Residents in the communities of Livingston and Carrington will soon have access to an on-demand shuttle service to transport them to the nearest transit hub.

“We’re excited about this app because we’ve got a couple of communities right now that are coming on in Ward 3 that are separated by Stoney Trail so it’s hard to walk over here to catch the bus at North Pointe station,” said Ward 3 councillor Jyoti Gondek. “What you do is simply access the app and say that you need a ride, need to be picked up, very much like any kind of a rideshare app. It would tell you the time you can expect a ride to show up and where you need to be.”

“It will bring you down here to North Pointe station and you can then catch the bus to wherever you need to go.”

Passengers will be able to book a trip with up to two hours’ notice in the two neighbourhoods north of the ring road and the app will provide a location and time for the scheduled pickup. Shuttles will be available seven days a week, included statutory holidays, within designated hours.

Gondek says the data collected from shuttle usage could help shape future transit plans in the neighbourhoods.

 “What I’m really hoping is that, with this kind of a process, we can have some understanding of behaviour and need,” explained Gondek. “If you can predict demand you can put bus service in place, once there’s a critical mass, that really caters to the needs of the residents.”

“Right now, what we do is we sort of guess and we put on a bus route when there’s enough people there and we hope for the best. With this, we’re going to be able to see the peak times that people are travelling and ‘this is approximately the area’. We might be able to assign bus stops and routes based on the behaviour that we observe in this pilot.”

Passengers will not be permitted to exchange funds with the driver and will need to pay through the app or with a standard Calgary Transit pass, ticket or transfer.  The shuttle driver will provide a transfer to be used on regular Calgary Transit buses or CTrains.

The pilot project is scheduled to begin Friday, May 24. For additional information regarding the program, including hours of operation and how to download the app, visit Calgary Transit On Demand.

With files from CTV’s Chris Epp