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Canada’s largest on-demand transit service set to launch in Edmonton

Nearly 60 shuttles will connect commuters and residents to transit hubs across the city starting in mid-2021.

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September 23, 2020 (Edmonton, AB) — To ensure all Edmontonians can connect to the City’s new bus network next year, Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) has selected Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) and Via Transportation to launch Canada’s largest On-Demand Transit service.

A total of 57 shuttle buses will conveniently and safely connect residents in select neighbourhoods with a nearby transit hub. These accessible shuttles do not follow fixed routes and only operate upon request. The On-Demand Transit service, which will add a new layer to ETS’ integrated transit network, is set to launch in mid-2021 and will be part of a two-year pilot project.

Edmontonians will be able to book a ride directly from their smartphone using an app, a telephone, or a website. A shuttle bus with a professionally trained driver will take customers from designated stops in their neighbourhood to nearby transit hubs. This shared ride service provides quick and efficient trips by using Via’s advanced trip planning software to match multiple passengers headed in the same direction. 

“As Edmonton continues to grow and evolve, we are looking for creative transportation solutions to keep our residents connected. That’s one of the reasons we are excited to work with PWT and Via as partners to provide On-Demand Transit given their strong experience operating on-demand service in Western Canada and applying their technology globally,” said Eddie Robar, Branch Manager of Edmonton Transit Service.

“We are immensely proud to partner with Pacific Western and the City of Edmonton to debut Canada’s largest on-demand public transportation network, connecting more residents to transit than ever before,” said Via CEO and co-founder Daniel Ramot. “Via’s technology provides a flexible mobility solution that currently enables more than 150 partners around the globe to transform the way people move, using technology to usher in the next generation of mass transit. The launch of Edmonton’s new on-demand service represents a milestone in Canada, and an opportunity for innovation-forward cities and transit agencies to follow.”

PWT has been leading the Canadian new mobility market since 2017 by offering solutions in the realm of On-Demand Transit, Autonomous Vehicles, and Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. With its flourishing On-Demand Transit systems operating in Calgary, Cochrane, and Okotoks, PWT has the proven operational expertise and resources to successfully manage On-Demand Transit service in Edmonton.

Edmonton’s On-Demand Transit service will operate during peak and off-peak hours in approximately 30 communities and provide service to 18 large seniors residences. These sites, which were selected based on a number of factors, will be provided a flexible connection to the new bus network that is rolling out in mid-2021. Edmonton is one of many municipalities, like Sault Ste. Marie, that are choosing on-demand transit options for neighbourhoods where it is a better fit than conventional bus service. 

About Via:
Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to develop public mobility systems — optimizing networks of buses, shuttles, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles around the globe. Building the world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all riders — including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and unbanked populations — Via works with its partners to lower the costs of public transit while providing transportation options that rival the convenience of a personal car while reducing the environmental impact. At the intersection of transportation and technology, Via is a visionary market leader that combines software innovation with sophisticated service design and operational expertise to fundamentally improve the way the world moves, with 150 global partners on six continents, and counting. 

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