ViaVan, a company jointly owned by New York-based ride-sharing startup Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans, has launched its new ride-sharing service in London to offer customers “a much needed alternative” to Uber.
The service has been described as a combination of UberPool, which picks up multiple passengers heading to different destinations, and a bus service. Through the ViaVan app, passengers can be matched in real time with other riders heading their way and can then share the trip in a chauffeured vehicle.
ViaVan says its service will offer the “lowest fares, better treatment of drivers and riders, and a corporate ethos that puts safety first”. Boasting the lowest prices in central London, the company hopes to serve as an affordable extension to public transport, as well as reduce congestion and carbon emissions.
Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan, said:
“Londoners deserve innovative transportation solutions that are safe, convenient, and affordable. ViaVan is a different kind of company: we have social responsibility built into our DNA. Our mission is to power truly dynamic mass transit systems, which reduce congestion in our cities while offering drivers the opportunity to earn a decent living.
“We are delighted to launch in London and to finally give Londoners an alternative to expensive and inefficient private car services.”
The service is currently only active in zones one and two of central London and the app is available for free download on iOS and Android. This is the second city launch for ViaVan, following on the heels of its launch in Amsterdam last month.