City of Valdosta Public Transportation - Frequently Asked Questions
What is the action City Council took on Thursday, October 8?
On Thursday, October 8, Valdosta City Councilmembers voted to begin public transportation contract negotiations with an On-Demand/Microtransit company, Via. A final contract will be brought back before City Council on a future date.
What is Via?
Via is a worldwide company that offers many different public transit services. The City of Valdosta is in contract negotiations to utilize Via’s an on-demand transit system that takes multiple passengers heading in the same direction and books them into a shared vehicle. Think of Via as a bus that’s smart enough to come when you want it and where you want it.
What is On-Demand Transit? Is it Microtransit? How is it different than Uber/Lyft/Taxis?
On-Demand Transit (sometimes also called Microtransit) is a demand-responsive transportation service that picks up riders who request a trip by using an app (after creating an account online) or calling customer service. Unlike fixed-route service, there is no set schedule so riders will need to use the app or call to request a ride during the hours of operation.
Why is the city getting public transit?
For the past several years, it has been a goal of the Mayor, Council, and City Manager to provide the citizens of Valdosta with a public transit system. Communities that were researched have experienced great success with this concept. City leaders began exploring public transportation options after hearing from local leaders, residents, and economic development officials who believe it would help with quality of life and job creation/sustainability.
How will this be funded?
The Federal Transit Administration will fund 80% of expected costs for the City of Valdosta public transportation system. This year, FTA Cares Act funding will cover the city’s match, which is 20% of expected costs. In future years, the FTA will continue to fund 80% of costs while the portion of the City’s responsibility can be mitigated via advertising, additional grants, in-kind service agreements, and fares for service.
When will the on-demand transit service launch?
This will be discussed during contract negotiations with Via. More information will be forthcoming on the launch date.
What are the service hours?
This will be discussed during contract negotiations with Via. More information will be forthcoming on the service hours.
What is the service area?
Approximately 36 square miles covering the entire city and connecting to key destinations.
Who is driving?
When you book a ride, we connect you with a vehicle operated by a trained and experienced driver who is covered by the required insurance. All driver-partners undergo thorough criminal background checks before driving on the Via platform.
How will I request a ride?
No smartphone? Access customer support by calling Via’s live support representatives and have your account set-up over the phone.
Where will this ride take me?
The ride will be available for any drop off and pick up locations within the City of Valdosta.