Port Colborne on Lake Erie in Ontario is set to expand its bus service on Saturday, using an “Uber-style” ride-hailing service, allowing riders to book rides with an app on their smartphones.
According to Niagara This Week, the city will look into expanding bus service in early 2020, with a pilot project to test on-demand ride-hailing, in what sounds like a similar service being used in Belleville:
“It has long been a wish of mine to run a pilot program for Saturday buses,” said Ward 3 Coun. Gary Bruno, the city’s representative on the transit advisory committee. The pilot program is expected to launch in May 2020 and run until December. The proposal is to run buses for a six-hour block on Saturdays during the pilot. The city had hoped to add Saturday buses in 2019, but an application for a grant to pay for that program was declined.
The existing service has Port Colborne pay Welland Transit to run a bus through the city. But the Niagara Region is set to take over operations of the bus service, freeing up funds for Port Colborne to divert resources to expand existing service. The decision was made by the city’s transit advisory committee to dedicate funds for bus service on Saturdays.
“There is a proposal coming up for another region initiative, which is, for lack of a better word, like an Uber bus service,” said Bruno.
The proposed service would fill gaps in bus service in the city, while also provide transportation “for the off-time frames” in the region, said chief administrative officer, Peter Senese.
City hall will meet with Niagara Region representatives on November 25, with the latter to present more details about the Uber-like ride-hailing service in south Niagara.