Hall Area Transit’s new microtransit service, which will be named WeGo, will be arriving in Gainesville this fall after the Gainesville City Council unanimously approved a four-year contract Tuesday for the software and technical support needed for the transition.
The new public shuttle service will be similar to apps that offer pick-up services, such as Uber or Lyft. People will log on to the app to request a ride on one of the transit service’s new vans. Those without smartphones will be able to call the Hall Area Transit office to set up a ride.
Gainesville is paying for start-up and first-year costs through federal stimulus funding. The contract with New York-based Via Inc. will cost $130,000 a year.
In the second through fourth years of the contract, up to half of the expenses will be reimbursed through the Federal Transit Administration, and the remaining costs will be split between the city and Hall County governments, based on the percentage of trips beginning in the city and county.
While the service will begin in Gainesville in October, it will expand into Hall County in July 2021. In December, two lunchtime trolleys will start operating in downtown and midtown Gainesville.
Microtransit will take over Dial-A-Ride as the service expands into Hall County. Gainesville Connection will become six rather than three routes.
In addition to the fixed-route Gainesville Connection, Hall Area Transit currently operates Dial-A-Ride, a countywide service that requires reservations at least 48 hours before pickup.