Saskatoon

Saskatoon Transit launching new on-demand system for neighbourhoods on city's outskirts

The City of Saskatoon hopes its new transit program will help people who live in new neighbourhoods have an easier time getting to their destinations.

System rolling out Tuesday for Brighton, Rosewood, North Kensington and Blairmore neighbourhoods

Saskatoon Transit is set to roll out a revamped on-demand bus service to four neighbourhoods in the city. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

The City of Saskatoon hopes its revamped on-demand transit program will make it easier for people who live in new neighbourhoods to get to their destinations.

On Tuesday, Saskatoon Transit will roll out its new on-demand system to four new neighbourhoods on the city's outskirts. 

Riders in the Brighton, Rosewood, North Kensington and Blairmore neighbourhoods will be able to call a bus to a designated stop through the transit app. They will be transported to a bus terminal to catch a regular fixed-route bus to their destination.

"It's going to be featured in newer neighbourhoods that don't have the full robust transit system yet because they don't have the population density," said interim transit director Tracey Davis.

"This will allow people living there to fully access our transit system."

The new system replaces one launched two years ago, which allowed any commuter in the city to call a bus to get to their final stop.

Transit advocacy group Bus Riders of Saskatoon heard mixed reviews of the older system.

While some people called on-demand transit a lifesaver, the group also heard horror stories of commuters waiting for an hour to be picked up by on-demand buses, said group spokesperson Robert Clipperton.

"The idea of giving service to people is a good one," he said. "Hopefully, as the population increases and people find the services acceptable, then more people will start taking the bus."

Two buses have been allocated to the on-demand system, which will run Monday to Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and uses artificial intelligence to co-ordinate bus routes.

Commuters will be able to book on-demand trips up to two weeks in advance through Saskatoon Transit's website, its mobile app or by calling calling Transit customer service at 306-975-3100.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Shield is a web writer for CBC Saskatoon.

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