Niagara Transit OnDemand a huge success in Year One

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Published August 30, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Niagara Regional Transit (NRT) OnDemand recently celebrated Year One of its two year pilot run and business was booming.

While the larger municipalities – St Catharines, Port Colborne, Niagara Falls and Welland – all have their own transit systems, NRT OnDemand was created in collaboration with Via to link Grimsby, Lincoln, Pelham, Wainfleet and West Lincoln with the rest of the region.

In its first year, there were nearly 30,000 rides since the launch.

Riders in Grimsby and Lincoln have used NRT OnDemand the most with more than 12,000 rides originating in Grimsby and more than 6,000 rides in Lincoln.

NRT OnDemand does not operate on fixed routes like traditional transit. It lets riders request trips in real-time through the app or over the phone by selecting a pickup point and destination. On-demand transit uses smartphone technology and a fleet of dedicated vehicles to provide trips within the service boundaries with no fixed schedules or routes.

Basically, when enough riders want to go in a certain direction, it sends out mini-buses, picking up customers at the nearest corner and dropping off each to their destination.

NRT OnDemand operates from Monday to Saturday from 7 am to 10 pm in West Niagara and from 7 am to 7 am in the Niagara-on-the-Lake service area, which was added in November.

The fleet vehicle are mini-vans, which offer comfortable seating for up to five passengers. All COVID-19 protocols are in place for the health and safety of passengers and operators.

Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley had nothing but praise for the first year of the service.

“The introduction of NRT OnDemand in 2020 made it possible for residents in each of Niagara’s municipalities to travel affordably throughout the region,” he said.

“This partnership between Niagara Region, the local municipalities and Via, shows what is possible when we work together – an innovative and creative public transit solution. It is even more commendable when you realize NRT OnDemand was launched in the middle of a global pandemic, I look forward to seeing this service continue to grow.”

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