ViaVan launches on-demand shuttle service in Amsterdam
ViaVan, the joint venture of New York start-up Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans launches its on-demand shuttle service in Amsterdam (Netherlands) as a European first. London and Berlin are to follow soon.
The principle has been proven successful in New York, hometown of the young start-up with Via offering a seat to people heading in the same direction in a shared shuttle van, enabling pick-up and drop-off on demand. In New York Via provides more than 1,5 million shared rides per month.
Users can reserve their seat with a smart phone app that will ask them to walk to the nearest road crossing for pick-up. The system calculates the best route to pick-up several customers along a shared trajectory and guides the driver to the stops, as indicated on the app by the customer.
Less vehicles needed
This enables ViaVan to offer seats at a cost that is lower than a taxi and requiring fewer vehicles than with standard taxi or ride-hailing services. It sees itself as ‘an extension of the city’s public transit network’.
Rides in the central city zone will cost a flat rate of 5 euro, but this first two weeks the rides will cost only 2 euro as an incentive. According to ViaVan’s CEO Chris Snyder “ViaVan’s mission is to offer a truly dynamic mass transit system that is liberated from the constraints of fixed routes and schedules”.