By Pat Byington
Beginning in December, just in time for the holiday season, the popular Birmingham On Demand rideshare program is preparing to expand into 19 neighborhoods near and east of the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
“Three years ago the City of Birmingham in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham took the bold step of piloting the introduction of on demand microtransit to shift the paradigm of what public transportation could look like for our citizens,” Birmingham District 5 City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn told Bham Now.
At the City Council’s Transportation Committee meeting last week, the Mayor’s Office announced it is expanding the Birmingham On Demand service area into an additional 19 neighborhoods.
“By far, the most common feedback we hear is that people would like to use it in other parts of the city,” said O’Quinn. “So, I’m very excited that we’re preparing to add a new service area that will serve 19 neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city.”
The new neighborhoods added to the Birmingham On Demand service include:
North East Lake
Pine Knoll Vista
A program that works much like Uber or Lyft, riders can book and pay for a ride within certain areas around town by using Birmingham On-Demand on the Via app (iOS and Android) or by calling 205-236-0768. The cost of the rides are $1.50 and you may be joined by a neighbor or two on the ride.
Neighborhoods served by the program include Smithfield, Graymont, College Hills, Bush Hills, Rising West Princeton, East Thomas, Fairview and portions of Southside.
Launched a couple of months before the Covid-19 pandemic, the innovative and inexpensive rideshare program provided over 25,000 rides during its first 11 months.
Established in late 2019, the Birmingham On-Demand pilot service zone covered a 6.7-square-mile section of the city, which includes the downtown Intermodal Facility, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), City Hall, the CrossPlex, Children’s of Alabama, the Jefferson County Courthouse and other city and county offices downtown Birmingham.
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