Middlesex County, N.J., has launched RIDE On Demand, an affordable app-based public transit service to address areas where buses and trains cannot efficiently serve.

County officials said that the City of New Brunswick will be the first to participate in this one-year pilot program. During the pilot program, RIDE On Demand will provide safe, easy, and flexible transportation for $3 per rider. The new service is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Middlesex County RIDE On Demand is part of the County’s strategic investment in our transportation infrastructure,” said Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners Director Ronald G. Rios. “This on-demand public transit service will provide our residents and visitors easy access to safe, convenient, reliable transportation at an affordable rate.”

Using the app – available in both the App Store and Google Play – users can book rides and get picked up in minutes to be driven to work, medical appointments, grocery stores, or any location within New Brunswick.

Middlesex County RIDE On Demand’s app and operations will be provided by Via, a transit technology company. County leaders explained that after someone books a RIDE On Demand trip, Via’s algorithms match other riders headed in the same direction into one vehicle. Riders will be directed to a nearby corner for pickup and drop-off.

“The result is a highly efficient service that minimizes lengthy detours while providing near-universal transit coverage in areas that buses and trains cannot reach,” Middlesex County said in a press release. To encourage New Brunswick residents to download the new app, the service will offer unlimited free rides for the first two introductory weeks.

“I commend Middlesex County for its generous and progressive approach in introducing the RIDE On Demand program,” said New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill. “This initiative underscores their commitment to offering affordable, flexible, and secure transportation solutions for our community. New Brunswick is enthusiastic about renewing its partnership with the County to pilot this innovative, app-based transit service. We encourage everyone in New Brunswick to embrace the convenience of RIDE On Demand and discover the opportunities this new County service will provide.”

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