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July 10, 2019, 9:24 am

TransLink Launches Transit on Demand Pilot


BOWEN ISLAND - TransLink is launching a new pilot program which delivers transit services on-demand for Bowen Island residents and tourists.

Instead of having to follow set timetables, anyone on the island will be able to use a mobile app called ‘TapRide’ to book local bus services. There will also be an online and phone-in booking system established.
TransLink’s transit on-demand pilot will see customers:

  • Set their own pick-up and drop-off locations on Bowen Island
  • View journey times and arrival estimates
  • Track on-demand bus locations in real-time
  • Have access to expanded service coverage on the island
“The transit on-demand model has significant future potential,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We’d like to see as many people as possible take part in this pilot in order to learn which aspects of transit on-demand work well, and importantly, uncover any elements which need improving.”

The pilot will run from July 15, 2019 until September 15, 2019 with two TransLink on-demand shuttles. It will operate between:
  • 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on weekdays (fixed pick-up at Snug Cove ferry terminal)
  • 10:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekends (floating pick-up and drop-off)

Transit on-demand services are in addition to existing bus routes on Bowen Island, which remain unchanged. This pilot program follows a small-scale beta test earlier this year which saw some residents volunteer to test the software.

“Real-time transit tracking is a priority in our Transportation Plan,” says Bowen Island Mayor Gary Ander, “so we are excited that TransLink’s on-demand transit technology is being tried out on Bowen Island. It will be yet another reason for tourists to come over and visit this summer, while enjoying everything the island has to offer.”

In addition to helping shape the future of public transit, every person taking part in the pilot program will be entered into a draw to win a $200 gift certificate to Tuscany Restaurant on Bowen Island.

“Making public transit a convenient and viable alternative to the car is critical if we want to keep people moving in Metro Vancouver,” says Bowinn Ma, Parliamentary Secretary for TransLink and MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale. “TransLink’s innovative approach to providing on-demand transit services could be a real game changer for people in communities that might normally be more difficult to serve with traditional routes.”

TransLink will use the data and feedback received during the pilot to help refine the transit on-demand model. If successful, it could also be adapted for use in other parts of Metro Vancouver.

Learn more:
Video: Transit on Demand Pilot Program
For interview and clip requests:
TransLink Media Relations

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