Transport for London awards Via with multi-year contract to transform accessible transport

Via’s TransitTech software will improve the accessibility of TfL’s Dial-a-Ride service, following on the heels of similar deals in Berlin, Paris, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Via, the global leader in TransitTech, announces that it has been awarded a multi-year contract by Transport for London (TfL) to improve accessible transport across the city through technology. As a result of a competitive two-year tender process, Via will introduce its software platform in early 2024, powering the Dial-a-Ride service with the aim to further increase the quality of service and passenger experience for elderly and disabled members in London. The partnership will also help TfL to expand the Dial-a-Ride service to reach even more people.

The announcement is a milestone in the adoption of technology-enabled accessible transport solutions in the UK. TfL’s Dial-a-Ride, with Via’s software, will serve as a blueprint for other cities and transport authorities across Europe to make public transport more inclusive, efficient, and cost-efficient at scale.

The tender award comes on the heels of a number of other major accessible transport deals for Via with public sector partners across Europe in BerlinParis, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

The new software will benefit Dial-a-Ride’s 30,000 members helping TfL to provide customers with reliable and equal access to transport for everyday leisure trips that are so important to maintain a high quality of life.

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.”

“We are honoured to have been selected as the new software provider for TfL’s vital Dial-a-Ride service, and we believe that together, we can improve even further the experience for Londoners requiring assisted transport” said Chris Snyder, CEO of Via Europe. “Via is dedicated to evolving public mobility across the globe, and this includes using technology to expand access to equitable and efficient transportation.”

Via’s technology provides unparalleled visibility and access for members and caregivers, including the ability 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 will allow for quicker cancellations, freeing up vehicles and drivers for other journeys. Members will also be able to 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 (DRT) service pilot in 2019 in the London borough of Sutton to reduce private vehicle use and expand access to public transport. TfL has also been a customer of Via’s leading transport planning software, Remix, since 2019, utilising the platform to design and develop the bus network across London.

In the UK, Via has nearly 30 partnerships with transport authorities and operators, including Transport for Wales, Milton Keynes Council, and Transport for West Midlands. Via’s partners use its software to power digital DRT services that increase access to sustainable, efficient, and equitable transport. Via recently announced the acquisition of Citymapper, the UK-based premier journey planning app and transport technology company, to advance Via’s vision to be the operating system for every aspect of public mobility.

​​About Via:

Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to develop public mobility systems — optimising networks of buses, shuttles, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles around the globe. Building the world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all riders — including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and unbanked populations — Via works with its partners to lower the costs of public transport while providing transportation options that rival the convenience of a personal car while reducing the environmental impact. At the intersection of transportation and technology, Via is a visionary market leader that combines software innovation with sophisticated service design and operational expertise to fundamentally improve the way the world moves, providing technology in 600 communities and more than 35 countries and counting.