Edmonton preps to launch on-demand transit option

April 15, 2021
This will be Canada’s largest on-demand service with 57 shuttles serving 37 neighborhoods.

Residents of Edmonton, Alberta, will have a new on-demand transit option starting April 25 that will provide added coverage to the city’s transit network. The service will be Canada’s largest on-demand network with service connecting 37 neighborhoods and 16 senior residences to a nearby transit hub.

The city of Edmonton says customers will be able to book a ride directly from their smartphone using the Edmonton On Demand Transit app, by logging onto edmonton.ca/ondemandtransit, or by calling 780-496-2400. Starting April 15, customers can access these tools to set up their accounts, so they are ready to start booking trips on April 25. This shared ride service is powered by Via’s advanced software algorithms that match multiple passengers headed in the same direction into a single vehicle, allowing for quick and efficient trips.

“On Demand Transit will provide another layer of service in Edmonton’s integrated transit network so everyone has a safe and convenient way to access their city,” said Carrie Hotton-MacDonald, Edmonton Transit Service Branch Manager. “On Demand Transit provides a better quality of service for the participating communities and we encourage residents to try it out.”

On Demand Transit will be operated as a two-year pilot on behalf of the city of Edmonton by PWTransit Canada in partnership with Via. The city explains both have extensive experience providing on demand transit services in Canada.

“PWTransit is excited to use our on-demand transit experience and a fleet of all brand-new vehicles to provide safe, reliable, convenient and courteous service to the city of Edmonton transit users. We are committed to working with the city and customers to ensure this new service does what it was designed to do–provide better transit connectivity to Edmontonians,” said James Vine, director of Business Development, PWTransit.

Their professionally trained drivers will operate the 57 accessible shuttles. The vehicles can seat 10 to 14 people, have room for one or two wheelchairs and have up to two built-in child safety seats. Most shuttles have a wheelchair lift and five shuttles serving the seniors’ residences have a ramp at the front of the vehicle for easy access.

“We are proud to partner with the city of Edmonton and Pacific Western to expand access to affordable, efficient and convenient transportation with On Demand Transit," said Hamish Campell, Via country manager, Canada. "Technology-enabled solutions make it possible to complement and extend public transit where it is working well, and to fill the gaps where it is needed most, ensuring more residents can connect to transit than ever before.”