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A smarter, safer Via.

Safety is a shared responsibility.

Because of COVID-19, a safe ride means so much more than simply arriving at your destination without incident. At Via, we’re more focused than ever on safety to make certain that the next ride you take — whether Private or shared — is as safe and worry-free as possible.

That’s why we’re introducing new safety measures for riders, drivers, and partners — because if we all do our part to adapt to this new normal, we’ll all be able to get back on the road, together.

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Riders

Drivers

Partners

At the intersection of data, design, and technology.

Our safety ecosystem combines product capabilities and physical solutions. We’re focused on four key areas to make safety our main focus: PPE, vehicle safety, tech, and dynamic service design.

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For riders — How to travel safely.

While riding, please be mindful to protect yourself and others. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that our technology has your back, too.

What you can do to ride safely:

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Keep your distance and protect yourself.

  • Keep your social distance — don’t sit next to your driver, or directly behind him or her if there are no physical partitions.
  • Wearing a mask or cloth covering is required while riding with Via. If you don’t have one, your driver can refuse you the ride — they’ll be wearing one, too.
  • Make your hand sanitizer your BFF. Clean hands are critical before, during, and after a ride.
  • If you feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, stay safe and stay home!
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Reduce contact points and do your part to keep vehicles clean.

  • Avoid touching more surfaces than you need to — use the automatic door feature in many vehicles, and don’t share anything with the driver or other riders.
  • Don’t eat or drink inside the vehicle, it will allow you to keep your mask on and the vehicle clean.

What we’re doing to help keep you safe:

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Limiting number of passengers.

Our technology allows us to limit the number of passengers allowed in vehicles. While in some markets all our rides are currently Private, in others where sharing is available we limit rider capacity to help maintain social distancing within the vehicle.

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Introducing Wellness Checks.

The Via app will prompt you to confirm you are symptom-free. Answer a few simple questions and you’ll be cleared to ride. Drivers complete their own wellness check, too. If we all do our part, we’ll keep our community healthy.

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Enabling contact tracing to manage exposure.

A big part of safety during these times is knowing when you’ve been exposed so that you can responsibly help stop the spread. If a local health department contacts us regarding an individual who has tested positive, we will work to provide them with the appropriate information for the purpose of aiding contact tracing efforts and in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Contact support

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For drivers — Taking care while on the road.

We are so grateful to our Driver Partners who have helped those who need to move around during this time do so safely. So it’s important we help protect you, too.

What you can do to keep safe:

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Stay protected.

  • Masks or cloth face coverings are required while driving with Via. Your riders must wear them too, and if they aren’t, you can ask them to do so or decline a ride if they won’t comply.
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with passengers such as helping with luggage and handing out items in the vehicle.
  • If you are feeling sick, or think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please stay home!
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Maintain social distance.

  • Ask riders to keep a social distance by leaving an empty seat between each other. We are limiting the number of riders on board to accommodate this.
  • When possible, open vehicle doors automatically, and avoid having riders sit next to you — we want to keep you safe!
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Keep your vehicle clean.

  • To help maintain cleanliness and avoid the spread of the virus, frequently clean your vehicle with EPA-approved disinfectants. Pay close attention to those surfaces that you and riders touch most often.
  • Don’t eat or drink in the vehicle, this will allow you to keep your mask on at all times.

What we’re doing to help protect you:

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Introducing Wellness Checks.

  • When logging into the Via Driver app, you’ll be prompted to confirm you are symptom-free and safe to drive.
  • You must self-monitor for temperature and symptoms and stay home if you feel sick or if you know you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Riders will complete wellness checks, too. Let’s all do our part to keep cities moving safely. Together.
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Launching a seat partition program.

We are launching a new program to help you enhance the separation between yourself and riders, providing installation guidelines on how to place a physical plastic partition in your vehicle. A soft or hard plastic separator can go a long way and make everyone on board be safer.

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Distributing protective and cleaning supplies.

We want to be helpful and mindful in supporting you with the implementation of these new safety measures. So, while supplies last, we are:

  • Making PPE available to you.
  • Making vehicle cleaning supplies accessible to you.
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Limiting number of riders on board.

