When Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) heard that the first public transit project using ADA-compliant AVs in rural America was launching in her home state, she took time out of her busy Washington schedule to take a ride on the service herself.
On October 5th, the town of Grand Rapids hosted the Senator for the day as she met with the team behind goMARTI: an on-demand pubic transit service launched by Via, Minnesota DOT, May Mobility, and the City of Grand Rapids.
“These free, on-demand shuttles will make a real difference by making it easier to get around town,” said Senator Klobuchar. “goMARTI will give seniors and people with disabilities increased access to the transit services they depend on and, by providing an additional transportation option for residents and visitors alike, it will help us to meet Grand Rapids increasing transit needs.”
goMARTI serves a 17-square-mile service area, with booking available by phone or on a Via-powered smartphone app.
“What we’ve done here is to harness cutting edge technological innovations to address critical community priorities,” the Senator observed. “It really represents the best of what we can do with partnerships and it’s so important because we need transit systems and ways to get around that match where we are now and where we’re going to be — not where we were 100 years ago.”
After lavishing praise on the federal, state, and local officials involved in making goMARTI a reality, Senator Klobuchar also highlighted a new federal grant program, Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART), which can enable other communities nationwide to pursue similarly innovative transit projects. You can learn more about SMART here.