Birmingham On-Demand tops 25,500 rides in first 11 months

Community Foundation Via logos e1605878257568 Birmingham On-Demand tops 25,500 rides in first 11 months
Birmingham On Demand powered by Via. Photo by Pat Byington

Despite a global pandemic, the  Birmingham On-Demand micro-transit project has provided more than 25,500 rides since it was launched in December 2019.

The pilot project, which was supported by the city of Birmingham and Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and it’s Catalyst Fund gives residents the option to book a shared ride for a flat rate fee of $1.50. 

In late October, the Birmingham City Council voted to fund the program for the 2021 fiscal year.

Birmingham On-Demand Numbers 

Screen Shot 2019 11 14 at 4.52.49 PM Birmingham On-Demand tops 25,500 rides in first 11 months
Are you in the zone? Photo courtesy of the City of Birmingham

According to a recent report given to the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and its Catalyst Fund supporters, the pilot project has has a successful inaugural year.  Even though the program had to confront several unforeseen obstacles such as COVID-19 shutdowns and implementation of subsequent public health precautions, the project has remained popular.

Here are details from the Birmingham On-Demand powered by Via report:

Since the service launched in December 2019:

  • More than 25,500 rides were provided
  • Riders rated Birmingham On-Demand 4.86 out of 5 
  • 450 wheelchair accessible rides were provided 

Commuting is the primary reason riders use Birmingham On-Demand.

Beyond getting people to work, Birmingham On-Demand enabled riders to access critical community resources. Here were the 2020 top 5 destinations:

  • Birmingham Intermodal Facility
  • Public Grocery Store in Midtown,
  • Marino’s Market at Central Park
  • Five Points West Shopping
  • UAB Hospital Highlands

Safety Measures Implemented

Screen Shot 2020 01 30 at 8.02.49 AM Birmingham On-Demand tops 25,500 rides in first 11 months
Community Foundation staff using Birmingham On-Demand service. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Birmingham On-Demand’s numbers are all the more impressive considering they had to be nimble –  quickly implementing measures to keep riders and drivers safe when the pandemic hit in March. These measures included:

  • Capacity restrictions
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Distribution Policies – All drivers receive PPE and masks are required for riders and drivers
  • Installed partitions and enhanced cleaning schedule

Team Effort

The Birmingham On Demand pilot program has been a team effort from the beginning. Thanks to the support of the city, the Community Foundation and its Catalyst Fund, we expect year two, to be even more transformational. 

Have you taken a ride on Birmingham On-Demand? Tell us your experience. Send us an email at

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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