Via announced a new public transportation deployment in partnership with Ontario, Canada’s Sault Ste. Marie Transit Services, which will enable passengers to ride Sault Ste. Marie On-Demand — a new dynamically-routed shared transit network aiming to dramatically overhaul the area’s existing fixed-route bus system.
Sault Ste. Marie On-Demand will initially operate on Sundays from 7:15 p.m. to midnight when ridership has historically been low on the existing fixed-route bus system. Riders can hail a Sault Ste. Marie On-Demand bus in real-time to their desired stop, which allows more efficient utilization of city buses, rather than continuously driving on fixed-routes with little or no passengers.
Using the Sault Ste. Marie On-Demand app, riders will be able to hail a shuttle directly from their smartphone. Via’s advanced algorithms will enable multiple riders to seamlessly share the vehicle. The technology will direct passengers to a nearby bus stop within a short walking distance for pick up and drop off, allowing for quick and efficient shared trips without lengthy detours, or inconvenient fixed routes and schedules.
Sault Ste. Marie On-Demand allows riders to travel from one pre-existing established stop to another as requested. Once the bus arrives, passengers can proceed onto the bus and pay using their existing transit pass or cash. The app provides riders with notifications and messages, real-time vehicle tracking, and an opportunity for users to provide post-ride feedback.