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Leduc Transit Gets Green Light for On-demand Service

Jess Blenkarn
May 26, 2021
 - 
6 min read

Enhanced local service will soon roll out on Leduc Transit as operations transition from fixed routes to on-demand service in the coming months. The move to on-demand service was approved during a Leduc City Council meeting on Monday, May 17, and will cost roughly $20,000 in one-time setup fees.

The article was originally posted on the City of Leduc website on May 17, 2021.

Using existing bus stops and new virtual stops, the on-demand service is expected to launch this summer and will offer a variety of benefits to local riders and those coming into the area from around the region, including:

  • Increased pick up and destination points in Leduc and Nisku Business Park;
  • Stops that are closer to where you live and work;
  • Flexibility to book a trip for the time that is convenient for you; and
  • More efficient and easier connections to Route 1, the commuter route that travels to Edmonton and Amazon.

On-demand service will offer trips within the City of Leduc and Nisku Business Park, and is expected to operate during the same time periods as the existing fixed routes: weekday mornings and afternoon peak periods. The service will replace local Routes 2, 3, 4 and 5. With no fixed schedule or route, transit riders can choose their pick-up times and locations by booking their trip through an app, online or through a call centre.

The cost to use local transit in 2021 will not change; however, fare prices will be evaluated on an annual basis as per our usual process.

Additional early morning trips will be added to Route 10 to replicate the morning Route 3 service to the Edmonton International Airport. Route 1, the commuter service from Leduc to Edmonton and Amazon, will remain unchanged.

Transitioning our local service to on-demand transit will offer our current ridership added convenience and flexibility as they move around the community. This new approach also supports our commitment to plan for the future as Leduc continues to grow and develop.

— City of Leduc Mayor Bob Young


Connecting people who commute to and from Nisku Business Park with a more frequent, efficient model of public transit is a win-win situation. Moving people in and out of the park is critical to economic stability, and we’re confident that on-demand transit will provide a more convenient experience for current and future transit riders.

 — Leduc County Mayor Tanni Doblanko


Questions?

On-Demand Transit FAQs

What is on-demand transit?
On-demand transit means there are no fixed schedules or routes. Transit riders can choose their pick-up times and locations by booking their trip through an app, online or through a call centre. The buses run according to customer requirements and trips are determined based on the most efficient paths.

Why do we need to change from fixed routes to on-demand transit?
Transitioning our local service to an on-demand service model supports our commitment to plan for the future as our community continues to grow and develop. It will allow us an opportunity to provide additional pick up and destination points in Leduc and Nisku Business Park; stops will be closer to where riders live and work; it will allow riders more flexibility in travelling when it is convenient for them; and more efficient/easier connections to Route 1. This approach is an innovative way to enhance and expand the service.

Is this a door-to-door service?
No. On-demand service operates stop-to-stop, meaning that the bus will stop at a virtual stop or an existing transit stop. A virtual stop may be conveniently located very close to where you live or work; however, riders must use a pre-determined location for pick-up or drop-off.

What is a virtual bus stop?
A virtual stop is a pre-determined location that customers can select as a pick-up or drop off location at the time of booking. Virtual stops do not have traditional signs installed in the ground. The app, website or call centre will tell you where they are. The bus must pick-up and drop off customers at either a virtual stop or existing transit stop. Virtual stop locations will be specifically chosen to ensure safe access for buses and customers.

Can riders pre-book their trips for the week/month or do I have to book each trip as I need it?
We expect that transit riders will be able to pre-book local trips in advance anywhere from one hour to three days in advance. Riders will be able to book through the app, online or by contacting the call centre.

How long will I have to wait for a bus? Will I have to wait longer with on-demand transit?
Riders will be provided with a pickup time (10-minute window) and an estimated time of arrival. The app is expected to also provide riders with an “arrive by” time so they can reliably connect with Route 1 and the Nisku Business Park.

Do people travelling together have to book separately, or can I book for my whole group?
Riders will be able to select how many people are travelling together.

Will I be allowed on the bus if I haven’t booked a trip?
This will be determined over the next few months. Routes 1 and 10 is not part of the on-demand service; you will not be required (or able) to book a trip on these routes through the on-demand service.

Will local transit rates go up?
The cost to use local transit in 2021 will not change; however, fare prices will be evaluated on an annual basis as per our usual process.

Will the U-PASS come back after we switch to On-Demand Transit?
The U-PASS can be used with the ODT service; however, this depends on if the students will be back in session or not.

Will this change how I buy and pay for bus tickets?
When on-demand service begins, there will be no change to how fares are paid. This includes cash, tickets, day passes, monthly passes or transfers.

How much will this cost the City of Leduc? Will this impact my taxes?
The move to on-demand service will cost the City of Leduc roughly $20,000 in one-time setup fees. Our goal is to provide better value and an enhanced service while maintaining the current budget, meaning we expect no impact to taxes in 2021.

What will happen to Routes 2, 3, 4 and 5?
On-demand service will replace Routes 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Will there be changes to Routes 1 or 10?
Additional early morning trips will be added to Route 10 to replicate the morning Route 3 service to the Edmonton International Airport. Route 1, the commuter service from Leduc to Edmonton and Amazon, will remain unchanged.

Will this impact service that is provided through Leduc Transit in Leduc County?
Currently, Leduc Transit’s local routes provide service between the City of Leduc and Nisku Business Park. With this in mind, the on-demand service has been designed with two zones — one for the City of Leduc and one for Nisku Business Park.

How will the service impact customers who use Leduc Assisted Transportation Service (LATS)?
There will be no impact to LATS customers at this time.

What will happen to the existing transit stops that the city has installed around our community?
The existing transit stops will be used to provide the on-demand service. They will also continue to be used for Routes 1 and 10.

How does this connect to regional transit service efforts that the City of Leduc is working towards with other communities in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region?
The regional transit service is focused on moving people between the partner municipalities and has not yet been developed. On-demand transit in Leduc is focused on local service and increase mobility options for people within city limits and the Nisku Business Park.

What other municipalities in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region are using an on-demand model?
On-demand transit is currently being used in St. Albert, Edmonton and Spruce Grove.

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