Sault Ste. Marie Transit Services continues to research and explore ways to ensure the most appropriate and timely service is being delivered to its users. Beginning the evening of September 8, Transit Services will implement On Demand Transit Technology for Sunday service only.
Sault Ste. Marie is a leader in Northern Ontario pioneering on demand transit technology. The year long pilot project will run from 7:15 p.m. to 12 midnight on Sunday evenings only with a final booking time of 11:30 p.m. to schedule a ride. Sunday evening transit service is traditionally a period where ridership is low (averaging 445 passengers per evening) and the majority of bus stops are not being utilized.
“This presents an excellent opportunity to run a pilot for On Demand services,” says Brent Lamming, Director of Community Services. “By implementing an On Demand Transit Technology System, the City intends to reduce the number of buses used to service the routes (presently nine), and improve service delivery by making more efficient use of resources.”
Passengers hail a ride using the Sault Ste. Marie On Demand app (iOS and Android) created by On Demand mobility developer Via or by calling Transit Services to book a ride as needed. The app will be available for download beginning September 1. The user can set their pick up and drop off location, and the app provides the passenger with their real-time ride details including wait times. Service allows riders to travel from one pre-existing established stop to another as requested. Once the bus arrives, the passenger can proceed onto the bus and pay using their existing transit pass or cash. Benefits of the app include rider notifications and messages, real-time vehicle tracking and an opportunity for users to provide post-ride feedback.
“We are thrilled to partner with the innovative team at the City of Sault Ste. Marie to bring Via’s technology to Ontario for the very first time,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via. “The new Sault Ste. Marie On Demand service shows how public transportation and technology can work together to make a city smarter. Residents now have a comfortable, convenient, and affordable way to move around. This is truly a great example of a city embracing the future of mobility.”
Via is a leading provider and developer of On Demand shared mobility solutions, working with cities and transportation agencies around the world to connect more people to transit. Via and ViaVan have partnered with some of the world’s largest public transit agencies to solve pressing transportation needs including the Los Angeles Metro, Transport for London (TfL), Sydney’s Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW), and Berlin’s Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG).
For more information on Sault Ste. Marie On Demand Transit, visit www.saultstemarie.ca/ondemand