A bit ahead of its time, the city of Arlington, Texas, decided to ditch the use of a public transport system, introduced locally in 2013. Instead, the roughly 400,000 Texans would have their travel needs taken care of by ride-sharing company Via.
For a few months, the usual busses seen on the city’s streets have been replaced by black vans. The fixed pick-up and drop-off stations replaced by mobile locations. Waiting for a bus, replaced by seeing an ETA on the phone’s screen.
There are currently ten Via vans taking people to and fro, as per the contract signed by local authorities and the ride-sharing company. One ride on the Via vans costs $3, and a weekly pass of $10 is also offered.
Arlington’s decision was based on the fact that the single bus route through the city only serviced around 100 people each day in recent months.
The city’s mayor told CBS News the ride-sharing system is a lot cheaper. Aside from the subsidy offered to Via users on their tickets, the city does not have to pay for drivers’ salaries or maintenance for the vehicles.
In the first month of operation, Via managed to provide 5,000 rides, thanks in part, say Via representatives, to the fact that the pickup location is not a fixed point along a route.