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On-Demand Transit Provider Via Acquires Planning Platform Remix

Via, which provides on-demand micro-transit services in dozens of cities, has acquired transportation planning platform Remix in a $100 million deal. The deal may help cities offer better integrated transit options.

A map of the world.
A map showing the deployment of services by Via and Remix. The two transportation technology companies announced a new merger.
Submitted Photo/ Via
On-demand transit provider Via announced today that it has acquired the transit planning firm Remix. The roughly $100 million deal combines one of the fastest-growing rideshare companies with data insights into how urban transportation systems can be planned and used.

“They [Remix] make incredible mapping and planning tools for cities, transit planners and transit agencies,” said Chris Snyder, Europe CEO of Via, during a panel discussion organized by CoMotion LIVE. “And this is a product suite across transit, street design, data exploration, fixed-route scheduling. Together, what we imagine is an end-to-end ability to plan better, create new data-driven services and, then, continually re-optimize. You have to keep planning, all the time, I think, as the needs change.”

Via, founded in 2012, has established itself as a leader in offering on-demand transit services, usually as a partner to fixed-route transit. The company has worked with transit agencies across the United States and in other countries to serve areas where operating a full-size bus on a standard route is cost prohibitive and doesn't provide a level of service that leads to wide adoption. Via offers a nearly door-to-door service with shared rides in van-like shuttles, which most riders access with an app.

Remix launched in 2014 as a San Francisco startup to provide a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for cities and transit agencies. The platform integrates transportation planning across a range of transport modes. The company works with more than 350 local governments across 22 countries, which use the platform to design transportation systems.

“Increasingly, cities are looking for on-demand, whether it’s from Via or from another company. And we want to give cities the tools to be able to evaluate every kind of change in the network. So what would it be like to add a bike lane here? What would it be like to move this fixed-route line to over here? What would it be like to launch an on-demand service over here? And to see what is the impact of that change,” said Snyder.

In a statement, Tiffany Chu, CEO and founder of Remix, said her company is looking forward to joining forces with Via, which she described as “equally focused on increasing access by improving transportation options available to communities, and empowering cities with best-in-class technology for data-driven decision-making.”

Chu couldn’t immediately be reached for additional comment.

The merger means that Via will be able to offer an additional suite of services that go beyond on-demand transit. The deal may help the company partner more closely with cities as they plan and launch new, integrated transit options for residents.

“Remix has established itself as real experts in fixed-route planning,” said Snyder, “and I think there’s a lot the technology can do to make fixed-route services better as well.”

Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Yreka, Calif.