Business Improvement District (BID) / City / Transportation & Mobility
Aug 16, 2021
On the Clock with RAPID Self-Driving Vehicles in Downtown Arlington
Arlington RAPID self-driving vehicles are now topping 90 trips a day around Downtown and The University of Texas at Arlington as more riders turn to the on-demand, self-driving public transportation service.
In the latest episode of On the Clock, produced by the City of Arlington, City Manager Trey Yelverton books a ride on one of the self-driving vehicles to learn more about how Arlington RAPID has been embraced by the community since the innovative pilot program launched March 23. More than 5,200 rides have been booked in the first 20 weeks of the program.
The City is operating Arlington RAPID (Rideshare, Automation, and Payment Integration Demonstration) in partnership with Via, May Mobility, and UT Arlington through a grant provided by the Federal Transit Administration.
Arlington RAPID, available to riders through the Via app, is the first in the United States to integrate on-demand autonomous vehicles into an existing public transportation service. A fleet of five self-driving vehicles, including a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, is available to book from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday for destinations within the service area, which includes the Downtown Library, City Hall, UTA and numerous restaurants, offices, and businesses.
The RAPID service area is generally 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 have been mapped for the vehicles to take the most efficient path to pick up and drop off riders.
Riders traveling to and from destinations in this service area can book and pay for rides through the Via app or by calling Via’s customer service line at 817-784-7382. Via’s standard fares apply to rides taken on RAPID by the general public. Because of UTA’s participation in the pilot program, UTA students can ride the RAPID service for free.