Transit On Demand

We are continuously working to improve transit service to meet the needs of Red Deerians. Now, that includes exploring an on-demand service.

We are considering adding an on-demand transit service as a potential way to extend Transit’s reach and flexibility. On-demand transit has been emerging in many Canadian communities as a way of serving lower ridership times and areas better or providing service to new areas.

We conducted a survey to better understand what residents would like to see and understand their thoughts on a potential on-demand service. The survey closed on April 22; we will share the results here when they are available.

Common questions about on-demand service

What is on-demand transit?

On-demand transit is a flexible transit service delivery model that provides customers with transit options based on their trip needs. It is a shared ride service that allows customers book a ride using an online platform, app, or by calling in.

On-demand customers can schedule their rides ahead of time or request to be picked up as soon as possible. This type of system picks customers up at the closest bus stop and either drops them off at the closest stop to their final destination, or drops them off at a fixed-route connection to continue the rest of their journey. Vehicles can range from large SUVs to vans to shuttle buses.

On-demand transit can result in more direct, often shorter, travel time for the customer as well as operational efficiencies for the transit system which can then be used to enhance service in other ways.

How does on-demand service differ from the current evening service?

The City is currently offering a shuttle service after 8:00 p.m. to connect transit customers from the Route 1 Gaetz Avenue Rapid Bus arriving at Sorensen Station to other areas of the City. The purpose is to provide a service to customers when other fixed-routes are no longer operating. On-demand transit could potentially replace many of the fixed-routes in the evening to provide more flexibility and convenience to customers and provide better access to and from all parts of the City.

What areas of the City are being considered for on-demand transit?

On-demand transit will be examined in the Queens and Edgar industrial areas and the Evergreen neighbourhood as part full-day service. It will be considered as part of evening service to supplement the fixed-routes.

What will the cost be to use the on-demand transit service?

The fare for on-demand transit will be same as conventional service at $2.50 per trip. Transfers and MyRide cards will both be honored.

Would on-demand service replace Action Bus?

No, Action Bus will continue to operate and provide services to citizens of Red Deer who cannot use regular transportation because of a disability or physical need.

How does on-demand transit differ from dial-a-bus service?

In the past, The City used “dial-a-bus” service for its entire transit system, as well as an evening service before returning to conventional fixed-route transit. The dial-a-bus service occurred at a time prior to widespread use of smart phones and apps, and relied on a reservation system. Because of the limits of technology at the time, it was found to be somewhat cumbersome to use and was unable to match ridership demand. 

On-demand transit, unlike dial-a-bus service, would be an additional layer of service to Red Deer’s transit system, and would only be utilized in certain areas and times to complement the overall conventional fixed-route system. Newer on-demand technology also provides the following improvements over the older style of dial-a-bus:

  • Vehicles are dispatched dynamically. This means rather than having to wait until a specific vehicle is in your area, the closest available vehicle will be dispatched to your starting location.
  • For those comfortable using apps, you would be able to easily request service, save your common start and end points, receive updates on when your on-demand pick up vehicle will arrive, see any required connections to the fixed-route service in one convenient trip overview, and in many cases, also enable you to track the arrival of your bus visually on a map.
How does on-demand transit differ from taxis and other ride-hailing services?

On-demand transit would be provided by the City of Red Deer as a new service layer in the transit network. As a shared ride service, it would transport multiple passengers within the same vehicle to different destinations in the City. For instance, if there are already passengers in the vehicle and another passenger can be easily picked up along the way, the on-demand vehicle will deviate off route to pick them up. 

The on-demand service would not be a private ride service like a taxi or other ride-hailing services, which are mostly focused on transporting an individual or a smaller group.

Contact Us

Have questions about on-demand transit? Contact the project team: