Barrie Transit offering Transit ON Demand starting August 17

New app allows riders to book their trip a week in advance

You may have hailed a cab before, now you’ll almost be able to do the same thing with a Barrie Transit bus.

Staring on Monday, August 17, Barrie Transit will roll out a new Transit ON Demand program in a south end part of the city that is a low-demand ridership area. The year long pilot project route is from Huronia Road and Lockhart Road to Bayview Drive and Little Avenue. This takes in Park Place, which is a transit hub, a manufacturing area, a recreational centre and a school.

“It’s different from a conventional route that it doesn’t really operate with a schedule or a route,” said Brent Forsyth, Director of Transit and Parking. “Instead, it operates more as a geographical zone or time of day. Routes are scheduled based on real-time rider trip requests via the mobile app. It’s designed for low ridership areas where we want to provide service to those who need it and who want to take transit in a potentially more cost effective manner.”

Forsyth said offering a traditional fixed transit route in a low-demand area can be quite expensive.

A rider will use the app to book their trip from stop-to-stop within the area. If they need to connect to different routes, they can use the hub at Park Place.

Forsyth said a target of four to five riders per hour will define the success of the pilot.

“Anything less than that would potentially question if that’s the right model. If it gets larger than that, then that’s when you start to look at your traditional fixed routes.”

Riders can book their trip a week in advance.

Benefits to Transit ON Demand include:

  • Shorter pick-up windows;
  • Faster trips as stops only occur as requested;
  • More efficient service in low transit demand times/areas; and,
  • Increased service coverage

More information: barrie.ca/transit.