NRT OnDemand is celebrating one year of launching transit service in the communities of Grimsby, Lincoln, Pelham, Wainfleet and West Lincoln. The two year pilot of the on-demand rideshare service was launched on Aug. 17, 2020.
There have been nearly 30,000 rides on NRT OnDemand since the launch, getting people to destinations in those communities and connecting to the rest of the public transit network in Niagara at hubs in Port Colborne, St. Catharines and Welland. Niagara Region was one of the first communities in Canada to collaborate with Via, the leader in TransitTech, which has more than 500 partners around the world, and counting.
NRT OnDemand added service to a select area in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Nov. 23, 2020 and is working with that community to expand service later this year.
To date, 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.
As NRT OnDemand enters the second year of the pilot, staff are gathering feedback from riders and local partners for potential service improvements. It has become clear that riders want to be able to book their trips in advance to help plan their trips on transit, and pre-booking will be coming to NRT OnDemand starting in September.
NRT OnDemand does not operate on a fixed route like conventional transit services. 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.
Riders can use the NRT OnDemand mobile app to select a pickup and drop-off location within the service zone and confirm their ride. Those without access to a smartphone can call 289-302-2172 to book a ride. Once a ride is booked, Via’s advanced technology matches multiple passengers headed in the same direction into one of its high-capacity vehicles, and directs passengers to a nearby corner, or “virtual bus stop”. Via’s technology routes vehicles in real-time, minimizing detours by using virtual bus stops to reduce congestion and emissions, while providing a highly-efficient rider experience.
NRT OnDemand operates from Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in West Niagara and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Niagara-on-the-Lake service area. 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.
Two levels of service are available:
Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Pelham
- Riders are able to travel within their communities for $3
- Riders are able to travel to other communities in Niagara for $6
- Riders are not be able to travel directly from the West Niagara communities to Niagara-on-the-Lake or vice versa, they will need to go through a Niagara Region Transit hub
Wainfleet and West Lincoln
- Riders are able to travel to other communities in West Niagara and to the three transit hubs for $6
About NRT OnDemand
Niagara Region Transit and Via, the global leader in TransitTech, launched NRT OnDemand on Aug. 17, 2020 in the West Niagara communities of Grimsby, Lincoln, Pelham, Wainfleet and West Lincoln. The service expanded to a designated area within Niagara-on-the-Lake on Nov. 23, 2020. The on-demand service provides residents an efficient and convenient public transit option. NRT OnDemand is a two-year pilot service operated by Niagara Region Transit and Via.
Beyond the Niagara region, Via is working with transit agencies and municipalities elsewhere in Canada like Sault Ste. Marie, Greater Montreal and Edmonton to introduce on-demand transit as a new mobility solution for residents.
About Niagara Region Transit
Niagara Region operates Niagara Region Transit in partnership with Niagara Falls, St. Catharines Transit Commission and Welland. It provides inter-municipal conventional fixed route service to the communities of Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Colborne, St. Catharines, Thorold and Welland. Riders can travel between these communities on Niagara Region Transit for work, school, shopping, recreation and more. NRT OnDemand operates service in Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelham, Wainfleet and West Lincoln creating a network of access to transit for everyone in Niagara, which connects into the public transit network.
Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to power public mobility systems, optimizing networks of dynamic shuttles, buses, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, and autonomous vehicles around the globe. Building the world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all riders — including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and unbanked populations — Via works with its partners to lower the cost of public transit and provide accessible options that rival the convenience of a personal car at a much reduced environmental impact. At the intersection of transportation and technology, Via is a visionary market leader that combines software innovation with sophisticated service design and operational expertise to fundamentally improve the way the world moves, with 500 global partners on six continents, and counting.