Via On-Demand Rideshare

Learn-to-Ride Via Workshop June 28

 

Get anywhere in West Sacramento for one affordable, flat fare!

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Have you noticed some shiny new vans in town? Meet West Sacramento's new on-demand public transportation service!

This innovative travel option is being tested out by the City as part of a one (1) year Pilot in partnership with the rideshare company, Via.

 

What is rideshare?

Using West Sacramento's Via rideshare service, you can catch a ride anywhere in the City for an affordable, flat fare.  Request a ride in real time using a Smartphone App or over the phone, and a Mercedes Benz Via van will pick you up in just minutes.  And by sharing your ride with others heading in the same direction, you'll save money and avoid the hassle of traffic and parking- without sacrificing convenience! 

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How does it work? 

Passengers can book a ride using the free Via app. Customers enter their pick-up and drop-off locations and a vehicle will pick them up at their doorstep or within a block or two. Those who don’t have a smartphone or tablet can book a ride over the phone by calling 916-318-5101. 

How much does it cost? 

To start, regular rides will cost $3.50 per seat. Seniors age 62 and up and individuals with eligible disabilities receive a 50% discount on their fares. Based on customer feedback and use, the City may consider modifying the regular fare price over the course of the 1-Year Pilot program. 

What are the hours of operation? 

Initially, the City will be testing service hours of Monday - Friday 7AM to 7PM, and Saturdays from 9AM to 7PM. Via service will be unavailable on Holidays at this time. Based on customer feedback and use, the City will consider expanding or modifying hours over the course of the 1-Year Pilot program. 

What is the service area? 

West Sacramento is proud to be one of the first cities in the world to provide a CITYWIDE on-demand ridesharing service as part of their public transportation system.  This means you can get a ride anywhere within the City!  Based on customer feedback and use, the City may explore connections with surrounding areas in the future.

 How long will I wait to be picked up? 

Customers are able to view estimated wait times when they enter their pick-up and drop-off locations in the Via app (or over the phone), before approving payment. Wait times will vary depending on nearby driver availability, but on average a Via Van should arrive in 5-10 minutes.  Riders should never wait longer than 20 minutes to be picked up. 

Why won't Via always pick me up at my curb?

Via rideshare works on a "Virtual Stop" model. This means, depending on where you are when you request a ride, you might be asked to walk across the street or around the corner. The distance riders may be asked to walk is quite minimal, usually 100-200 feet but never more than 500 feet. If you are physically unable to walk to a Virtual Stop, call Via's Support Line at 916-318-5101.

By meeting your Via van at a "Virtual Stop" this allows Via to avoid timely U-turns or other odd maneuvers which might otherwise add time to your trip- and others who might be sharing the ride!

How can I pay? 

Customers pay by credit/debit or prepaid credit card, which is entered when they set up an account on the Via app using a Smartphone or table. For customers who wish to book rides over the phone, please call Via at 916-318-5101 to arrange to have an account set up. 

Can I pay with cash? 

No, Via is a cashless service. Don’t have a credit card? Use your cash to purchase a pre-paid credit card in the dollar amount of your choosing at any local drugstore or grocery store. Note that re-loadable  cards are preferable because they can be refilled when empty without requiring the purchase of a new card. Once you have a prepaid credit card, you can set up an account on a Smartphone or tablet, or by calling Via at 916-318-5101.

I don't have a Smartphone or tablet. Can I still book a ride? 

Yes! Customers may call 916-318-5101 for help setting up an account, or to book a ride. 

Can customers with wheelchairs or mobility devices ride? 

Yes! Customers requiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle can go to the “Promo Codes” menu on the Via app and enter code RIDEWAV, or just let a customer service representative know if you are booking by phone. Once this code is entered, an accessible vehicle will be sent each time you request a ride. Via vans have ample space for walkers, canes or other mobility devices to be stored. Just let your driver know if you need a hand loading or unloading. 

How old do I have to be to book a ride? 

West Sacramento's Via rideshare service is available without restrictions to anyone age 18 or older. However, youths age 13 to 18 are permitted to set up an account and book rides with their parent or guardian's consent. Minors under the age of 13 MUST be accompanied by an adult. 

How many passengers can ride in a Via van?

West Sacramento's on-demand rideshare service uses Mercedes Benz Metris vans selected by Via as the optimal ridesharing vehicle. You can book a ride for up to six (6) total passengers using the Via App. Just tap the + passengers icon to add riders to your trip. 

How do I get a Senior or Disabled Rider Discount? 

People age 62+ or with a qualifying disability may receive 50% of Via fares. To obtain a Senior or Disabled Rider discount, you must verify your eligibility in person at one of the following City of West Sacramento facilities(click links for directions): 

City Hall Utility Billing (M-F, 9am-5pm)

Community Center (M-F, 9am-5pm)

Recreation Center (M/W/F 9am-11am, or T/TH 6pm-8pm, or by appointment 916-617-4770)

 For a Senior Discount, you must provide at least one (1) of the following forms of documentation:

- Valid Driver's License, US Passport, Military ID or DMV issued ID Card

- Valid Yolobus or SacRT Discount Rider pass with photo ID on the card (Connect Card)

- Valid Medicare Card 

- Current Senior Membership on file at the West Sacramento Recreation Center

For a Disabled Rider Discount, you must provide at least one (1) of the following forms of documentation:

- Current Medicare card or a Medicare, SSI, or SSDI Award Letter

- Current DMV issued Disabled Person or Disabled Veteran placard ID

- Valid Yolobus or SacRT Discount Rider pass  with photo ID on the card (Connect Card)

- Proof of current ADA Paratransit eligibility through Yolobus or SacRT

If none of the above are available, you must complete the Application for Disabled Rider Discount form, which will require a Healthcare Professional to complete a verification form on your behalf. After staff verifies your eligible disability, you will receive a discount code.

For additional questions on Senior or Disabled Rider eligibility, contact Sarah Strand, Asst. Transportation Planner, at (916) 617-5310.

 Tilley Fam


How is Via rideshare different than traditional ride-hailing transportation services?

As part of our public-private partnership, Via is available to offer customers a flat fee per trip unlike traditional ride-hailing services, which use variable pricing that can surge with demand and result in prices that are out of reach for many. Customers using West Sacramento's on-demand rideshare service will pay one flat rate, ensuring an affordable price point no matter where you're heading. In addition, West Sacramento's partnership with Via includes a fleet of Mercedes Benz Metris Vans, which are the best type of vehicle to use for ridesharing and avoid putting wear-and-tear on the personal vehicles of Via's driver partners. 

Vans used for the rideshare program are clearly marked with both the City of West Sacramento On-Demand and Via logos for easy identification. Customers can also take comfort in knowing that their Via driver has undergone a robust background check to be eligible to participate in the City’s public transportation pilot program.

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Did the City purchase the Mercedes Benz Via Vans?

No, the City did not purchase vans being used for the On-Demand Rideshare Pilot. In 2017, Mercedes Benz, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, established a joint venture with Via. Due to Via's relationship with Mercedes Benz, a fleet of ten (10) Via Vans were donated for the purposes of the Pilot rideshare service. 

Other Via a FAQ's 

How do I provide comments or feedback?

If you need assistance or wish to file a compliment or complaint in relation to your Via ride, call Via's Live Customer Service support at 916-318-5101. After each ride, you will be prompted by the Via App to provide feedback on the quality of your experience. 

Or you can use the form below:

Please correct the field(s) marked in red below:

Via Rideshare Feedback

Tell us about your experience.

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