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Via App: Your Step-by-Step Guide to This Rideshare Platform

By: // Updated: August 26, 2020

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When you want to arrive at your destination without spending more than you must, sharing a ride with Via is one of the most convenient ways to save. With just a few taps, you can request a shared ride in a well-maintained vehicle — as long as you know how to navigate the Via app.

Via is a ridesharing app that connects you to affordable car rides, shared with up to five other people headed in your direction. Much like UberPool and Lyft Shared, Via helps you save money by matching you with a driver who will pick you up along a fixed route, instead of right at your location. You can expect a few stops to pick up or drop off your fellow riders along the way.

If you’re interested in getting the flexibility and reliability of private Uber rides for the cost of public transportation, read below for our complete guide to using the Via app, including how to sign up and how to contact Via.


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How to Download the Via App

The Via app is incredibly easy to download. It’s available in both the App Store and Google Play store, so all you need to do is complete one of the following steps:

You will need a smartphone that operates on Android 5.0, iOS 11.0, or later for the mobile app to work.

Signing Up on the Via App

Signing Up on the Via App

Once you’ve installed the Via app, you can create your account by opening the platform and tapping “Sign Up” on the homepage. This will pull up a form where you’ll need to fill in your first name, last name, email, preferred password, and phone number. Tap “Next” once you’ve done so.

Via will then text you a verification code for you to enter into the app.

After you verify your phone number, you’ll be asked to enter your preferred billing information. You can enter your credit card or debit card information or connect your PayPal or Google Pay account. If you have a Via promo code you’d like to use, make sure you tap “Redeem your promo code” at the bottom of the page to apply it before proceeding.

Entering your credit card details on Via App

As soon as your payment information is submitted, you’re ready to request your first ride. However, you may first want to consider the following account customization tips:

  • If you need a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, tap the wheelchair icon on the top right of your map screen to always get matched with WAVs. This won’t increase your prices.
  • To make ride requests faster, set your home and work address by tapping the menu icon on the top left corner and heading to the “Favorites” tab. If your app is buggy like ours was, this tab may be titled “Menu_Favorites.”
  • If you’re using your app for business trips, head to your profile from the app menu and tap “Add a business profile.” You’ll be able to enter your or your employer’s business payment and contact information.

How to Request a Via Ride

How to Request a ride using the Via App

At this point, your account should be fully set up, which means you’re ready to request a ride on the Via app. Start by dragging your map screen around until the blue marker is on your current location and tap “Confirm My Location.”

Then, drag the orange marker around until it’s on your desired drop-off location. You can also choose from saved destinations, like your home and work address, as well as serviced airports. Tap “Set My Destination” when complete.

You’ll then see a list of available Via ride services on your screen. Though some ride types may not be available depending on your route and time of day, you’ll typically see at least one of these four ride options:

  • Via: The standard Via ride, shared with up to five people.
  • ViaExpress: A shared ride that takes a more direct route (typically using a freeway), limiting the number of stops you need to make.
  • Private Ride: A ride just for your party, much like an UberX or standard Lyft ride, only more affordable, since you’ll still need to meet your driver on their route.
  • Shared Taxi: A metered taxi ride that other parties can join. If your ride becomes a shared one, your price is reduced by 40%.

Review the prices and estimate arrival times for each available Via service and select the one you want, then tap “Book This Ride.” The Via app updates in real time, so if you delay your request, you may see prices change and new ride options appear.

How Pick-Ups and Drop-Offs Work

Shortly after you submit your on-demand ride request, you should be matched with a nearby Via driver who’s headed in your direction. In addition to information about the driver and their vehicle — including their name, picture, license plate number, and car model — you’ll see where you’ll be picked up. This pick-up spot will always be at a nearby corner, just a short walk away.

Start walking toward your pick-up location as soon as possible. Since the Via app thrives on efficiency, your driver will only wait for one minute after their arrival. If you’re late, you’ll miss your ride and incur a $3 cancellation fee.

Once your driver arrives and you’ve confirmed their identity, grab an empty seat in the vehicle and you’ll be on your way. Once in a while, you’ll need to make short stops to pick up and drop off others in your carpool, but your estimated arrival time should still be fairly accurate.

When your driver nears your destination, they’ll drop you off along the route, once again at a nearby corner. You’ll only need to walk a short distance to get wherever you need to go.

How to Contact Via

As with any other transportation service, you may run into issues with Via on occasion. When this occurs, you can easily reach out to the company’s customer support team on the Via app.

On your mobile app, tap “Help Center” at the bottom of your app menu. If your app is buggy, you may see this as “Menu_Help_Center.”

Then, tap “I need to contact Via.” You’ll then be able to select your issue, add details about what you need help with, and add any relevant files. Tap “Send to Via Support” to submit your help request and the customer care team will reach out to you as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can tap “I have a question about Via” in the Help Center section of your app to read FAQs about the Via app.

In select cities, you can also reach Via through email or phone, which is helpful for more urgent issues. To find out if this is an option for you, head to Via’s Help Center page and select your city. Then, look for one of these sections:

  • “I need to contact Via”
  • “Contact Us” (sometimes hidden under the “Getting Started” tab)

If you see either of these options, tap on it to see the phone number, email, and live service hours for customers in your city. If you don’t see a relevant search result, you’re probably limited to the contact form and FAQs only.

Don’t try to call or email Via if you don’t see the option on your city page. Phone numbers and emails are city-specific, so customer support representatives in a different market won’t be able to help you.

Customers cannot send text messages to the Via phone number and no public mailing address is available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Via is a hybrid service that makes ridesharing cheaper and shared transportation more comfortable and flexible. With these FAQs, you can learn more about how the Via app works.

1. Where is the Via app available?

The Via app can be downloaded by anyone with a compatible mobile device. However, to access all the services we described, you must be located in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

The platform is also available in other United States cities — including Arlington, Texas, and Los Angeles, California. But in these secondary markets, Via only provides limited services. In some cities, Via works with public transit partners to offer rides to bus stops or to specific neighborhoods that aren’t included in current transit service areas.

2. Do I need to meet a minimum age requirement to use the Via app?

Yes. Via requires all account holders to be at least 13 years old, though you do need parent permission to ride alone if you’re a minor.

Children younger than 13 cannot have accounts on the platform. However, if their parent or guardian requests a ride, they can ride along as a second passenger.

3. Does the ViaVan app work like the Via app?

ViaVan, the shared ride platform for European users, does work exactly like the Via app. You’ll request a ride using the same process, though you may have slightly different ride options depending on the city.

Request Via Rides With Ease

The Via app makes it easy to share rides and cut costs without turning to less reliable and less flexible bus lines. Through this easy-to-use platform, you can choose from three unique shared ride options — or book a private ride — without blowing your budget.

Want to ride with familiar faces instead of getting matched with strangers on your commute? Get our tips for starting a carpool and learn about some digital carpool solutions you can use to set up your own affordable shared ride.

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