Winnipeg Transit announced it will launch an On-Request transit service pilot project on Aug. 12, which aims to modernize transit service in Winnipeg.
The project will allow passengers to book rides with the Winnipeg Transit On-Request mobile 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.
On-Request transit service uses trip planning software and GPS technology to plan bus routes in real-time and respond to passengers’ trip requests immediately.
“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.”
The On-Request transit service will be available for passengers in three zones during the pilot project. The zones are currently serviced using “dial-a-ride-transit” (DART). Bookings are required before using the On-Request service.
Passengers will receive step-by-step directions through the app after requesting a trip. They will receive walking directions from their trip origin to the pick-up location, the approximate time an On-Request bus will meet them at the pick-up location, and an estimate of the total trip time.
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.
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 an algorithm to route and plan trips in real-time, creating a seamless, convenient, and flexible transit offering for passengers.