Want private transportation at public transit prices? Via might have just answered your prayers. The New York City-based ridesharing service announced its expansion into Washington D.C. on Monday, its third city of operation. And it couldn’t be a timelier arrival. With a number of commuters anticipating disruptions to their normal commutes due to a new SafeTrack program in the metro area, Via has swooped in with a new offering of its own. Promising “an affordable, convenient, and reliable alternative for D.C. commuters,” you can hitch a ride on Via starting at just $2.15, otherwise known as the price of a Metro ride in our nation’s capital.
Already, Via is helping around 200,000 Chicagoans and New Yorkers each week get from Point A to Point B. By way of the company’s proprietary algorithm, Via passengers are directed to a convenient location for both pick-up and drop-off. This, the startup says, allows for quicker and more efficient trips that make carpooling a convenience rather than a chore.
Unlike some of its competitors, Via promises a “low cost, flat-fare structure” that eliminates the possibility of surge pricing. And while Via may have a smaller market share than the better-known behemoths in the transportation space, the company promises real-time customer support to both riders and drivers throughout its operating hours.
And in this trying time for Washingtonians, Via knows that customer service will likely be of paramount importance. “Washingtonians are in desperate need of a system that can fix their commute during this period of extensive Metro maintenance work, and we’re thrilled to be answering the call,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via. “Too often, people are forced to sacrifice their time and comfort for the sake of affordability when it comes to getting to work.” But with Via, the executive promised, residents of the D.C. area will have “fast, efficient, and convenient transportation at a price point accessible to all.”
You can download the Via app free for both iOS and Android, and treat yourself to a flat fare of $2.15 between the hours of 6 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. if you’re going somewhere on the Red Line from Cleveland Park to NoMa-Gallaudet. So fret not, Washingtonians. Technology is looking out for you at a time when public transportation is faltering.