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Before and after: 6 cities switch to Via and see transit efficiency soar

Why are hundreds of cities and transit agencies choosing Via to power their microtransit and paratransit services? We dove into the data for answers.

Via Transportation •
In the face of tough economic headwinds and rising operational costs, it can be daunting to even think about improving the quality of service while maintaining razor-sharp efficiency. If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. We spoke with leaders in six cities to understand how they did just that — and how you can, too.

 

Using the same fleet to carry more riders, more efficiently. 

⭐ Product takeaway: Via’s smart algorithm groups passengers together, boosting vehicle utilization and growing ridership.

  • Before: Regional Transit Service (RTS) in Rochester, New York, faced limitations with their previous technology provider. The outdated software hindered RTS’s capacity to meet growing requests or integrate riders’ feedback into service design.
  • After: Switching from their previous provider to Via led RTS to experience a remarkable 40% increase in vehicle utilization and a whopping 75% surge in ridership, all with the same fleet. The new system is beneficial for both operators and riders: Via’s journey-planning algorithm automates trip assignment, greatly saving staff time and improving scheduling efficiency, and an easy-to-use mobile app makes booking a ride way more intuitive compared to the legacy app.
“By working with Via, we expect to see noticeable improvements right away.” — Bill Carpenter, RTS CEO

 

Improving rural transit with more flexible technology. 

⭐ Product takeaway: TransitTech is adaptable to rural transit networks, combining true on-demand trips and pre-booking within a sprawling service zone, all served by the same fleet. 

  • Before: Baldwin Regional Area Transit System (BRATS) in Baldwin County, Alabama, relied on a highly manual scheduling system. The old service required users to pre-book rides at least 24 hours in advance, a rigid system that resulted in low ridership.
  • After: The agency partnered with Via and redesigned its entire transit network. Automated dispatching, app-based booking, and flexible, multimodal ridership options were just a few features BRATS gained with Via. And within just a few months since launch, ridership increased by 48% compared to the previous service.
“We’re carrying 50% more passengers than we were prior to the launch of the app and adding about 100 new passengers per month.” — Ann Simpson, BRATS Director

 

New software, productive paratransit. 

⭐ Product takeaway: Modern paratransit software can deliver significant improvements in service efficiency.

  • Before: Transit agencies including St. Thomas Transit in Canada, and High Valley Transit (HVT) in Utah struggled with their legacy paratransit software, resulting in lower vehicle utilization and unnecessarily long trip durations.
  • After: Via's modern software continuously optimizes driver schedules based on same-day trip adjustments and real-time traffic conditions, minimizing manual interventions. By commingling, HVT raised the efficiency of the combined service by over 150%. Similarly, St. Thomas upgraded to a tech-enabled paratransit system and gained an immediate utilization rise of 82%.
“Our transit service has been a success in its first six months. We’ve exceeded expectations.” — Carolina Rodriguez, Executive Director, High Valley Transit

 

A unified platform for comprehensive management.

⭐ Product takeaway: Via’s integrated platform streamlines coordination and improves rider experience.

  • Before: Paratransit service in Alexandria, Virginia, operated with various providers, each using distinct software platforms. This meant operational inefficiencies as the city lacked visibility into operational performance and rider experience, affecting compliance status.
  • After: In August 2022, the city relaunched its DOT paratransit service with Via’s modern software solution, consolidating operations from three providers into one platform, and serving the entire network while still brokering ambulatory trips to a third-party transportation provider. The revamped network includes app-based booking and new scheduling and dispatching software, resulting in shorter trip durations and much better routing efficiency.
“The City is excited to make these important changes to our paratransit program, and offer DOT users fast, easy-to-use, technology-based options for transportation scheduling.” — Justin Wilson, Mayor of Alexandria

 

Commingling services to benefit both riders and agencies.

⭐ Product takeaway: Via’s algorithm facilitates highly-efficient commingling, which improved vehicle utilization while keeping the on-time percentage high.

  • Before: Mountain Line, a transit agency in Missoula, Montana, experienced inefficiency from their previous ADA paratransit software. The software struggled to integrate a reservation-based senior shuttle with paratransit services.
  • After: Via introduced a commingled service, operating paratransit alongside a non-ADA demand-response service within one operation system. This approach utilized the same fleet to serve both paratransit and senior shuttle microtransit trips. The new system brought real-time schedule optimization, automated trip notifications, and an upgraded booking tool for riders. Commingle services led to over a 31% boost in utilization, while maintaining an on-time percentage as high as 98%.
“With Via’s commingled service model and automated scheduling platform, we have been able to serve more rides with limited supply, while ensuring that we deliver reliable, on-time trips to riders.” — Jennifer Sweten, Director of Operations in Missoula, Montana.
While switching to a new operator can be tough, the investment reaps long-term benefits. Time and again, data from cities big and small proves that wherever Via's TransitTech goes, operational efficiency follows.  Ready to make the switch? We'd love to chat!