New York-based ride-sharing company Via has teamed up with Israel’s Dan Bus Company to launch “Bubble,” a new smart public transportation service in the Tel Aviv area.
The service – which will commence operations at the end of the month – will provide a smart shuttle service for Tel Aviv, Givatayim and Ramat Gan. Dan has already purchased 100 Mercedes-Benz ten-seat vehicles and has started to recruit drivers for the new service.
Users will be able to order the shuttle from a Bubble smartphone application, and will then be requested to head to a nearby bus station – based on real-time traffic conditions and service demand – where they will be collected by a Bubble vehicle.
The application will enable users to track their estimated pick-up time and expected time of arrival at their destination. Disabled passengers requiring an accessible vehicle will be able to notify the company through the application.
“Dan continues to lead the innovation in the field of public transportation, and as part of this we are launching the new Bubble service, which will offer a travel experience and service not yet seen in Israeli public transportation, and at reasonable prices,” said Dan chairman Shmuel Rafaeli and CEO Ofer Zlbigr in a joint statement.
“We are proud to lead the innovation revolution in public transportation and enable tens of thousands of residents in the region to give up their private vehicles and arrive at work using a flexible, fast and efficient travel service.”
In accordance with Transport Ministry guidelines, the service will cost between NIS 12 and 15, and will operate Sunday through Thursday from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.
The service will initially operate as a pilot project, led by the Transport Ministry and Finance Ministry, with Dan gradually activating its fleet of new vehicles through Via’s operating system, which specializes in solutions for managing smart public transportation.
“We hope that in dozens of other cities around the world, our technology will also help to create flexible and adaptive public transportation,” said Guy Sher, head of business development at Via in Israel.
“In the long run, our goal is to lead to a significant reduction in the use of private cars by creating an efficient and convenient alternative.”
Founded in 2012 by Israeli entrepreneurs Daniel Ramot and Oren Shoval, Via operates a smart management system for public transportation in dozens of cities worldwide.
The service is based on Tel Aviv’s sherut shared taxi service, and has facilitated more than 50 million trips to date in major cities such as New York, London, Sydney, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam.