Via vans hit city streets

New subsidized ride-share system launches in Jersey City

Via purple vans officially hit Jersey City streets on Feb. 25, becoming New Jersey’s first on-demand city-run transit system.

The new subsidized system is paid for in part by a $1.8 million partnership with Via, a New York City-based company that provides transit options and ride shares.

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The new system will increase resident connectivity to and from previous transit deserts in the north and southwest sections of the city, allowing residents to get to and from more connected areas like Grove Street downtown and Journal Square.

The service aims to complement and extend the existing public transit infrastructure, providing better connections between these residential neighborhoods, business districts, government facilities, PATH stations, and ferry and light rail stop in the north and south areas of the city.

The city sought out Via to help solve mass transit woes, including delays, loss of bus service, and increased fares.

How it works

Passengers can use the Via mobile app, or if they don’t have  smartphones, call (201) 514-6228 to select a pickup and drop-off location within the service zone and confirm their rides.

Once a ride is booked, Via’s technology matches multiple passengers headed in the same direction into one of 15 high-capacity vehicles, and directs passengers to a nearby corner, or “virtual bus stop.”

The app will display the driver’s name, vehicle model, and license plate number to help riders locate their rides.

Via’s technology routes vehicles in real-time, minimizing detours through the use of virtual bus stops to reduce congestion and emissions while providing a highly-efficient rider experience, according to the city.

At launch, all rides throughout the entire service zone will have special pricing of $1 per ride.

Starting on March 21, standard pricing will be introduced when riders can book a ride to or from the Central Zone, including Downtown and Journal Square at a flat rate of $2.

Riders can book a ride anywhere within the outer service zone starting at $2 plus $0.50 per mile.

The service will operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Riders can also request a wheelchair accessible vehicle in-app or on the phone.

To get started, download the Via app from the App Store or Google Play store, then follow the signup steps. You’ll be asked to enter your personal info, payment info, and a promo code if you have one.

Currently, flyers with promo codes are being handed out across the city at light rail stops.

Riders who use the app to book a ride can pay in the app. Those who call the dedicated phone line can pay with credit, debit, or prepaid card. No cash is being accepted at this time.

Questions regarding the newly launched service can be sent to

For updates on this and other stories keep checking and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at

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