ITOCHU Announces Introduction of an On-demand Ride Sharing Service Provided by Via Mobility Japan

September 24, 2019

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that in October 2019 it will introduce an on-demand ride sharing service for ITOCHU employees utilizing technologies provided by Via Transportation, Inc. (headquartered in New York, USA; Daniel Ramot, CEO; hereinafter “Via”) through Via Mobility Japan K.K. (headquartered in Tokyo; Cariann Chan, CEO).

Unlike vehicle dispatch services that deliver a single passenger to their destination, Via possesses cutting-edge technologies that specialize in on-demand ride sharing services to deliver multiple passengers to their respective destinations along an optimum route, providing a convenient and highly cost-efficient means of transportation. Via’s technologies have already been adopted by local governments, bus companies, taxi companies, transportation operators, corporations, universities and other organizations in around 80 cities throughout the world, and even in Japan, their effectiveness has already been shown through a one-year demonstration test conducted by Mori Building Company from August 2018.

In this latest development ITOCHU will work in cooperation with Nihon Kotsu Co., Ltd. to introduce an on-demand ride sharing service utilizing Via’s technologies to provide transportation during working hours for the employees working at its Tokyo headquarters. In this way, ITOCHU will implement workstyle reforms by providing an efficient means of transportation for employees, reducing transportation costs and allowing the time spent traveling to be effectively utilized for work.

In its medium-term management plan “Brand-new Deal 2020,” ITOCHU is working to enhance the consumer sector’s value chain and promote the evolution of business models with new technologies as part of efforts to become a next-generation merchant.

Through this initiative, ITOCHU will not only reduce costs but also support the widespread adoption of on-demand ride sharing services in Japan and overseas while making a concerted Group-wide effort to create a cross-industry business that combines an on-demand ride sharing service with ITOCHU’s strength in consumer-related sectors (retail, logistics, real estate, etc.).

Overview of Implementation

Name BlueVia
Partners Via, Via Mobility Japan K.K., Nihon Kotsu Co., Ltd.
Period October 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020 (planned)
Location Minato-ku, other areas
Operating Times Weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m
Users ITOCHU employees (Tokyo headquarters staff only)
Number of Vehicles 10 (planned)
Intended Use Limited to usage for business purposes (no charge for individual employees)