Updated on January 13, 2017
5 Free Shared Rides (First Ride Free + $20 credit)
Move over Lyft Line and Uber Pool, Newcomer Via is offering 1 Free Ride + $20 to new users. Each ride is shared and only $5, so that's 5 free rides. The price is fantastic but for now the service is limited to Midtown and Upper Manhattan (see coverage map below), but hopefully they will expand soon. Perfect to get around NYC for New Years!
NEW USER PROMOTION
New Users get $20 + FIRST RIDE FREE! OFFER EXPIRED. Visit BornToCoupon.com for the latest promo coupon codes.
HOW TO SIGN UP
- Download the free app (available on iPhone and Android)
- When you are signing up, enter promotion code – if you miss the option, just click MENU –> PROMO CODES. You get 1 Free Ride + $20, I will get $20 ride credit. Thank you if you use my code! The $20 credit will show up after you take your first ride.
By the way, they say this on their website “Your first ride is free and we'll never charge your card before you book your second ride.”, I noticed a $1 charge go through as soon as I signed up (I have my Amex registered in with ApplePay and get a notification anytime there is a charge). I'm assuming this is just temporary charge to make sure the card works.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Book a ride on your phone and you will be picked up on the corner. You'll be sharing the ride with others going in the same direction. Via is similar to Lyft Line except its much cheaper and has a much smaller service area. They say you can use your commuter benefits card and you pay for your rides pre-tax (I haven't tried this with Lyft yet…)
30 Seconds – that's how long you have to get in after the car arrives! Or they will leave without you and you'll owe a no-show fee.
WHERE CAN I GO?
The service is really limited right now… midtown to Upper East/West side. And it only works from 6:45am – 9pm. But hey, its only $5!
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (from www.ridewithvia.com)
What is Via?Via is a better way to get around NYC. It’s a transportation sweetspot, using cutting-edge technology to deliver the things you really care about: comfort, speed, and low cost.
Can I book a ride for more than one person?Yep. Our app currently supports booking a ride for up to four people. When setting your pickup or dropoff location in the app, just tap the button near the top of the screen to indicate how many people are with you (e.g., if traveling with two friends, choose “+2”).
The best part? Extra members in your party always ride at half price. (Note: our app does not currently support different dropoffs for riders traveling together, so just make sure you're all going to the same place!)
How do I book a ride?Download our free app (available on iPhone and Android), sign up for Via, and book a ride in three super-easy steps:'STEP 1: Move the map until the blue marker is at your desired pick-up location and press Set Pickup.STEP 2: Move the map until the orange marker is at your desired drop-off location and press Set Dropoff. Via will check for available vehicles and connect you with the best vehicle for your ride.STEP 3: Review the ride offer, and if it looks good, press Book Ride. Sweet! You’ve just booked a Via ride.
What happens if I need to cancel my ride? Is there a fee?Plans change – that’s cool. You can cancel your ride at any time. But remember that booking and then canceling rides can delay other members, so we’ll need to charge you a $3 cancellation fee if you cancel more than 30 seconds after pressing Book Ride.
How do I get picked up?After you book a ride, the app will display your pick-up location. Walk to that spot and wait for your vehicle.
Important: Your actual pick-up spot may differ from where you asked to get picked up. It’s usually the corner closest to the pick-up location you requested. Sometimes, the app will give you the address or business name at your pick-up spot to help you find it.
Make sure you’re at the pick-up spot when the vehicle arrives! The app will count down the minutes to your vehicle’s arrival, and we’ll send you a text when the vehicle is less than three minutes away and again when it arrives.
Remember: Via is a community, and you’re sharing your ride with other members. Keeping them waiting results in stinkeyes, and if you’re more than 30 seconds late, the vehicle will just have to leave. It hurts, but it’s the only way we can move everyone so quickly at such an incredible price.
Want to track your vehicle while you wait? In the app, zoom out from your pick-up spot, and you’ll be able to follow the vehicle on the map as it approaches.
What do Via vehicles look like?When you book a Via ride, we connect you with an upscale black SUV or van. Our SUVs are Escalades, Suburbans, or similar premium vehicles. Our vans are Mercedes Sprinters, by far the classiest van on the global market. All of our vehicles carry a Via sign in the window, so you can easily spot them when they pull up. No matter which Via-cle picks you up, your Via experience is guaranteed to feel like luxury at an incredibly affordable price.
