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On-Request bus ride service seeing success

An On-Request Transit bus on March 22. (Source: Taylor Brock/CTV News) An On-Request Transit bus on March 22. (Source: Taylor Brock/CTV News)

Advocates are hoping to see a Winnipeg Transit pilot program pave the way for improved service.

Winnipeg Transit’s 'On-Request' isn't your usual bus ride. Similar to DART, a previous transit program, users can book a ride on a Winnipeg Transit bus.

Instead of following a set route, Winnipeg Transit On-Request picks up and drops off at specific zones: St. Amant - Plaza Drive, Southdale Island Lakes, and St. Boniface.

Project Manager Adam Budowski says the service isn’t always door-to-door, but it can be depending on the location.

"A lot of the key points of interest like shopping malls and stuff like that our busses will go into the parking lot to drop people off just to get them closer to those destinations,” Budowski said.

It's not a private ride - others requesting the service might be picked up along the way. To use the service, people need to call 311, use the app, or go to the city’s website.

"In the last month, we have had about 3,500 rides delivered and we only expect it to pick up during summer."

This pilot project's first ride was in August 2021 and is expected to stick around.

"We've heard a lot from people how they like it. A lot about they like the fact that they can track their bus, seeing it moving in real-time."

Kyle Owens, the president of Functional Transit Winnipeg, likes the expanded coverage but wants to see set bus stops in these areas.

"It is one of the few ways to create demand for transit,” Owens said. "The best is frequent, reliable, regular service. That's the gold standard."

David Kron, the executive director of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba wants to see Transit Plus have the same online and app booking abilities as transit's On-Request.

"We really do need to have those services in place so people can get out into the community in a timely, economical, respectful way,” Kron said.

Transit says On-Request opens doors for Winnipeg Transit's Master Plan, which Winnipeggers could see kick into gear in two to four years.

"There's many routes in there that use On-Request technology and a lot of those routes are much bigger than what we see in our current zones,” Budowski said.

He says the pilot project is working out the kinks now before other projects with the Master Plan are implemented further down the road. Top Stories

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