‘A little bit of Island Uber’: On-demand transit coming to Bowen Island

Click to play video: 'TransLink announces “transit-hailing” on Bowen' TransLink announces “transit-hailing” on Bowen
WATCH: TransLink announces "transit-hailing" on Bowen – Jul 8, 2019

It’s not quite Lyft or Uber, but transit users on Bowen Island will soon have on-demand transit service.

The mobile app TapRide will allow users to set pick-up and drop-off locations, estimate trip times and track bus locations. In addition to the app, there will also be an online and phone-in booking system.

The on-demand service will consist of two shuttles that will complement existing bus services on the island.

READ MORE: B.C. government to start taking ride-hailing applications in September, key rules still unknown

Bowen Island Mayor Gary Ander said he is very enthusiastic about the pilot program.

“It will be a little bit of Island Uber for us,” he said.

“A lot of parts of the island are very isolated that aren’t on the main route now, so this is going to fill in a lot of those little holes.”

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The pilot will run from July 15 to September 15 and will run from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

The pilot project will be closely reviewed, according to TransLink. If successful, a similar model could be used in other areas of Metro Vancouver.

READ MORE: North Shore to SkyTrain express bus service could hit the road next year

“In our ideal universe, you’ll be able to optimize all of your trips from a common app, whether it’s ride-hailing, a fixed route bus, or a bike share to complete your entire journey so you don’t necessarily have to drive yourself,” TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said. “That is the way to enhance overall mobility in the region.”

— With files from Catherine Urquhart

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