With ongoing construction at LaGuardia airport compounding its ever-increasing car traffic, rideshare app Via has stepped in to make riders’ experience more affordable.
Last week Via launched LGA Connect, ride service that will offer $15 flat-rate rides from LaGuardia to Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and $20 to Staten Island and the Bronx. It attributes the decrease in cost to efficiency, stating that it does not rely on city subsidy or come out of the pay of its drivers.
“We’re serious about reducing congestion on our roads — and now, that includes the roads at LaGuardia Airport,” read the promotion’s press release.
The offer’s business model is based on the notion that filling up a six-passenger van will bring costs down by maximizing vehicle capacity. The service will consist of a fleet of drivers in Mercedes Metris vans who will wait to collect riders before departing the airport. Travelers can select LGA Connect in the app or head to pickup points at Terminals C and D to hail a Via in person.
Additional passengers are $5 per head, but the price caps at $30 per booking. So if the drivers are carrying only individuals, they would collect $90. If it’s a whole family, they would collect $30.
A Via spokesperson told QNS that LGA Connect drivers consist of the normal pool of Via drivers who operate Metris vans. The pay model for these drivers is the same for the rest of the app. That means that each day, drivers can select they want a guaranteed hourly rate or get paid per ride.
“Via’s hourly rate varies based on a number of factors — so there is no standard, but driver partners are given the option and visibility to current guaranteed hourly rate when they log into the Via platform each day,” wrote the spokesperson, citing a Taxi and Limousine Commission report that showed Via’s driver earnings at $21.73 per hour after expenses.
The drivers all own or lease their Metris vehicles.