There are some big changes coming to Lethbridge Transit.

City Council this week approved piloting a new Transit-On-Demand system which combines more direct routes.

The changes are based on a recent city-wide operational review conducted by KPMG, which aims to increase ridership, reduce costs, and make the most efficient use of bus resources.

Along with the Transit-On-Demand system in all areas east of the Oldman River, Council also approved the development of City Link, which is a fast and efficient bus routing system.

Transit-On-Demand will allow for service in areas where fixed transit routes are not financially viable. Using technology to book rides, On-Demand hopes to increase ridership, expand service area coverage and build in flexibility to create efficiencies.

Transit Operations Manager, Scott Grieco says with this system they’ll be able to provide simple, straight conventional routes in the right areas at the right times while giving customers flexibility for bookings trips using on-demand technology. “That’s what Transit-On-Demand and City Link aim to achieve. We will be able to provide simple, straight conventional routes in the right areas at the right times while giving customers flexibility for trip bookings using on demand technology.”

The City of Lethbridge Transit Master Plan in 2017 identified bus service needed to move from a coverage model to more of a ridership model. This would mean straighten routes and having direct connections to areas of employment, schools and amenities.

Implementation of this new system will take up to 12 months to be fully operational.