Who is Via Mobility Services?
Via Mobility Services (Via) is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Via is not a government agency. As a nonprofit, Via’s founding mission service is driver-assisted, door-through-door transportation in wheelchair-accessible vehicles, called paratransit. We’ve also developed other mobility services, such as a volunteer driver program, for helping those with limited mobility.
Why is the wait time to book a ride over the phone sometimes long?
The call center’s busiest times are between 8 and 10 AM. If you call after 10 AM, the phone lines are less busy. Also, if you’re already registered as a Via rider, you can:
- Use the online portal to book a ride. Instructions for using the link are at this link: https://viacolorado.org/services/via-transportation/book-online/
- Book a ride up to 7 days in advance. The farther ahead that you request a ride, the more likely you are to get it.
Why doesn’t Via hire more reservationists in the call center and more drivers?
We’re working on that. But the reality is more complicated.
- Like employers across the country, after more than two years of disruption from the Covid pandemic, we’re experiencing a labor shortage. To be competitive with other employers, we are raising wages. But paying more means the cost of each ride also increases.
- In 2020, local governments asked Via to extend its mobility services into the Denver metro area, more than doubling our service area and stretching our resources. We agreed because thousands of metro residents who have limited mobility need our services.
- Every month, between 300 and 350 people register with Via as new riders, a growth rate that is double what Via experienced before the pandemic.
If Via does not charge fares for paratransit trips, how does it pay for its services?
Currently, Via’s paratransit rides are fare-free, which really helps those riders who live on low incomes. We receive government and foundation grants to pay for a portion of the trips we provide, but that still leaves a funding gap. Individuals and businesses help cover that gap with donations. We also enter transportation operating contracts and apply the net revenues to our founding mission service. For example, we operate the HOP bus route in the City of Boulder.
I heard that Via is a second responder, but what is a second responder?
When there’s a disaster in Boulder County, we offer our resources — buses, drivers, staff, dispatching and communications capabilities, and sometimes even our headquarters — to first responders. First, we move people quickly from a disaster area. Then we drive people from shelters to temporary housing and resource centers, and sometimes we move supplies to where they’re needed.
Recently, Via helped nearly 100 people escape the Marshall Fire. Prior to that, we helped move people during wildfires in the mountains and flooding in Boulder County. We also took hundreds of people who don’t drive to and from temporary Covid-19 vaccination clinics. And in the aftermath of the mass shooting at the Table Mesa King Soopers, law enforcement and counselors set up a Family Assistance Center in Via’s Boulder facility.
What is Via doing in response to the climate crisis?
Because transportation is the largest source of CO2 emissions, Via believes we have a responsibility to the community and future generations to move as quickly as possible to replace our fleet buses and vans with emission-free vehicles that are powered as much as possible with renewable energy. Please visit our website to learn more about our regional, clean-air transit initiative.