Uber rival European ride-sharing startup ViaVan launches first on-demand mobility service in Finland



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ViaVan, a joint venture between Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans in Europe and an Uber rival has launched its first on-demand service in Finland in partnership with the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL). It will power a dynamically routed first-and-last mile transit solution in the region. This on-demand public mobility service will let residents of the Helsinki suburb of Espoo book an on-demand ride and connect to train or Metro stations within the zone of operation.

Winner of HSL’s IdeaLab competition

ViaVan was selected as a winner of HSL’s IdeaLab competition. This competition is aimed to finding new and innovative mobility solutions in Helsinki. ViaVan raised nearly €500,000 for the service program. This program leverages its expertise and technology to drive ridership to public transit and minimises the necessity for private vehicles to commute between Espoo and the city of Helsinki.

Commuters enjoy easy travel!

Passengers can use the ViaVan app to book a ride to or from train or Metro stations in the operating zone. Once the ride is booked, the advanced technology of Via matches multiple passengers travelling in the same direction into one of the eight high-capacity vehicles. It also routes the vehicles dynamically in real-time, reduces detours with the use of virtual bus stops to minimise emissions and congestion and provide a highly efficient rider experience.

Rides start from as low as €2

The ViaVan on-demand public mobility service is open in eastern Espoo on weekdays from 7 AM to 9 PM. The cost of the ride will be €2 per ride until October 15, 2019. The charge can be paid within the app via debit card or PayPal. Post this introductory offer, ViaVan will set a fixed and affordable price for the ride and this cost will be displayed in the app before confirming the trip.

Launches on-demand mobility services across Europe

In August, ViaVan launched its first on-demand public transit service in the Nordic region in partnership with Konsentra in Oslo. The company has already launched similar services in cooperation with leading public transport authorities across Europe such as Transport for London (TfL) in London and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) in Berlin. ViaVan and its parent company Via have tapped into cities and transportation players with the aim to transform public transit.

“ViaVan is redefining mobility across Europe, and we’re delighted to have been selected by HSL, an innovator in Europe’s transportation sector, to launch this ground-breaking service,” said Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan. “We believe that the easier it is to take public transport, the more people will reliably choose it over their private vehicle, and we’re excited to provide Espoo residents with this affordable, convenient, and eco-friendly transportation alternative.”

In September 2017, ViaVan launched its first operations in March 2018 in Amsterdam. In July 2019, the company also got the license to operate in London. Also, in July 2019, ViaVan launched Malta’s first-ever ridesharing service called Cool.

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Main image picture credits: ViaVan

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The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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