Via, the privately held American transportation network and ride-sharing company based in New York City, and Mercedes-Benz Vans have become the latest venture to lock horns with Uber in London’s ride-hailing market.
ViaVan, the joint venture between the two companies, launched its ride sharing service last month, allowing passengers heading in the same direction to share a ride together in a professionally chauffeured van.
At first, the service will operate across zones 1 and 2, and during its launch, ViaVan is offering rides in zone 1 for just £3.
“Londoners deserve innovative transportation solutions that are safe, convenient, and affordable,” Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan, told CityAM.
“Our mission is to power truly dynamic mass transit systems, which reduce congestion in our cities while offering drivers the opportunity to earn a decent living. We are delighted to launch in London and finally give Londoners an alternative to private car services.”
London will be the second city in which the service is active after it was launched in Amsterdam in March.
The joint venture describes itself as “an affordable ex-tension of the public transit system”, and is allegedly offering drivers the lowest commission in London.
Luca Parducci, general manager of ViaVan London, added: “Unlike competitors’ pooling solutions, we’re confident that ViaVan will be a huge hit - a comfortable and convenient way to get around that you can feel good about.”
The news follows Royal Dutch Shell applying for a private hire licence in the capital in January this year, with the view of developing its own ride-
hailing service through its Fare-Pilot app.