September 7, 2023 (NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE) — Niagara Region Transit’s popular on-demand public transportation service, NRT OnDemand, is celebrating its three-year anniversary this month, and new passenger survey data from tech and operations provider Via reveals the program has created positive impacts on the community, including increased ability to travel and a greater incentive to use public transit.
NRT OnDemand has served more than 241,000 on-demand rides since launching in August 2020. The service has expanded several times due to its popularity, and today it serves seven distinct service zones: Grimsby, Lincoln, Pelham, Port Colborne, Wainfleet, West Lincoln, and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Between July 2022 and July 2023, the service’s ridership has grown nearly 29%.
Any citizen, visitor, or worker in the NRT OnDemand service zones can book a pre-scheduled or on-demand ride, and Via’s intelligent algorithms match passengers headed in the same direction into one vehicle – creating quick, efficient shared trips that rival the convenience of a private vehicle.
A survey sent to NRT OnDemand passengers in August uncovered insights about how community members are benefiting from the service:
- More than half of passengers report gaining independence thanks to NRT. OnDemand, and more than a third say they find themselves traveling more often.
- 70% said they use NRT On Demand most of the time or sometimes to connect with the region’s other forms of public transit.
- 27% said without NRT On Demand, they would have had to rely on asking someone for a ride.
- 20% said NRT On Demand has led to them using their private car less.
Passenger testimonials also underscore how the service is a necessity to many:
- “This service is essential for those without their own transportation and who must get to appointments and shopping.” – Eric S.
- “We are elderly and have given up our car. The [NRT OnDemand] service is the only one available to us for going to local shops, etc. Although we have family here we do not like to trouble them too much.” – George B.
- “I use this means of transportation to get the things we need to feed our family.” – Mary V.
For more information on NRT OnDemand, including how to ride, please visit: https://city.ridewithvia.com/nrt-ondemand-niagara
Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the transportation technology category (TransitTech) by using new technologies to develop public mobility systems, optimizing networks of buses, shuttles, vehicles for the disabled, school buses, autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles around the world. By building the world's most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all passengers-including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and people without bank accounts-Via works with its partners to lower public transportation costs and provide transportation options that can rival the convenience of a personal car while reducing 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 radically improve the way the world moves, delivering technology in 600 cities and more than 35 countries.