On-demand Alternative Transit
If approved by City Council, an alternative transit service in Edmonton could be provided by an accessible on-demand vehicle. This option was selected based on several factors, including feedback from participants in our public engagement workshops. They told us what they expect from the service and ETS determined an on-demand vehicle could be the best way to address their concerns:
- Safe - participants prefer ETS-trained drivers
- Fast - participants do not want to wait a long time for pick-up/drop-off
- Affordable - participants do not want to pay more than regular ETS fares
- Accessible - participants want a say in where pick up locations are situated
ETS is doing a detailed cost analysis of delivering an alternative transit service in-house versus partnering with the private sector. A report is due back to the City Council’s Urban Planning Committee on February 25, 2020. The committee will decide whether to recommend one of these options go to City Council for approval and funding. If the service is funded, ETS intends to conduct a two-year pilot project to evaluate its success.
The City of Calgary and Town of Cochrane are also using a similar on-demand alternative transit approach in their communities.
How On-demand Alternative Transit Would Work
A flexible, accessible on-demand alternative transit service would allow riders to request a pick-up or drop-off from either a designated stop in the neighbourhood or the designated transit hub. They would make this request through a smartphone app, online or by telephone. A vehicle with a trained driver would carry residents between pick-up points in the neighbourhood and the transit hub as requested. ETS would require vehicles to be accessible for individuals with mobility challenges and families with strollers.
The public engagement period for the proposed alternative transit service concluded in October 2019. You can read the What We Heard reports on the public engagement page.