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MATS launching new Go2 service June 23

Go2, a new on-demand public micro transit service for the cities of Muskegon, Norton Shores, Roosevelt Park and Muskegon Heights, launches on Wednesday.

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Go2, a new on-demand public micro transit service for the cities of Muskegon, Norton Shores, Roosevelt Park and Muskegon Heights, launches Wednesday, June 23.

Go2 is the latest effort to streamline Muskegon Area Transit System (MATS) services.

The new on-demand option for riders is the result of a partnership between MATS and Via offering access to affordable, efficient and convenient public transportation for riders in the Metro Muskegon area.

Riders in the Go2 service zone will be able to use their smart device to book a shared ride for local trips. Go2 creates a responsive and seamless transit solution for the community and furthers MATS' efforts to provide transportation services to local municipalities in the Muskegon Metro area. The service is going live a few days earlier than MATS had planned for service to begin.

"We thought we were going to go July 1," said MATS Transit Marketing Specialist Karen Kacynski.

Four vans, including two wheelchair accessible vehicles, will begin crisscrossing the greater Muskegon area picking up passengers who request rides using the "Go2 by MATS" mobile app, or by calling 231-227-3550.

"We are hoping that we can expand to a new audience that hasn't been using transit," said Kacynski. The new service is the direct result of a significant 2019 public transportation study which involved community input.

Through the Go2 program, residents can access an innovative and cost-effective transit solution that meets their individual needs. The program is replacing some previous local fixed-route bus service and adding new service with a dynamic, on-demand solution.

"Go2 represents an opportunity for technology and public transit to work together to expand access to efficient, convenient and affordable mobility solutions without the need for a private vehicle," said Via CEO and co-founder Daniel Ramot. "We are proud to work with Muskegon Area Transit System to demonstrate how flexible, digital solutions can create and extend public transit infrastructure to support Muskegon Metro Area communities in a new way."

Passengers will select pickup and drop-off locations within the service zone and confirm their ride. Once a ride is booked, Via's advanced algorithms create quick and efficient trips by matching passengers and vehicles together in real-time, and directing riders to a nearby "virtual bus stop" for pick up and drop off. The service will offer wheelchair-accessible vehicle service for those with limited mobility. The real-time technology minimizes detours by using virtual bus stops to reduce congestion and emissions, while providing a highly-efficient rider experience.

In line with TSA guidelines at launch, riders on this public transportation service are required to wear masks. The vehicles will be cleaned thoroughly and frequently.

"With the launch of Go2, residents and visitors in the Muskegon area will have access to transportation on demand. While MATS will continue to provide a route network that provides a low cost option for many, this new ride-hailing service will allow us to send a vehicle to you when you want and where you want within the service area," says Transit Systems Manager James Koens. "This restores service in an affordable way to areas where hourly routes are not feasible and opens up a new opportunity for many riders. We are excited to add value to our public transportation offerings and look forward to the excellent service that our partner, Via, will deliver," 

The Go2 service is available Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. to midnight, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fare for same-day booked trips will be $4 standard and $2 for reduced-fare and senior riders in the participating cities of Muskegon, Norton Shores and Roosevelt Park. Premium services, such as pre-booked trips and trips to or from Muskegon Heights will be $8.

The service is Via's third in Michigan, including its on-demand services in southeast Michigan and Detroit.

"It's a great way to get around town, especially now with gas prices being higher," said Kacynski. "And it's a reasonable price."

New riders on the Go2 service are offered the service at no charge for their first 10 rides. 

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