Cupertino, California may have gained fame as Apple’s headquarters, but on October 29, the city’s residents will have even more to boast about. Residents will be able to use a mobile Via app (iOS and Android) to call for a shared shuttle, which provides an efficient connection to CalTrain, and will increase connectivity across the city.

Cupertino officials hope by making public transportation more accessible, residents will be encouraged to leave their own cars at home, thereby reducing traffic congestion and vehicle emissions.

Commuters throughout the 11-square-miles of the city will no longer have to rely on established bus routes and schedules, as Cupertino’s new partnership with Via allows riders to hail a shared ride when needed, thanks to a satellite zone surrounding the Sunnyvale CalTrain station.

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“This partnership with Via is the next generation of what public transportation can be, allowing us to increase mobility while taking a step toward our larger goal of reducing traffic congestion across Cupertino,” said Mayor Steven Scharf.

Via operates at $5 per ride, with weekly and monthly passes available for just $17 a week and $60 a month. Service will operate Monday through Friday from 6 am to 8 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to 5 pm.

Also, in partnership with Avis Budget Group, the service will start with six wheelchair-accessible. Cupertino-branded Mercedes Metris vans will seat six passengers, in addition to a driver, and will build up to10 vehicles over time. Avis Budget Group will provide turnkey fleet management service, including maintaining the vehicles to ensure it can provide a on-demand public mobility solution to Cupertino commuters.

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Via will also assist in re-engineering worldwide cities and transportation, offering residents an alternative to the regulated system of rigid routes and schedules to an on-demand network.

Via’s technology is used in other California cities including Los Angeles, Pacifica, Marin, West Sacramento, as well as throughout Orange County (comprised of cities located south of Los Angeles County).

Launched in Manhattan in September 2013, the Via platform operates in the US and Europe through a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz Vans called ViaVan. The technology is also used in dozens of partner projects with public-transportation agencies, private-transit operators, taxi fleets, private companies, and universities.

Image: iStock/Tero Vesalainen