Cobourg Announces Updates to Transit Services

In City Hall

Council approves new hours of operation and continuation of On-Demand service

Following the successful completion of a one-year trial program, the Town of Cobourg will be continuing with a fully On-Demand Transit service.

Following information gathered through a staff report, Council approved moving forward with the fully On-Demand Transit service at the May 16, 2022, Regular Council meeting. Data collected from the trial period identified an increasing ridership, expanded service areas and an overall positive rider experience due to shorter wait times and more efficient routes. At the May 16, 2022, Regular Council meeting, Council also approved new hours of operation for Conventional and Specialized (WHEELS) services. Starting Monday, June 13th, service will end at 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, rather than 10:00 p.m. This reduction in hours will save approximately $20,000 annually.

About On-Demand Transit
The Town of Cobourg commenced a one-year pilot project on April 19, 2021, to offer residents On-Demand Transit services. This new service included adding virtual transit stops throughout the Town of Cobourg where transit services were never offered with a fixed route service.

On-Demand Transit is a shared-ride, public transit service without a fixed schedule or route. The bus travel is optimized by computer software, and it is based upon rider trip requests on a first come first served basis.

Since the implementation of the On-Demand Transit service, average ride times onboard Cobourg Transit have been reduced, from up to one hour on the fixed route service down to an average of 10-minute trips with the On-Demand service. There is no set schedule with the On-Demand Transit service. Therefore, if there are no rides scheduled, the bus can be parked until there is a request for service, saving fuel, lowering emissions, and reducing wear and tear on the vehicles.

In February 2022, the Town launched a transit user survey through Engage Cobourg to capture feedback from riders on their On-Demand Transit experiences. From the respondents who had utilized the service, 84 percent responded that they would like to see the program continued.

Since launching On-Demand Transit, 39 percent of rides were to or from a new service area, providing an opportunity to reach new users. The goal to increase ridership was difficult to measure given the pilot occurred during the pandemic, however, as of March 25, 2022, ridership levels have started to increase.

With the introduction of On-Demand Transit, the Town of Cobourg has started to utilize three, smaller 8m vehicles rather than one dedicated WHEELS bus and two large conventional buses. Utilizing the three smaller buses ensures all vehicles on the road are wheelchair accessible and can access all streets in Town.

WHEELS Transit
The Town of Cobourg will continue to the offer origin to destination, WHEELS service for eligible riders who cannot use conventional transit. Those who require door to destination service, may apply for a WHEELS application by calling 905-372-4555 or applying online on the Cobourg Transit webpage.

Transit Informational Workshops
Town of Cobourg Engineering staff will be offering informational workshops for user groups across the Town. These workshops are intended to provide information on the new On-Demand Transit service and education on how to book a ride and use the service. Retirement homes, schools, service clubs and any other user groups who are interested in scheduling a presentation can contact the Engineering Department at 905-372-4555.

More Information
For more information on the Cobourg Rides On-Demand Transit Service including how to book, how to pay, and how to use the service please visit the Cobourg Transit webpage or call the Engineering department at 905-372-4555.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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