As demand for Jersey City’s ride-share program skyrockets, Mayor Steve Fulop said he plans to expand the service.
In a social media post, Fulop shared a performance report Friday that detailed the better-than-expected rise in demand for city’s rideshare program, Via Jersey City.
The program, which was established in February 2020, has given residents, workers and visitors the ability to travel throughout the city for as low as $2. The program was created to give residents living in “transit deserts” easier mobility throughout the city.
More than 340,000 rides have been completed so far. In the fifth quarter alone (February 2021-May 2021), nearly 124,000 rides were completed, with just under 10,000 unique riders.
The increased demand has led to an increase in wait times, which has risen 32 percent to an average wait time of about 17 minutes.
In September 2020, the city saw a similar increase in wait times, and increased the fleet from 17 to 26 vehicles. Since then, Jersey City has set three singe-day highs for ridership, 1,259 during the week of Nov. 2, 1,313 during the week of Dec. 14 and 1,953 during the week of March 29.
In his Facebook post, Fulop said intends on using the same plan — add more vehicles to address the demand.
The mayor could not be immediately reached for further comment.
According to the seven-page, data-driven graphics report, the top destination for Via riders has been the Journal Square Transportation Center, where riders can catch a bus or the PATH train, and Newport Centre mall Downtown. Six of the top 10 Via destinations are Downtown.
The city established the program after numerous complaints from residents about their bus experience in Jersey City.
“As NJ Transit continues to neglect the city’s mass transit systems, and without help from the state, we are now creating our own innovative solutions that will meet the needs of our residents,” Fulop said in September 2019 when he announced the service. “This is the latest step towards our larger vision of getting cars off the road, while creating mobility in neighborhoods that sometimes lack connectivity to other parts of the city.”