Arlington RAPID On-Demand, self-driving public transportation service rolls out more spacious fleet
Arlington RAPID, the city’s on-demand, self-driving public transportation service, announced it is beginning to roll out a fleet of more spacious, accessible vehicles to take passengers around downtown and the University of Texas at Arlington.
Over the next few months, RAPID will upgrade its fleet to use May Mobility’s Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS vans. The first vehicle, available now, is wheelchair accessible and can carry up to four ambulatory riders or two ambulatory riders and one wheelchair user. The vehicle enables passengers with different abilities to use shared, autonomous transport together.
Arlington RAPID, now in its second year of operation, has provided more than 31,000 on-demand rides since launching in March 2021.
Arlington RAPID’s fleet of autonomous vehicles (AVs) is available to riders through the Via app or by calling Via’s customer service line at 817-784-7382. The service is currently available from 12pm to 6pm Monday to Friday.
The city operates the Arlington RAPID (Rideshare, Automation, and Payment Integration Demonstration) in partnership with Via, May Mobility and UT Arlington. The introduction of the new wheelchair-accessible autonomous vehicles in the RAPID fleet marks another step forward in the partnership’s vision of using AVs to create accessible, flexible and efficient public transport.
RAPID is expected to receive support from the North Central Texas Council of Governments so that convenient, reliable public transportation can continue to operate in the heart of The American Dream City through at least 2024.
The RAPID service area is currently bounded by Division Street to the north, Mary Street to the east, Mitchell Street to the south and Davis Drive to the west. In all, more than 18 miles of downtown streets are mapped for the vehicles to take the most efficient route to pick up and drop off riders.
Via’s standard fares, typically $3 but up to $5 depending on distance, apply to rides taken on the Arlington RAPID by the general public. The discounted fare for UTA students is $1 off the standard fare per ride.
Sienna Autono-MaaS is Toyota’s autonomous mobility as a service (Autono-MaaS) vehicle based on the Sienna. It features Toyota’s highly adaptable Vehicle Control Interface (VCI), which enables seamless technology integration with May Mobility’s Autonomous Driving Kit (ADK) for robust operation of key vehicle control systems, such as steering, braking and acceleration.
For more information about Arlington RAPID, please visit www.arlingtontx.gov/rapid.
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