© 2024 KVPR | Valley Public Radio - White Ash Broadcasting, Inc. :: 89.3 Fresno / 89.1 Bakersfield
89.3 Fresno | 89.1 Bakersfield
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

"Van Y Vienen" Brings Electric Vehicle Ride Sharing To Two Rural Fresno Communities

Amanda Monaco
Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
Residents of Cantua Creek and El Porvenir and representatives of the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability stand with their new Tesla Model X, to be used for a community ride sharing program.


A new ride share program is bringing the convenience of services like Uber and Lyft to rural valley communities. The service known “Van y Vienen” is aiming to help residents who lack easy transportation options.

The program launched Wednesday in Cantua Creek and El Porvenir, two unincorporated communities in western Fresno County. Both lack grocery stores and medical clinics and have little cell phone service. Until recently, locals without cars have relied on neighbors to get around.


Now, says Erica Fernandez with the Leadership Counsel for Social Justice and Accountability, residents will be able to call and reserve rides in an all-electric 7-seat Tesla van.


"It’s very special in the sense that it's empowering communities that have usually been neglected," she says. "Because they are unincorporated, they've been struggling to make sure they fulfill their basic needs."


Amanda Monaco, also of the Leadership Counsel, says these communities developed the program themselves, with technical support from local non-profits and a grant from the 11th Hour Project.


"As soon as the Tesla van pulled up, everyone started cheering and clapping," she says. "It's going to be really exciting to see residents really take ownership of this program."


A 90-mile roundtrip ride to Fresno will cost $10. Shorter trips will cost even less.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
Related Content