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The buses, which will be supplied by PWT, will be of three types, including a 22-foot 10-seater, a 24-foot 14-seater and one specially configured for seniors with a low floor.
Passengers will not have to pay the fare when using the on-demand service during the pilot’s two years, but will have to pay once they transfer to the city’s regular network.
Via CEO and co-founder Daniel Ramot said in the press release that his company’s technology will provide greater flexibility for those looking to move.
“We are extremely proud to partner with Pacific Western and the City of Edmonton to launch the largest on-demand transit system in Canada, connecting more residents than ever before,” Ramot said in the release. “The launch of Edmonton’s new on-demand service represents a significant milestone in Canada and an opportunity for innovative cities and transit agencies to follow.
Rowan Anderson, a communications consultant for the city of Edmonton, said in an email that the contract with PWT was worth around $ 20 million over two years. He said the original start date was supposed to be this fall, but has been moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anderson said the success of the pilot will be based on a number of parameters, including service performance like customer satisfaction, safety, security and wait times. He said performance measures will be communicated to city council and the public on a regular basis.
ETS began to focus on on-demand public transport in 2018 as part of the overhaul of the city’s bus network.
Calgary’s PWT is described as the largest private passenger transportation system in Canada, while Via is a New York-based technology company.