How do I pay for my rides?When you sign up for Via, we ask you for a credit card. You can use any credit card or a pre-tax commuter benefits debit card to pay for Via. Each time you take a ride or purchase Ride Credit, payment is simple and seamless – we automatically charge your credit card or commuter benefits card. Never worry about cash or tip, we’ve got you covered. The best way to pay for Via (and the only way to ride for $5!) is to buy Ride Credit in the app. Before you ride, go to the Account screen in your app, choose “Ride Credit,” and select how much you'd like to buy. Each time you take a ride, we'll simply deduct the cost of your ride from your remaining credit. Not ready to commit? You can always pay per ride — single rides are only $7. Don't have enough Ride Credit left for a full ride? We'll automatically charge the difference to your card.
How do I refer my friend to Via?We love rewarding members for sharing Via with their friends, family, coworkers – anyone! To refer a friend, just share your personal promo code directly through the app! Just head to the app menu and select Refer Friends – you can share via email, text, or social media. Your friend will need to download our app and create an account, and after they take their first Via ride, we'll give you each $20 in Ride Credit on us!
Who's driving my vehicle?You are our most precious cargo, and we take safety very seriously. When you book a ride, we connect you with a vehicle operated by a professional driver who carries proper insurance and is licensed by New York City. But proper insurance and licensing are no-brainers. We expect more! We want all Via vehicle drivers to be downright amazing, so don’t forget to leave feedback for your driver after each ride – you’ll help us make sure only the best drivers get to drive for Via.
What if I'm late to the pick-up spot?Because you’re such a superstar, we know this won’t ever happen. Just in case, though, your driver will wait 30 seconds for you at the pick-up spot before moving on. If you miss the boat, we’ll let you know through the app and we’ll need to charge you a $3 no-show fee. Please remember Via is uniquely dependent on its members – if everyone skips Via rides like an early dentist appointment, it just won’t work.
I waited at the pick-up spot, but my vehicle never showed up. What gives?Oh boy, that’s not good. We’re really sorry! Just to make sure, can you double-check that you were waiting in the right spot? Don’t forget that where you ask to get picked up isn’t necessarily the same as where the vehicle will pick you up. Whether you were at the right spot or not, please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what happened – we’ll do our best to make it right.
What platform(s) is the Via app available on?Via's app is available for both iPhone and Android. It's free to download, so get riding today!
Can I request a specific time for my pick-up?Nope. Via operates on-demand only. Just book a ride a few minutes before you need to leave, and we’ll connect you with a vehicle in real-time.
Should I tip the driver?One of the things that makes Via special is the all-inclusive fare. We never want you to pay more than that fare for a ride, so although our drivers are the best in the biz, a tip is neither required nor expected. Loved your ride so much you can’t keep it to yourself? Make your driver’s day by telling us all about it at email@example.com.
Can I bring luggage/cargo?Sure. Just please be mindful that this is a shared vehicle and not a private taxi, so there might not be room for all your stuff if you’re returning from an archaeological dig in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Can I take my pet in a Via?Licensed service animals are welcome to ride Via without restrictions. Other dogs and cats must be in an airline-approved carrier in order to ride with Via. Requests to bring other animals in a Via will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Can children ride with Via?Children are welcome in Via-cles! We strongly encourage all parents to bring a car and booster seat where appropriate. Please note that all children, regardless of age, must be marked as an additional passenger when booking you ride. This requirement is due to vehicle capacity restrictions based on number of passengers. (Remember, extra riders in your party are always 50% off Via’s regular fare — as little as $2.50 when paying with Ride Credit!)
How old does my child have to be to ride alone?Children under the age of 13 may only ride with Via when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Minors between the ages of 13 to 18 may have their own member accounts and ride with Via unaccompanied, but they must have consent from their parent or guardian.
Do I need to have a smartphone to ride with Via?The Via app is currently available for iPhone and Android. Please have the mobile device you used to book your ride with you while you're waiting and while you're riding — this makes it possible for us to get in touch with you should there be a delay, change in service, or emergency.