Bus-Hailing Experiment Soon to Go Live
A pilot project launching on September 17 in Belleville, Ontario, will allow riders to use an app to hail buses. The city is partnering with Pantonium, the app developer, to provide bus service where riders specify pickup and drop-off points. Buses will no longer travel along fixed routes. Instead, the software will adjust buses routes based on rider requests.
James McLeod writes that the Belleville experiment reflects the new role of technology in rethinking how transportation systems are designed and operated:
The unifying trend in transportation innovation is moving away from one-size-fits-all solutions — for example, everybody owning their own car — and shifting toward using technology so that each trip uses the most efficient vehicle to minimize congestion and emissions.
Belleville Transit serves a relatively small population of about 50,000. However, city officials believe this type of flexible service is ideal for transit agencies in smaller communities as a way to provide more efficient services with existing resources.