Communities / Transportation

Via is growing its ‘smarter shared rides’ coverage in DC

The newest neighborhood addition is Capitol Hill.

Via enters a crowded ridesharing market. (Screenshot)

Congress is back in session and now Via, a New York-born ridesharing service that launched in D.C. in August, is joining them.

Via's current area of operation. (Courtesy image)

Via’s current area of operation. (Courtesy image)

Recall — Via joined a crowded ridesharing market with the promise to help red line riders get around during SafeTrack, for the same price as Metro. At the time, Via only operated between Cleveland Park and NoMa. Since then, however, the company has been expanding it’s coverage area — according to a company spokesperson the company has more than doubled its service area since launch.

According to the company website, rides in D.C. (the company also operates in NYC and Chicago) are $2.95, plus $1 for an additional rider. After a users first five rides, a $1 fee applies to all rides that aren’t paid for via prepaid credit. Via aims to be more of a commute option than a luxury service — it operates from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Via is all about rideshare — the company prides itself on its ability to match people traveling in the same direction. It uses the tagline “smarter shared rides,” which is literally the same tagline as was used by Split before it shut down in September. Perhaps Via is filling the niche that Split used to fill in D.C., and so far things look to be going well (judging by pace of expansion, at least).

Speaking of which, what is Split up to these days? According to the company’s new website, it seems to be working in two main areas — with cities and transit agencies, and with companies.

“Are you looking for a solution to improve efficiency and reduce the costs of your transportation system?” a page on the first area asks, before going on to mention that Split Technology can help cities or transit agencies “replace underperforming bus lines,” “serve paratransit needs with better customer service and lower cost,” “operate a sustainable micro-transit system in an urban area” and more.

So that’s what they’re up to.

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