The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corp., or IndyGo, is launching a new shared-ride pilot called IndyGo Connect that will focus on southeastern Indianapolis.
New York City-based Via Transportation Inc., which last year pulled out of the ride-hailing industry to focus on public transportation services, will lead the program.
Via will use its software to match passengers going in the same direction into one vehicle. The pilot is aimed at residents who don’t have cars or need accommodations for their wheelchairs. It launches Wednesday, at $1.75 a trip.
“IndyGo is excited to add this service to its growing list of initiatives geared toward helping Indianapolis’ most vulnerable population,” said President and CEO Inez Evans in Tuesday’s announcement. “With the launch of this new micro-transit program, IndyGo continues to fill the existing transportation gaps and show how it prioritizes the needs of all Indianapolis residents.”
Via made headlines late last year when it announced it was shutting down its consumer ride-hailing services in New York City and the District of Columbia, its two existing markets.
Via initially formed to provide on-demand, supplementary service to public transportation systems, according to Bloomberg, and entered the ride-hailing space after Uber and Lyft’s breakout successes. But after the pandemic dealt that industry a beating, Via is going back to its roots.
“Via is thrilled to partner with IndyGo to launch IndyGo Connect, which will bring equitable public mobility to Southeastern Indianapolis,” said Chief Revenue Officer Dillon Twombly. “Via and IndyGo both believe that access to opportunity should not depend on private car ownership, which is why we designed an affordable on-demand service for all riders that extends the reach of the city’s existing transit system.”
Residents can book a ride by downloading the IndyGo Connect app, signing up, and clicking either “book now” or “schedule”—or calling 463-218-9231. Hours are 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sundays.
Students at high schools in the area can ride for free by presenting their valid student IDs, while those under 18 at other schools can pay half-fare. Residents over 65 can also ride for a discount with IndyGo’s half-fare card.