Strathcona County is implementing an on-demand evening and weekend transit system.
The county believes that this system will be more environmentally friendly and convenient as the 40’ nova buses will not be running unless a trip is requested.
Starting Jun. 26, the new pilot bus project will launch in Sherwood Park.
“You’re going to have faster service, it’s going to improve service for you [and] council is really behind this one,” said the county’s mayor Rod Frank.
Traditionally, it could take local transit riders up to an hour and a half to travel across Sherwood Park through established transit routes, but the new on-demand service provides a more direct route, effectively cutting the travel time across Sherwood Park to approximately 30 minutes.
By downloading the county’s transit on-demand app, riders simply have to enter their destination, let the driver know if you have any additional items (bikes, strollers, etc.) and then watch in real time when the bus will be arriving.
“I actually booked my trip this morning. I was able to go on the app about ten minutes before and watch the bus, where it is and how it's traveling to me. It’s just like you can on an Uber,” added Wade Coombs, the director of transit for Strathcona County.
Riders can book their trip online up to 48 hours prior to their desired travel time.
The fare cost will not be impacted and remain at $3.25. The new system will accept cash when the bus arrives and you can use a monthly pass, Arc card or bus tickets. The app will not offer a pre-payment option.
“This actually will save the county some money,” added Coombs
Frank estimated that this new system will save Strathcona County $450,000 on an annual basis once it is up and running.
Hours of operation:
- Monday to Friday, 7:15 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.
- Saturday, 6:15 a.m. to 12:15 a.m.
- Sunday, 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
People who need extra help using this service can go to Strathcona County's transit website for a tutorial video or call 780-464-RIDE.
If the pilot is successful, the service will shift to the smaller 25’ accessible buses.
On the official launch, transit users will see employees in transit stations who are there to help explain the process and answer any questions.