Sharing is important, but safe sharing is even more important. So we are limiting the number of riders that you can have on a ride to minimize the risk and help maintain a safe distance between everyone on board.

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Providing access to telemedicine service.

We’ve partnered with Ro — a telemedicine service — to provide you access to a free Coronavirus Telehealth Assessment. If you think you may be experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, you can complete this online assessment and, if appropriate, Ro will connect you with a medical provider for a free consultation.

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Enabling contact tracing to manage exposure.

We know you are on the road a lot, and that means being in contact with many different riders every day. So staying safe is not your only concern — making sure riders are riding safely is, too. We are providing riders with safety measures and working with local regulators to notify you if you’ve been exposed, while respecting your privacy.

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How we are compensating drivers affected by COVID-19.

Via has introduced a compensation program for independent contractor Driver Partners who are directly affected by COVID-19. If a licensed medical professional orders you to self-quarantine due to a probable COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure, you may qualify for up to 14 days in compensation for lost earnings, with proper documentation. If you are an active Via Driver Partner and you test positive for COVID-19 or you are required to self-quarantine due to potential COVID-19 exposure, please notify Via immediately. You can upload any relevant documentation here.

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For partners — Supporting your services.

We are committed to helping partners through these challenging times.

A safe service lies at the intersection of technological innovation, data analytics, and operational design — our areas of expertise. Should you need guidance on how to implement full-scale, tech-enabled safety measures for your community, we’re here to help.

We recommend reading through Via’s rider and driver safety recommendations for guidance on what you can implement in your service. Additionally here are a few steps on minimizing and managing exposure to COVID-19 within your network:

  • Establish clear and simple guidelines, including a mechanism for riders and drivers to communicate with operators if they think someone might have presented symptoms or have been exposed during their trip.

  • Clearly define how to escalate reports of a positive exposure. This should include procedures for disinfecting and taking the vehicle out of service, reporting to national and local authorities when required by law, notifying other riders or drivers that were exposed (in compliance with local Health Department guidance), and enabling contact tracing which can be done using Via’s technology.

  • Communicate with drivers often to remind them of safety measures and offer sick pay policies for drivers who self-quarantine on doctor’s orders.

Combining technology and safety — a few examples:

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Dynamic vehicle capacity management.

To avoid crowding in public transit and to ensure social distancing, Via’s technology can dynamically limit capacity in vehicles, allowing operators to efficiently manage how many people ride at the same time no matter the size of vehicle.

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Sharing made smart.

Our advanced algorithm allows us to match specific riders and drivers based on location, accessibility needs, or to enable consistent assignment of individual riders with the same driver. Now more than ever, we can enable smart matching to minimize exposure and optimize riding conditions.

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Enabling private vehicle networks.

Helping users reduce the number of people they interact with on their day-to-day can go a long way in protecting them. Through our technology you can group users to create exclusive sharing networks for colleagues or vulnerable populations.

What some Via partners are doing:

Our partners have implemented a variety of measures to keep their services going and their communities safe. Here are a few:

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Ben Franklin Transit, Tri-Cities, US.

  • Offering private rides only.
  • Requiring an empty row of seats between riders and drivers.
  • Requiring drivers wear masks
    Providing drivers with masks and gloves.
  • Encouraging riders to wear masks.
  • Installing plastic partitions between riders and drivers to enhance social distance (coming soon!)
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GoCoach, UK.

  • Reduced number of riders per bus by 50%.
  • Enabled digital payment methods to reduce contact between riders and drivers.
  • Made masks available for drivers who want to use them.
  • Enhanced vehicle cleaning — wipe through every night and top-to-bottom cleaning every 2 weeks.
  • Installing hand sanitizer dispensers in every bus.
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Arlington, Texas.

  • Reduced number of riders per vehicle by 65%.
  • Provided disinfectant wipes for drivers to clean their vehicles.
  • Provided drivers with reusable cloth face masks.
  • Installing plastic partitions between riders and drivers to enhance social distance (coming soon!)
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Hampton Roads Transit, Virginia.

  • Instituted temperature checks for drivers.
  • Installing physical partitions in vehicles to enhance separation between riders and drivers.
  • Conducting daily professional vehicle cleanings.

For information about our COVID-19 plan in our California deployments, click here.

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