Drive with Via
Higher pay for drivers with a focus on reducing carbon emissions through carpooling.
Via emphasizes a unique way of paying drivers with an eye on reshaping public transit through partnerships with school districts, cities and universities.
But to drive with Via, you must live in one of the US cities it services. And you’re considered an independent contractor, which means no benefits and a shouldering of taxes.
How it works
Create an online account, apply through the Via Driver app and start receiving ride offers. Rides come in two forms:
- Blue Mode, or rides paid through an hourly rate with a guaranteed minimum total
- Flex Mode, where you’re paid a flat rate per ride.
The mode you’re logged in to depends on when you plan to drive. Generally, Blue Mode covers the majority of weekday and weekend hours, with Flex kicking in after midnight. Mode hours differ between cities, so check the fine print for details.
Through the app, you can set your driving hours and reject or accept rides. Most reservations are for three to six passengers. And unlike other rideshare apps, Via requires riders to wait at the nearest street corner, so you don’t have to go too far out of the way for pickups.
How much can I make driving with Via?
Via offers its drivers two ways to earn: Blue mode and Flex mode. While Flex mode mimics the flat-rate payment models of Uber and Lyft, Via’s Blue mode sets it apart from competitors with guaranteed hourly wages.
Both Blue and Flex mode rates vary by city, zone and time of day. Via suggests that Chicago Blue mode rates range from $14 to $20 per hour, but doesn’t disclose rates for drivers in other cities.
While Via collects a 10% commission on all rides and reimburses drivers for tolls, there may be additional service fees depending on where you drive. For example: in Chicago, drivers only take home 85% of their earnings thanks to a 5% City of Chicago deduction after Via’s 10% commission.
Can I earn more?
Like its competitors, Via offers several ways to earn above and beyond the standard rate. Its in-app Rocket Zones indicate areas of high demand where drivers can earn a Rocket Rate fare multiplier.
Via drivers can also earn a 20% Shared Ride premium that applies each time there is more than one rider en route.
Blue mode vs. Flex mode
- Earn per hour
- Accept first ride, with others automatically assigned
- Thresholds based on sign-ins and demand
- 10% commission
- Promo rates
- Earn per ride
- Accept every ride
- No threshold
- 10% commission
- Paid more for shared rides
How you get paid
You have two ways of getting paid:
- Set up your bank account within the app for regular transfers of your weekly earnings
- Sign up for Quick Pay for transfers whenever you’d like
With Quick Pay, you can transfer a portion of your earnings immediately to your bank account as often as you’d like for a $0.50 fee per withdrawal.
How do I get tips?
If a rider chooses to include a tip, it’s added by the rider through the app. You see it as part of the ride, and the amount is included in your weekly earnings.
Where is Via available?
At the time of this writing, Via is available in more than 10 US cities:
- New York City
- Los Angeles
- Washington, DC
- Arlington, Texas
- West Sacramento, California
- King County, Washington
- Newton, Massachusetts
- Salt Lake County, Utah
- Cupertino, California
- Birmingham, Alabama
New cities are added regularly. And Via partners with metro services in various states.
Applying to drive with Via
Apply as a Via driver in four steps:
- Apply online. Visit Via’s website to create an account.
- Invitation. Qualified drivers are invited by Via to complete their registration.
- Download the app. Download the Via Driver app to fully apply.
- Start driving. Switch yourself online and start accepting rides.
Via driver requirements
Via drivers must be at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license. Additional requirements vary by the city in which you plan to drive. For example, in New York City, drivers must comply with the licensing, coursework, insurance and vehicle requirements of the local Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Via operates as a shared-ride service that advertises itself as capable of integrating into a city’s public transit system, which means you can expect requirements like:
- A background check
- Commercial licensing
- Proof of defensive driving course completion
- Minimum liability insurance
Vehicle requirements vary by location, so you’ll need to check with Via to find out if your car is eligible in your city.
To give you an idea of what Via is looking for, drivers in Washington, DC must have a vehicle that:
- Is model year 2010 or newer
- Has at least 4 doors and 5 seats
- Has working AC and windows
- Is not a taxi or commercial vehicle
- Can pass a safety inspection and has no active “Do not drive” recalls
- Does not have a salvage title
- Is on Via’s list of approved vehicles
Via rental program
If your car isn’t up to par or you’d rather avoid wear and tear on your personal property, Via partners with businesses in its serviced city to offer you a rental or lease for the sole purpose of driving for Via. Search your city on Via’s site for details.
Pros and cons of driving with Via
- 24/7 driver support through app
- Withdrawals anytime with Quick Pay
- No previous rideshare experience required
- Encourages carpooling to reduce its carbon footprint
- Taxes aren’t deducted
- Limited to 10+ cities
- Drivers responsible for car maintenance and cleaning
Compare ridesharing services
If you live in one of the cities it services, Via can be a way to expand your ridesharing horizons beyond Uber and Lyft. It advertises an on-demand public transit system with corner-to-corner service and the ability to maintain a flexible schedule while with guaranteed earnings.
But not all drivers have found Via worth the hype. Before committing to one company, compare multiple ridesharing services vying for your driving time to find the best fit for your lifestyle and goals.