hometown. “But seeing the potential as to what it can be in the future makes me really happy.”
When Via Arlington launched in late 2017, Arlington became the largest U.S. city to rely on microtransit alone for its transit network. As the service grew to serve the whole city — and introduced hybrid and electric autonomous vehicles into the mix — the benefits to residents became obvious to Chinaemere, and inspired her to learn more about the systems delivering sustainable, affordable mobility to her Texas hometown.
“Honestly, Via played a role in my interest in sustainable transportation [through] being able to interact and talk with drivers, understand the hybrid vehicles, understand how to charge them, just really getting to pick their brain and learn more about it,” Chinaemere says. And she thinks that the affordability of the service, making it accessible to all, has helped broaden the conversation on sustainability in her community. “Via is opening the door for people who don’t have the financial means,” she says, removing “the barrier to entry” for people interested in sustainable technology.
Chinaemere notes that in addition to inspiring thought and conversation, Via Arlington has had a concrete impact on her ability to get around the city, particularly for short trips when she doesn’t have access to a vehicle. After seeing a neighbor getting into a Via two years ago, Chinaemere started using the service for her commute — an option that has grown more critical as her household was temporarily reduced to one car. Without Via, she estimates that she’d have spent $40-80 per week on private rideshare services during that period
“Via is expanding transportation access, as another alternative that’s more affordable for people, which ends up giving more people more access to transportation to get around the city,” Chinaemere explains. “I’ll see high school students, moms with their babies,” she adds. “I’m really big on reaching out to underserved communities and getting them access to everything.”