Published April 29, 2024

Transit ON Demand to expand to five areas of Barrie May 1, free service for the month

The wheels on the bus will be going round and round in Barrie with an expansion of the successful Transit ON Demand (TOD) program to five areas of the city, and to make the change even more accommodating, the service will be free for the month of May.

“The first changes in the new network plan will better meet the needs of current and future transit users,” said Brent Forsyth, Director of Transit and Parking Strategy. “We’re introducing a transit system that is quick, frequent and reliable, while maintaining broad coverage to serve as many people and destinations as efficiently as possible.”

To prepare the community for these changes, Barrie Transit will initiate an overlap of the TOD service from May 1 to the end of service on June 1, 2024.

"During this time, the Transit ON Demand zones will be available for riders to try for free, while existing scheduled routes will remain operational. During this time, if you start on a Transit ON Demand zone, your ride, including transfer, will be free of charge, the city said in a news release on Monday.

TOD is a ride-sharing service operated by Barrie Transit without a fixed schedule or route. Users book their trip through an app, by web or by phone and the bus travel is optimized through a computer-based system.

"It operates using smaller buses within a specific zone allowing riders to travel from bus stop to bus stop within the zone. The service offers reduced wait times and improved local travel" the city stated in the news release.

There are three ways to book a TOD ride:

  • Book through the free app from the Apple or Google Play store by searching for "Barrie ToD"
  • Visit on a web browser
  • Call Service Barrie at 705-726-4242 (starting May 1 for new zone bookings)

The city is going to do a blitz to assist riders with the transition, offering in-person education sessions with transit staff at local events, community centres and the transit terminal, and at local retirement homes.

Transit staff will also be doing ride-alongs on affected routes to help educate and answer questions on the new network changes and to help with TOD booking inquiries.

Dubbed "The New Network," another part of the Phase 1 overhaul starts June 2 and will include:

  • A new Express Route 400 between Park Place & Georgian College/RVH on Highway 400, operating with a 30-minute frequency on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Added service coverage on Hanmer Street, Lakeside Trail and Amelia Street

The second phase of the project will begin mid-2025.

In a memo to city councillors last month, transit officials said the revamp is to better meet the needs of current and future transit customers.

The changes are cost-neutral, as some of the pressure regarding operating hours will be eased because of the TOD service model.

 The TOD was launched as a pilot program in August 2020, and according to city officials, has received "exceptional customer feedback."

It's anticipated "The New Network" will result in capital cost reductions for growth or replacement vehicles by $10 million in the city's capital plan over 10 years.

The operating budget for Barrie Transit topped $25 million last year, of which more than $6 million was recouped from fares and passes.

Learn more about Transit ON Demand at

For more information about the new transit network, the updated maps, and upcoming changes, visit

Image supplied - City of Barrie

For more information about the new transit network, the updated maps, and upcoming changes, visit

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