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Via and Winnipeg Transit launching On-Request transit service pilot project

Winnipeg Transit On-Request replaces DART service and aims to increase service efficiency and decrease wait times for passengers

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August 4, 2021 (Winnipeg, MB)  – Winnipeg Transit is launching an On-Request transit service pilot project on August 12, 2021 which aims to modernize transit service in Winnipeg, by allowing passengers to book rides with the easy-to-use Winnipeg Transit On-Request mobile app. On-Request transit service uses innovative trip planning software and GPS technology to plan bus routes in real-time and respond immediately to passengers’ trip requests. 

“I’m pleased to see the On-Request Transit service pilot project being implemented so quickly after the 2021 Balanced Budget Update,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Across our country, all transit services grapple with how to supply the most accurate service to meet the unpredictable changes in demand. This pilot project will use innovative software to address those unpredictable changes in demand in a way that has seen success in cities across Canada.”

During the pilot project, On-Request transit service will be available for passengers in three zones, which are currently serviced using “dial-a-ride-transit” (DART). Passengers will be able to book On-Request trips using the Winnipeg Transit On-Request app. Passengers will also be able to book rides using a web browser to access the Winnipeg Transit On-Request booking site, or by calling 311. Bookings are required before using the On-Request service to ensure there is enough room for everyone. 

There are three easy ways to book a ride:

  1. Download the Winnipeg Transit On-Request app, set up your account and book your trip. The app is expected to be available in the Apple and Google Play app stores, in both French and English, on August 6, 2021.
  2. Book online using a web browser.
  3. Call 311 and a customer service representative will help you create an account and book your ride.

After requesting a trip, passengers will receive step-by-step directions through the app, including:

  1. Walking directions from their trip origin to the pick-up location where they will board the On-Request bus.
  2. The approximate time an On-Request bus will meet them at the pick-up location, and an estimate of the total trip time.
  3. The location where the On-Request bus will drop them off, and walking directions to their final destination.

The innovative On-Request software optimizes the bus route in real-time and provides step-by-step directions to the bus operator via a GPS device that will be mounted in front of them. Passengers who use the app to book their On-Request trips will be able to see the bus moving in real-time.

On-Request transit service is proposed in the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan as an opportunity to enhance services for transit riders. 

On-Request (or on-demand) service has been piloted or deployed in other Canadian cities including: Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Sault Ste. Marie, and Stratford. The cost of the pilot project is $140,000, which was funded by a technology grant from the City’s Innovation & Technology Department.

The service is powered by technology from Via, the leader in TransitTech, and uses a highly-efficient algorithm to route and plan trips in real-time, creating a seamless, convenient, and flexible transit offering for passengers.

For more information on the Winnipeg Transit On-Request service pilot project, visit: winnipegtransit.com/on-request.

About Via:

Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to power public mobility systems, optimizing networks of dynamic shuttles, buses, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, and autonomous 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 cost of public transit and provide accessible options that rival the convenience of a personal car at a reduced 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 500 global partners on five continents, and counting.

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