Via is a unique rideshare transportation organization. Via drivers are paid to drive a number of passengers heading in the same direction and only stop when dropping off and picking up passengers at designated corners. To avoid detours, passengers are also allowed to walk the remaining one or two blocks to their destinations, making Via rides all the more efficient. In this article, we review 20 things you didn’t know about this popular transportation company.
1. Via Was Founded in 2012
According to the company’s website, Via was established in 2012. Upon being founded, it led to the improvement of the TransitTech department by utilizing modern technology to improve public transit systems. This resulted in the optimization of dynamic buses, shuttles, school buses, wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and other autonomous transit networks worldwide. Via is a vision-oriented market guru with more than 500 international partners on five continents. It tries to combine software innovation with complex transport networks and operational expertise to help modify the transit systems on a global level. Furthermore, Via’s main objective is to build the world’s most sustainable, efficient, and equitable transit network for all road users. It aims to serve even those passengers with limited mobility and those without smartphones. In collaboration with its 500+ global partners, Via is working on lowering the cost of public transportation and, in turn, providing other convenient and accessible alternatives to the use of personal cars at the expense of the environment.
2. Via Owns Several Companies
In October 2020, Via bought Fleetonomy – a logistics company – to help boost its advance into the last-mile deliveries sector. Later in March 2021, Via acquired the transportation planning platform Remix for approximately $100,000,000 to develop the first end-to-end TransitTech network for several transit companies and major cities. Remix is a transit-mapping platform. It allows all transportation service planners and other road users to analyze transit data, determine the cost of new transportation designs, and assess service planning decisions. Additionally, its software highlights the exploration of demographic data in most cities across the globe. It also assesses the disproportionate impact of various transit projects.
3. Via Works with Multiple Governments
Via operates in partnership with some of the world’s greatest public transportation providers, such as King County Metro in Seattle, Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) in Australia, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) in Berlin, and Transport for London. Additionally, Via has formed partnerships with more than 400 local governments across 20+ countries worldwide, including:
- United Kingdom
- · Australia
- · United Arab Emirates
- · United States
- · Brazil
- · Spain
- · Japan
- · Germany
- · Canada
- · France
- · Singapore
- · Switzerland
- · Indonesia
- · New Zealand
- · Finland
- · Israel
Working with all these governments widens Via’s reach to global proportions.
4. Via Offers Paratransit Services
In August 2020, amid the COVID-19 crisis, Via agreed to partner with Green Bay Metro in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The main objective was to replace the outdated paratransit services and provide complementary paratransit and microtransit to more than 200,000 residents in a community. Via has partnered with various transit authorities and providers to offer complementary paratransit services. This automatic dispatching software allows the full management of operations and on-demand or pre-scheduled rides using wheelchair-accessible cars.
5. Many Drivers Prefer Via to Uber
Upon the establishment of Via, many former Uber drivers are now opting for Via's new model compared to that of Uber. First, Via allows its drivers to make a choice between payment on an hourly basis (also Blue Mode) or payment on each trip made (also Online or Flex Mode). Unlike the policies on UberPOOL, where drivers are penalized with low pay rates for shared rides, Via drivers are rewarded for doing shared drives. The drivers are also paid on a fixed commission rate.
6. Via Has a School Bus Routing and Tracking Platform
On 21st August 2019, after winning a contract with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDE), Via launched its first school bus routing and tracking platform. With this automated school bus tracking, communication, and routing platform, students and parents will now be able to track their school bus location in real-time and receive immediate and accurate feedback in the occurrence of any service changes. This is one step into improving our children's safety, lowering transportation costs, and achieving efficient transit systems. The decision was reported in The Jerusalem Post alongside other publications.
7. Via Offers Two Earnings Modes
Via drivers can earn using two modes – they can earn on an hourly basis or per trip made. Guaranteed hourly pay, aka Blue Mode, is only available for Via drivers in New York City, Chicago, and selected drivers in other different cities. In Blue Mode, drivers are assigned to pick up and drop off as many passengers as possible. Once the last passenger is dropped-off, Via then directs you to a "Terminal" where you wait for your next assignment. You can "pause" the Blue Mode app if you wish to take a break. These guaranteed hourly rates are posted pre-commission, such that a “$10-hour” ride will earn the driver about $8 after a 10% service fee. In flex mode, the drivers earn based on a published rate card that has payment rates similar to that of Lyft Classic or UberX. Here, drivers are encouraged to drive more passengers per trip as each passenger leads to a slight increase in the final earnings of the trip.
8. NYC Via Drivers Earn More Than Other Drivers
In July 2018, the TLC data suggested that Via drivers earned an average of $20.99 in their net earnings per hour, while the Uber drivers earned an average of $14.17 per hour. This implies that a NYC Uber driver can potentially increase their net earnings by 48.14% if he opts to drive for Via. New York City laws require all rideshare companies in the state to present their trip data with the Taxi and Limousine Commission. This proves that New York City is among the very few destinations in the United States where you are guaranteed accurate and reliable 3rd party data from the regulators on the net earnings of rideshare drivers. Thus, we can trust these numbers.
