Local leaders made it official just before the holidays, cutting the ribbon to celebrate the expansion of the SV Hopper service into South Santa Clara. Representatives from Cupertino, where the shuttle service originated, Santa Clara, and Via, the agency that runs the shuttle, all attended the Dec. 18, 2023 event.
“This success is a testament to the shuttle’s critical role in our community, particularly for students, seniors and commuters,” said Cupertino Mayor Sheila Mohan. “We’re excited to see this program grow and with a partnership with the City of Santa Clara…we have also made meaningful strides in environmental stewardship by transitioning to an all-electric fleet and making it easier to connect to transit centers.”
“Any way we can take cars off the road, and connect our communities to transit, shopping, or just help them get from one side of town to another, and do so in an environmentally responsible way, is a huge win for our two cities,” said Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor, who also teased the possibility of future expansion into Sunnyvale.
Launched in Oct. 2019 in the City of Cupertino, the transportation service helps riders find their way to essential services like local hospitals, community colleges and transit hubs like the Mountain View and Sunnyvale Caltrain stations. All of it comes at an affordable price of $3.50 per ride, with even steeper discounts for low-income riders, students, seniors and individuals with disabilities.
The idea behind the program is to provide riders with a “sustainable, equitable and community-focused transportation system” through the concept of micro-transit.
“We’re trying to maximize how many people are moving,” said Krista Goltzbach, VP of Western U.S. Partnerships at Via. “This is truly part of public transit. We’re also super excited if we can take you to mass transit, if you’re a commuter, and we’re getting you to Caltrain so that you can take your longer commute without your single occupancy vehicle.”
Goltzbach says using the app is simple, but what’s happening behind the scenes is all about optimizing each ride.
“The software behind the scenes is doing a whole lot of things in the quick time in which it sends you a time to be picked up,” said Goltzbach. “It’s looking at where all the other vehicles are. It’s looking at where anybody else who’s calling the service is and it’s trying to aggregate you so that it can put people that are going about the same direction in the vehicle together.”
To book a ride on SV Hopper, you can download the app at city.ridewithvia.com/hopper. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can also call for a ride. Just call (669) 201-1892.
SV Hopper runs Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.