Ride sharing taxi app arrives in Amsterdam

| Transport

App based ride-sharing service launches in Amsterdam

Mercedes and Via collaborate on digital hailing system that enables passengers on the same route to share a ride with reduced environmental impact than individual taxis.

ViaVan, a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via, is launching its service in Amsterdam. The Dutch capital is thus the first city in Europe where this cost-effective and sustainable alternative form of mobility is available with immediate effect. Thanks to innovative technology which enables journeys to be pooled, passengers with similar or the same destinations travel together without any lengthy detours and delays.

In September of last year Mercedes-Benz Vans and Via, a start-up company based in New York, founded the joint venture ViaVan with the following aim: to bring ridesharing to Europe and to establish it here as a complement to existing mobility options. Other cities are to follow suit, including Berlin and London, where the service will also be launched depending on final approvals.

The approach is based on the ViaVan app, where passengers will be seamlessly matched in real time with other riders heading in the same direction, sharing their trip in a professionally-chauffeured vehicle. ViaVan will serve as an extension of the city’s existing public transit network, providing an affordable and convenient transport alternative that reduces congestion and carbon emissions.

ViaVan uses the world’s most efficient on-demand transit platform, developed by Via initially for the New York City market, where today it provides more than 1.5 million shared rides per month. Via licenses its technology to transport operators globally powering services across the world, from Australia to Texas. As an innovation-friendly city that has embraced progressive, environmentally conscious options for getting around, Amsterdam posed a natural fit for the debut of ViaVan’s service.

“ViaVan’s mission is to power truly dynamic mass transit systems, liberated from the constraints of fixed routes and fixed schedules,” said Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan. “Our technology has powered more than 30 million shared rides around the globe, and we’re delighted to launch in Amsterdam, one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in Europe.”

How it works

Using the ViaVan app, passengers select their pick up and drop off location and confirm their ride. ViaVan’s smart algorithm enables multiple riders to seamlessly share a single vehicle. The powerful technology directs passengers to a nearby corner – a virtual bus stop – for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours that take riders out of their way. This enables ViaVan’s system to transport a high volume of passengers while using a fraction of the number of vehicles used by taxis or on-demand car services. By powering efficient ride sharing, ViaVan will reduce traffic and carbon emissions in Amsterdam.

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