ViaVan has marked its one-year anniversary in Milton Keynes with the introduction of five electric Mercedes-Benz Vito eTourers to its fleet, and plans to expand the fleet of on-demand shuttles to thirty electric vehicles by 2020.
ViaVan received a 544,000 pound ($697,000) grant from the UK Department of Transport’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles to accomplish this goal.
The funding through Milton Keynes Council supports the Department for Transport’s initiatives around ultra low emission vehicles, which aims to help cities meet targets for reducing carbon emissions and provide a sustainable on-demand service for passengers. Likewise, for ViaVan, the electrification of its fleet in Milton Keynes represents an important step in ViaVan’s vision to evolve public transport across the U.K. with smart, sustainable, and congestion-reducing shared rides.
ViaVan and Milton Keynes Council will formally sign an agreement that outlines the key components of focus to ensure success of zero-emission, on-demand shared rides in the city.
ViaVan’s technology was built for shared rides, and matches multiple passengers into a single vehicle with the use of “virtual bus stops,” allowing the service to transport a high volume of passengers while reducing unnecessary detours, vehicle miles and carbon emissions. Building on this experience, ViaVan has built unique features into its algorithm to maximise the range and utilisation of electric vehicles.
ViaVan has given more than 100,000 rides in Milton Keynes in its first year in the city, and now, riders can book an "eViaVan" directly through the ViaVan mobile app.
ViaVan also operates in Amsterdam and London, where it surpassed seven million rides and received a three-year license renewal from Transport for London (TfL). Across Europe, ViaVan works with a number of leading public transport authorities, cities and partners including TfL in the Borough of Sutton, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe in Berlin, and Helsinki Regional Transport Authority in Helsinki.