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Via’s Challenges Are Guiding Us into the Future

As many of you know, Via’s riders experienced a service reduction this year. When a major funding source declines, it directly impacts the number of rides that we’re able to provide. The decision to reduce service was difficult to make and even more difficult for those we serve. This challenge is not unique to Via, transportation providers across the country are facing similar situations.

Looking forward to 2020 and beyond, our challenge is not only to get back to where we were, but also to expand our service offerings.

Many people don’t realize that the $5 fare for a local paratransit trip covers only 10% of the actual cost of each one-way trip. This cost, which is currently $46, is on par among similar providers across the country. Via covers the gap between the fare and the trip cost from various funding sources, including donations, corporate partnerships, and transportation contracts.

Via is exploring several new ways to help cover this gap as funding sources continue to decline. One way to close this gap is to find operational efficiencies that bring down that $46 cost per trip. With the help of our partners, Via is working on a technology solution that will allow us to make our operations more efficient, improve the rider experience, and will enable us to increase the number of rides we’re providing.

In 2020, we’ll announce a new project to test an innovative technology that we think has the potential to change the paratransit game.

INVEST IN VIA’s FUTURE

 

Funding is always crucial, especially for large, disruptive projects involving new technologies. To help us reach our goal of achieving both financial and environmental sustainability, we have created a New Technologies Fund.

To learn more, contact Lisa Curtis at lcurtis@viacolorado.org or by phone at 303-447-2848 ext. 1089.

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$46 FOR A RIDE?

Well, not for you! That’s the actual cost to Via to provide a driver-assisted, door-through-door trip in a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

What makes up the cost of a Via ride?
  • Via’s drivers are employees. They are paid and receive benefits, while ride-share drivers are independent contractors and drive their own cars.
  • Via trains and insures our drivers.
  • Via owns its vehicles and pays for insurance, fuel, and maintenance.
  • Via drivers take the time to help our clients to and from the vehicle. After all, we’re a door-through-door
  • Via employs administrative and call center staff and driver supervisors who can quickly get to a vehicle that’s broken down or has been in an accident.
  • Via drivers are subject to federal drug and alcohol testing at the time of hire and randomly throughout the year.

INNOVATION IS THE VIA WAY

Via has been innovating from the beginning. In 1979, we were the first paratransit provider in Boulder County. In 1994, we adopted a social enterprise business model that allows us to apply net revenues from our transportation contracts to our mission services. Now, to tackle dwindling resources, we’re using new technologies to make our operations more efficient to be able to serve more with less.

Learn More