GAINESVILLE, Ga. (Dec. 11, 2020) – The City of Gainesville will launch next week a new vanpool operation – WeGo – serving residents and visitors traveling within city limits.
“It’s easy, quick, safe and affordable,” Gainesville-Hall County Community Services Director Phillippa Lewis Moss said of why users should try the service, “but most of all, because ‘WeGo Wherever You Go!’”
To use WeGo, users can download on their smartphones and mobile devices the FREE WeGo Powered by Via app, available from the Google Play Store or iTunes. However, those who are unable to access the app can still schedule a ride by phone.
Moss said WeGo is a new take on public transit where local governments leverage private technology to optimize the use of publicly owned vehicles and trained staff.
“Via’s proprietary algorithm quickly matches riders with drivers and provides turn-by-turn directions for a stress-free trip experience,” she said.
Come Monday, Dec. 14, five WeGo vans will hit city roads, Moss said, with more to follow.
“An additional 10 WeGo vans will be deployed in July 2021 and service will be expanded to the entire county,” she said.
Everyone is eligible to use the vans, Moss said, which are also equipped with a ramp and wheelchair space to comfortably accommodate handicapped passengers.
“Ten WeGo vans can seat 10 passengers and five vans can seat 12,” she said. “In light of the need for social distancing because of COVID-19, we are limiting rides so that only half of the seats will be occupied at any given time.”
The vans, given names instead of numbers, run from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. Moss said WeGo will provide riders advance notice on any holiday-related schedule changes.
“People remember names better than numbers,” she said. “Passengers will see the van name on their smartphone and will know which vehicle is theirs should there be more than one WeGo van in their vicinity. The staff choose some names that reflect the cultural diversity of our community. My two favorites are Amari and Luna.”
The inaugural fee is $3 per trip anywhere within city limits, Moss said.
“One child aged 6 and under can ride with an adult free of charge,” she said.
Moss said a van can arrive as quickly as 5 minutes from the initial request or as long as 30 minutes, “so I recommend riders be prepared to move as soon as they book the trip.”
“WeGo operates best when picking up riders at one of the 1,500 virtual bus stops located around the city,” she said. “Individuals with disabilities who have applied for and been approved for an exception will receive door-to-door service. When the system launches, staff will have the ability to make adjustments to the virtual bus stop locations. It will take a couple of months to perfect this feature, so we request that riders make us aware when stops are ill-placed so we can examine and make adjustments.”
Anyone is eligible to use WeGo, Moss continued, “however, WeGo is not appropriate for individuals requiring medical assistance or for individuals who require extensive assistance to board and alight the vehicle. Any person with COVID-19 symptoms should avoid public transit altogether.”
For more information, including details on other local transit services such as Gainesville Connection and Dial-A-Ride, click here.
Refer a friend and each receive a free $3 ride credit. Need to vote, file taxes or meet with a representative? For a limited time, download the WeGo app and enter code HALLCOUNTY to enjoy $1 rides to or from the Hall County Government Center.
To schedule a ride by phone, call 770-503-3333, Option 1.