Transit technology provider Via has been awarded a multi-year contract by Transport for London (TfL) to make the booking system for its Dial-a-Ride service more accessible.
Following a two-year tender process, Via will deploy its software platform in early 2024, with the aim to further increase the quality of service and passenger experience for TfL’s 30,000 Dial-a-Ride members.
The partnership also aims to help TfL expand the Dial-a-Ride service to reach more elderly and disabled people across the UK capital city.
James Mead, TfL’s general manager of on-demand transport, said: “Dial-a-Ride is a lifeline for thousands of elderly and disabled people across London, allowing them to make everyday trips to the supermarket or GP, as well as maintain a social life and pursue hobbies.
“We’re thrilled to soon be introducing Via’s software to make our booking system even more accessible for our members and allow them to take more control of their journeys, whilst the quicker cancellations system will allow for smoother operations.”
Via’s technology has been developed to enable members and caregivers to book trips on-demand as well as in advance, and with real-time information so members can track the progress of their current or upcoming journey.
Booking and cancellations will be available by using a mobile app or web portal, in addition to the current system over the phone, providing multiple options for those without access to a smartphone, or those with visual or auditory impairments.
Multiple booking channels also allows for quicker cancellations, freeing up vehicles and drivers for other journeys. Members can also select accessibility features in the mobile app to meet specific needs, including options to assist those with impaired vision.
Via and TfL have worked together on several occasions including a demand-responsive transport service pilot in 2019 in the London borough of Sutton to reduce private vehicle use and expand access to public transport.
TfL has also utilised Via’s transport planning software, Remix, since 2019, to design and develop its bus network across London.
The tender award follows a number of other accessible transport deals for Via with public-sector partners across Europe in Berlin, Paris, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, as well as the recently announced acquisition of UK-based journey planning app and transport technology company Citymapper.
In the UK, Via currently has nearly 30 partnerships with transport authorities and operators, including Transport for Wales, Milton Keynes Council, and Transport for West Midlands.
Innovations and achievements such as this will highlighted and celebrated at the second annual CiTTi Awards on 21 November 2023 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Entries are now open and close on August 21. Visit www.cittiawards.co.uk to learn more about this unmissable event for the UK’s transportation sector!