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Meet Chantelle

  •   2 min read

A family in the Niagara region uses NRT OnDemand to go to school, run errands, and get out of town — all without owning a car.

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Last year, the school run for Chantelle’s family was a complicated — and expensive — undertaking. Chantelle and her husband have four children, between the ages of 8 and 17, who start and end school at different times and would create a thorny transit puzzle for anyone. But for Chantelle, who does not own a car, the problem is even trickier. And though some of her children take the bus, the long walk to and from the local stop is not safe for her teenage daughter, who lives with epilepsy.

More often than not, Chantelle found herself resorting to taxis to get her kids to school, and the costs added up quickly. “It could be $21 to go there, $21 home,” Chantelle remembers. “Sometimes [my kids] wouldn’t go at the same time. Sometimes I would have to go with them and then I’d have to come back.” She estimates that she was spending up to $80 per day just for school transportation.

When Chantelle found out about NRT OnDemand, an on-demand transit service available in discrete zones throughout the Niagara region, it seemed like the perfect solution — but her children attended school just outside her local service zone. This year, they transferred to schools within the zone. Not only is the family  thrilled with their new environments — “They’re all thriving and loving their schools,” Chantelle says — but the family’s transportation costs have also plummeted. NRT OnDemand costs just $3 per ride for trips within a local zone, which means her family saves up to $60 per day in transportation costs. And though her children sometimes have to walk a short way to a nearby corner to be picked up, it’s nothing compared to the walk to the bus stop. It’s a compromise Chantelle and her daughter find comfortable and safe.  

Though more affordable school transportation has been the most dramatic change for Chantelle’s family, she notes that they use NRT OnDemand for more than just education. “We do everything with it,” she says. “I go to my appointments with it, I go to the mall.” And because NRT OnDemand offers some longer-distance trips to points of interest outside Chantelle’s local service zone, Chantelle can even use it to get out of town. Before NRT OnDemand, a trip to Grimsby — a picturesque town on the shores of Lake Ontario — could cost $60 by cab. Now, the journey costs $12, and opens up new communities and activities. “They had a festival going on,” Chantelle explains, “so we went there to meet up with some friends of ours.” Spontaneous, affordable travel is no longer a luxury for Chantelle and her family. 

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