UTA goes on demand with new ridesharing partnership

DRAPER - There's a new way to get around the Salt Lake Valley thanks to a partnership between the Utah Transit Authority and a company called Via, which has an app that works like Uber and Lyft.

UTA is working with Via to test out a new service called 'UTA On Demand' and it covers Bluffdale, Herriman, Riverton, and South Jordan.

Eleanor Joseph, the Director of Strategy and Business Development at Via says, "Not everyone can drive, not everyone can afford to drive, from a mobility perspective can't drive,  some don't want to drive, so it`s really important to be able to have alternative options."

This is where the new service comes into play. It helps bridge the gap between the first mile and the last mile of your journey.

The Mayor of Draper, Troy Walker says, "That's always kind of been the issue. The first and the last mile is something we`ve grappled with."

Whether it be to work, school, home, or any other destination, it just has to start and end in the service area that's highlighted in blue on the map below.

Salt Lake County Mayor, Jenny Wilson says, "This is an area that`s harder to serve. We have newer development, we have expanding areas, we have a lot of growth, and I think this is an innovative way to get people to where they need to be."

You can use the Via app or call 385-217-8191 to book your ride.

In the app, you just select how many passengers there are, put in where you're going from and where you're going to, and then the app finds you a ride.

After you book the ride, the app will display a pickup location where the Via vehicle will meet you.

UTA On Demand is available from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

You can get your first two UTA On Demand rides for free if you use the promo code 'RIDEVIA' in the Via app.

Once you’ve taken your first two rides, all rides are $1.00 through December 31st, 2019. Then starting on January 1st, 2020, the regular $2.50 adult one-way fare takes effect.

You can pay for your ride in the Via app using a credit or debit card, using valid or with UTA tickets or passes by selecting the option in the app under Payment Methods and show your ticket or pass when you board.

The idea of this partnership is to give everyone a broader reach using the public transit system we already have access to.

Jaron Roberson, the Director of Innovative Mobility Solutions at UTA says, "If they need to get to a doctor's office, a grocery store, or a library, wherever they may need to go, this provides them with the opportunity to use public transportation to do that."

The one-year pilot program is funded by Salt Lake County sales tax dollars, and if all goes well, It could expand to other areas.

The Via app is available for Apple and Android devices.

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