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Strathcona County Transit adopts on-demand microtransit service with Spare

Getting around Sherwood Park, Alberta is now much more convenient! Strathcona County Transit launched on-demand transit to its riders on June 26th, 2022, improving rider accessibility, wait times, and travel times.

Jenna Dhanani

As of Sunday, Strathcona County Transit riders are able to book on-demand trips thanks to its new microtransit service.

Prior to partnering with Spare, Strathcona County Transit operated as a solely fixed-route service. The launch of on-demand service is strongly supported by the Sherwood Park community. When developing the Transit Master Plan for his term, Mayor Rod Frank found that when he asked residents for feedback about introducing an on-demand transit service, “it was one of the most supported things in the master plan — more than 80 per cent of participants supported it.”

The new on-demand service will operate in the hamlet of Sherwood Park, adjacent to the city of Edmonton. Moving to an on-demand model allows the transit agency to provide service to a wider region and cut travel times down by nearly an hour.  According to the mayor, this shift is also anticipated to save the county nearly $450,000 per year in operating costs.

Riders in the Sherwood Park area will no longer have to wait for a bus to pass by every hour. Instead, they can book their trips in advance and travel from any bus stop, without needing to transfer. Since stops are only made where requested, riders will reach their destinations much faster as well.The ease and convenience of the new service is expected to increase the agency’s ridership. If this pilot sees success, Strathcona County Transit may implement an on-demand model beyond Sherwood Park and into more rural communities.

By partnering with Spare, Strathcona County Transit riders will reach their destinations faster and more seamlessly for the same price as a fixed-route trip!