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Rideshare Service Debuts In Arlington

ARLINGTON (CBS11) - Arlington doesn't have a city-wide bus system, but now, residents who don't have cars can use rideshare paid for partially by the city.

Ten Mercedes Benz vans hit the streets of Arlington Monday.

Via in Arlington
Via in Arlington (CBS11)

"This is an opportunity for us to try new technology to be able to get a lot of our people that are economically disadvantaged to work or to see a doctor," said Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams. 

To use the service, download the Via app and enter credit card information that stays on file, similar to Uber or Lyft.

A six-passenger van show ups no more than a block from your location. Expect to share the ride and make several stops. Rides are $3 each way per person, no matter the destination.

"It is something that is more convenient because Uber is a lot more money, but the only downside is if I'm in a hurry to get somewhere,"said Brian Nyaberi, a UT Arlington student.

The operation area includes the entertainment district around UTA and the ball parks. The city says service will be expanded if the test program goes well. They could also extend service hours, which run from Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and  Saturday from 9 a.m to 9 p.m.

For the very poor in Arlington, this service may not an option. CBS11 spoke to several residents who do not have cars and did not want to go on camera to say they didn't have the smart phones needed to download the app or even banking information required to set up a profile, something they wouldn't need to ride a bus.

Arlington is spending about $323,000 in local tax dollars and another $600,000 from the federal government. The city says it's significantly cheaper than a bus service.

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