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Ride-hailing company Via deactivates private rides for Earth Day

The move is meant to encourage fewer total rides, reducing emissions and congestion, according to Via

The Via app
Courtesy of Via

In an effort to encourage shared rides and reduce total car trips for Earth Day, ride-hailing company Via is disabling its private ride feature all day Monday, including in the D.C. area.

“By moving more people with fewer cars, we reduce congestion and emissions and ensure that drivers spend less time cruising around empty,” Daniel Ramot, Via’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. Via debuted in D.C. in 2016 and in Arlington, Virginia last year.

Most Via riders already take shared rides: The company says its passengers do so over 85 percent of the time during peak travel hours. But “if just one commuter made the switch to taking shared rides to-and-from work instead of single-occupancy vehicle trips, his or her carbon footprint would be reduced by the same amount as planting 17 trees,” Via says in a release. The company’s app points passengers to nearby corners for pick-up and drop-off.

Via is also developing “routing and fleet management technology to power entirely electric vehicle fleets,” the release points out. The company operates in New York and Chicago too.

Capital Bikeshare is offering unlimited, free 30-minute rides to celebrate Earth Day as well.