On-Demand Evening Shuttle Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Rides are booked through the Via rider app.
- Download the app on your smartphone and create an account.
- You will be asked to enter credit card information, but you can skip this stage if you only plan to use the app to book free Columbia Evening Shuttle rides.
- Apply your unique promo code provided by the University to the Via app using these directions.
- Once you're ready, enter your origin and destination by dragging the pin or entering a location using the search bar to begin requesting your ride.
- Be sure that your passenger count is set to 1 (each rider must make their own booking) and that your origin and destination are within the Columbia zone.
- Select the free 'Columbia Shuttle' option from the list.
Via has implemented a multi-faceted safety approach including:
- Enhanced daily cleaning protocols with EPA approved disinfectants
- Via HQ assisting Driver Partners in equipping vehicles with materials for regular disinfection
- Social distance and/or a partition will divide those in the vehicle, with a 3-passenger maximum and at least one seat left empty between passengers
- In NYC, riders and drivers must wear face coverings when in vehicle, even if socially distant
- Drivers encouraged to enhance ventilation in the vehicle through the opening of windows
- Drivers must self-monitor for temperature and symptoms before each shift
- Riders and Drivers must each self-certify via the App that they are symptom-free and have not had a likely exposure
Via is further supporting the safety of Riders and Drivers by supplying Driver Partners with personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies free of charge and providing assistance with partitions and supplemental professional cleanings.
You do not have to enter your credit card information if you only plan on using the Via app to book free Columbia Evening Shuttle rides. When prompted to enter credit card information, you can click the “skip” button on the top right corner of the screen. This will allow you to book free rides without entering credit card information.
If you do enter credit card information, you will also be able to take paid Via rides throughout NYC for personal travel in addition to using the free Evening Shuttle service within Columbia's coverage area.
Wait times can vary depending on several conditions. We recommend always checking the Via app to see the most accurate proposed wait times.
Due to the current NYC mandate banning shared rides in line with physical distancing efforts, all rides in the service will be limited to one rider per vehicle. This may cause wait times to increase.
- The Evening Shuttle will operate seven days a week from 4:00 p.m. every evening (6:00 p.m. in the summer) until 4:00 a.m. the following morning.
- You must enter your unique promo code in the app to be able to book a free Columbia Shuttle ride.
- Service is provided only in predetermined zones around the Columbia campus. Qualifying free rides will not be provided outside of these boundaries or between campuses. View the Coverage Area Map to find out where you can ride for free using the Evening Shuttle service.
- Riders can only book a ride for themselves. If you are traveling in a group, each rider needs to request a ride separately. Note: due to the current NYC mandate banning shared rides in line with physical distancing efforts, all rides in the service will be limited to one rider per vehicle.
- Riders must show their Columbia ID card to the driver before boarding the shuttle.
If your ride request does not meet the requirements for a Columbia Evening Shuttle ride, you will not see the Evening Shuttle proposal in your app. Please view the requirements to get a ride and make sure your request meets the requirements. If the error persists, use the in-app chat feature to let Via know there is an issue.
Temporarily, there may not be a wheelchair accessible vehicle available in the Columbia fleet. In this case, Via will provide a wheelchair accessible option from its commercial vehicle fleet.
If you require a wheelchair accessible vehicle and the free Columbia Evening Shuttle does not show up as an option, choose the paid option and Via will reimburse you for your ride. After your ride is complete, just send an email to [email protected] and let us know.
Pick-ups or drop-offs will always be nearby (in front of the requested address, the nearest corner, or at a designated on-campus location). However, note that due to road access and safety concerns, some pick-ups may be a short distance away. Please check the Via rider app for your exact pick-up location and walking instructions to this location. If you have trouble locating your vehicle you can call your driver by clicking the phone icon within the app.
If you know you can't make your ride, please let us know so that we can give another passenger a ride in your place. You can easily cancel your ride through the Via app by clicking on the “cancel ride” button at the bottom of the app.
- Evening Shuttle does not call you when your car arrives. The Via app will send you a notification when your vehicle is two minutes away, and a text when the vehicle is at the pick-up location. Please be outside or within visual range of the pick-up location at the estimated time of your pickup.
- Evening Shuttle drivers will be provided Columbia Evening Shuttle logo signage to display, and you should confirm the vehicle type and plate number in the Via app and ask the driver partner to confirm your name before entering the vehicle. If you don't see your car and the app is indicating your vehicle is at the pick-up, you can call the driver partner directly to coordinate. Due to high demand, as well as Evening Shuttle being shared with other students, we cannot keep other passengers waiting - your driver will only wait for two minutes before reporting you as a no-show.
You can call your driver directly through the Via app to coordinate your pick-up.
Nope! you just won't be able to receive notifications when your ride arrives, so you'll have to be ready and waiting near your pick-up.
In the case of an app outage or technical difficulties, shuttles will assume a set route within the service area, as displayed by this map. Passengers can stand at any location along the route, wave down the Via shuttle, and show their Columbia ID to get a ride to the point on the route closest to their destination.
- Confirm that your request meets the geographic requirements. Rides must start and end within the Columbia Coverage Area.
- Make sure to enter your unique promo code in the app before booking a ride. If you do not enter the code, you will not receive a free Evening Shuttle proposal (only paid Via rides will appear in your app)
- Confirm that Evening Shuttle is in service; The Evening Shuttle will operate seven days a week from 4:00 p.m. every evening (6:00 p.m. in the summer) until 4:00 a.m. the following morning.
- Confirm that you are booking for only 1 rider. Riders can only book a ride for themselves. If you are traveling in a group, each rider needs to request a ride separately. Note: if you do request a ride for more than one rider in the Via app, you will not be offered a free Columbia Evening Shuttle ride.
Yes! If you just lost the item, be sure to make a note of your car plate number and/or driver's name. Contact Via Support using the Help Center in the Via app. If the driver found your item, Via Support will help coordinate it's return.
Via will charge $100 to cover the cost of cleaning/repairing the vehicle.
If you've already applied your promo code once during this term, you will not need to enter it again until next term. Simply book your Via Evening Shuttle ride without entering your promo code again.
Note that the promo code does not need to be applied each time you use the Via app to take a ride. If you return to the Columbia promo code generator and enter your UNI/password, it will give you the same promo code you've received earlier in the term.