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New on-demand public transit option launches in Muskegon area this week

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Posted at 10:49 AM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 10:49:28-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Area Transit System and the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners will launch Go2 – a dynamically routed on-demand public micro transit service – on Wednesday, June 23.

In partnership with Via, Go2 will expand access to affordable, efficient and convenient public transportation for all riders in the Metro Muskegon area, according to a news release Monday.

Riders in the Go2 service zone – currently comprised of the cities of Muskegon, Norton Shores, Roosevelt Park and Muskegon Heights – will be able to use their smart device to book a shared ride for local trips.

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The program will replace some previous local fixed-route bus service and adds new service.

“Go2 represents an opportunity for technology and public transit to work together to expand access to efficient, convenient and affordable mobility solutions without the need for a private vehicle,” Via CEO and co-founder Daniel Ramot said. “We are proud to work with Muskegon Area Transit System to demonstrate how flexible, digital solutions can create and extend public transit infrastructure to support Muskegon Metro Area communities in a new way.”

By downloading and using the Go2 by MATS mobile app, or by calling 231-227-3550 for riders without access to a smartphone, passengers will select a pickup and drop-off location within the service zone and confirm their ride.

Once a ride is booked, Via’s algorithms create quick, efficient trips by matching passengers and vehicles together in real time and directing riders to a nearby “virtual bus stop” for pick-up and drop-off.

The service will offer wheelchair-accessible vehicle service for those with limited mobility.

Riders will be required to wear masks, in line with TSA guidelines, and the vehicles will be cleaned “thoroughly and frequently.”

With the launch of Go2, residents and visitors in the Muskegon area will have access to transportation on demand,” Transit Systems Manager James Koens said. “While MATS will continue to provide a route network that provides a low-cost option for man, this new ride-hailing service will allow us to send a vehicle to you when you want and where you want within the service area. This restores service in an affordable way to areas where hourly routes are not feasible and opens up a new opportunity for many riders. We are excited to add value to our public transportation offerings and look forward to the excellent service that our partner, Via, will deliver.”

Go2 service is available Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. to midnight, as well as Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The fare for same day booked trips will be $4 standard and $2 reduced fair and seniors riders in the participating cities.

Premium services, such as pre-booked trips and trips to or from the City of Muskegon Heights, will be $8.

The service is Via’s third in Michigan, including its on-demand services in Southeast Michigan and Detroit.