9. Via Offers NYC Drivers Great Incentives
Via provides New York City drivers with various incentives, such as allowing them to pick-off passengers at a convenient street corner to avoid traffic jams in busy areas like Queens and Manhattan. Moreover, Via offers NYC drivers either the Blue Mode payment rate or the Flex Mode, enabling them to drive to any destination and receive payment per passenger. In most cases, drivers prefer leasing minivans as they can transport many passengers at a single time and, in turn, earn more money.
10. Via Has a Comprehensive Passenger Education Policy
In addition to having a shared-ride service, Via has a comprehensive passenger education policy to educate users on how their policies operate. For example, their drivers will rarely ask you to wait or drive you off to a different location than you requested. Also, they are far less likely to show up with more passengers than the ones initially booked.
11. Via Is Available in Chicago
Via services became available in Chicago in 2015. In the past, driving rates ranged from $12 to $30 per hour. However, these rates largely depended on peak times and were especially high in the morning when people were heading to work. Via later expanded its services in August past Chicago to the nearby towns of Harwood Heights, Evanston, and Norridge. This expansion has helped Via drivers to gain additional passengers and access to transit stops like CTA and 65 Metra stations.
12. DC Via Drivers Can Work Anytime
In Washington DC, Via drivers are allowed to operate on a 24-hour basis, 7days a week. This means that they can drive passengers to any location at any time, on any day. However, drivers should expect some frequent stops to pick up passengers across Alexandria, Arlington County, VA, as well as from the Reagan and Dulles National airports.
13. Via Replaced Public Bus Transport in Arlington, TX
Around two years ago, Arlington decided to replace their public commuter bus service with Via’s ridesharing services. Here, passengers were required to pay $3 per ride or $10 for a weekly ride. Via drivers in the state were allowed to drive to all locations from the Parks Mall, the TRE station, and Centreport to the entertainment district and downtown area.
14. Via Sets Fair Requirements for Its Drivers
Generally, there are some requirements needed for one to become a Via driver. For example, you must have a valid driver's license and have a minimum of 1-year driving experience. All Via drivers must not have criminal backgrounds, and NYC Via drivers must have a TLC license, while Via drivers in Chicago must pass a vehicle inspection annually. With Via, you are only allowed to use a 2005 or newer luxury vehicle or a 2019 or newer non-luxury vehicle. If you don't own a car, you can visit some cities that have partnered with Via to rent a short-term vehicle. These requirements are very fair compared to those of other rideshare companies.
15. Via Offers Bonuses to New Drivers
Just like most rideshare companies, Via offers bonuses to its new drivers in selected cities. For instance, Via offers a $1,000 bonus to new drivers within their first four weeks and late-night promos for drivers who operate at night. New Via drivers in Chicago earn a bonus of $3,300 within their first 45 days after a 135-hour drive. That said, Via’s promotions and incentives may vary from city to city and change from month to another, so make sure to check the expiration date for all Via’s offers.
16. Via Pays More for Shared Rides
Via pays more to its Flex Mode drivers. It includes a sharing premium ranging between 5 to 20% for any additional passengers, depending on the number of extra riders added and what city you drive in. This is an added advantage to Flex Mode drivers as they are awarded a financial incentive for shared rides, unlike platforms like Uber.
17. Via’s Shared Rides Are Highly Organized
Via mainly operates on providing shared ride services. For example, Via's drivers operate on a corner-to-corner basis as they pick up and drop off passengers in safe, legal locations. This improves the efficiency of the drive as less time is wasted on locating passengers at different places.
18. Via Takes a Lower Commission Than Uber
Unlike Uber, Via takes a far less commission of each passenger fare earned. For example, Via charges a minimum 15 percent commission on each fare in Washington DC and Chicago. Via only charges 20 percent for Flex and 10 percent for Blue Mode for each fare in NYC city. Lyft and Uber both charge their drivers a commission of 25 percent, but their actual commission often ranges between 27-55 percent after including things like New Surge, Service Fees, and Upfront Pricing. So, both Lyft and Uber commission charges are much higher than Via’s, which ranges between 10-15%.
19. Via Has More Consistent Passengers Than Uber
Via usually operates on a shared-ride basis, thus having many passengers during commute hours. Most of Via's consistent passengers are the working-class variety that often gets to or from their workstations on a daily basis. As a result, Via has built a stable relationship with its passengers, unlike Uber.
20. Via Drivers Must Be Over 21
All Via drivers must be aged 21 years and above. They should also have at least one year of driving experience in the United States to fully meet the requirements.
In addition to the 20 things you now know about Via, one of the most notable features about Via is that they have a live 24-hour support team that is always available for phone, chat, or email support. You can contact them if you experience problems while working. That aside, Via drivers have the potential to earn a lot of income. The amount of money you earn when driving with Via is usually dependent on various factors such as whether you are earning on an hourly rate, the number of additional passengers you pick up, and the time of day or city you are driving in. You can dictate your pay.