COVID-19: Lethbridge rolls out ‘on-demand’ transit service

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COVID-19: City of Lethbridge rolls out new ‘on-demand’ transit
In response to mandatory social distancing rules, the City of Lethbridge has begun offering a new “on-demand” transit service for citizens in need of a lift. Emily Olsen reports – Apr 3, 2020

Starting on Wednesday, people in Lethbridge who want to take the bus will have to request one directly.

The city is rolling out an on-demand transit system that will replace its current routing model and transition to rides by reservation for essential travel only.

“In order to keep our operators safe and the general public, this was a very good way to maintain essential distancing,” transit operations manager Scott Greico said.

That essential travel includes trips for groceries, medications, medical appointments and to and from work, for the following days and times:

  • Weekdays 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Sundays and holidays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The city says this change will ensure transit can remain safe and accessible for those who need it most, as well as ensure current transit staff stay employed.

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“It really helps with our staffing in transit because we’ll be able to stagger our operators accordingly. And we’re also using a lot of existing resources in making this whole big change happen.“

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Reservations can be made online or by phone, but they need to be made by 4:30 p.m. the day before and identify the time and bus stop location to be picked up and dropped off.

“Buses won’t be able to pick up more than 14 passengers.”

All riders must enter through the back doors, according to new Alberta Health guidelines.

READ MORE: Alberta bans most visits to hospitals as 5 more people die of COVID-19

“If you are displaying symptoms or are sick, we would encourage all the public to ensure the safety of our staff,” Greico said. “Maintain social distance or stay home.”

Riders with limited mobility can book their ride by calling Access-A-Ride.

The city said the new system can handle the current ridership, but insists riders keep in mind the services are for essential travel only.

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