BLACKFALDS – The Regional transit service between the Town of Blackfalds, the City of Red Deer and the City of Lacombe’s public transit service will cease operations on Aug. 28 and will be replaced by the new Blackfalds On-demand Local Transit Service (BOLT).
During the regular council meeting on July 14, Ccouncil approved Prairie Bus Lines Ltd., a local carrier service, to provide transportation services for the Town of Blackfalds starting on Aug. 31.
“With the ending of the traditional BOLT routes with the City of Lacombe, Blackfalds had to explore different transit service delivery options for our present and future riders,” said Preston Weran, Director of Infrastructure and Property Services.
“Council chose to move forward with an app-driven On-demand Transit system starting at the end of August. This two-year pilot program allows us to deliver a more efficient and flexible transit rideshare service model, customized to suit Blackfalds’ businesses, residents, and visitors alike. By working collaboratively, our new transit service can grow gradually as demand increases.”
To access the new on-demand system, users can navigate the website, mobile app, or call BOLT directly to request a bus at a specific stop at a specific day and time (during service hours).
Buses can be requested up to two weeks in advance, or within minutes. BOLT is powered by the Pick-Up On-Demand App which is available for download on Google Play and the Apple Store.
“Council is excited that a new transit system will be operating in our community under a well-loved name,” said Mayor Poole. “It will have the convenience of regular opportunities to tie into the Red Deer Transit system and in addition, the on-demand service will provide an opportunity for our users to benefit from public transit within our community as well.
“I would like to thank the Red Deer City Council and transit staff for their contribution to the retired BOLT service and I look forward to future opportunities to grow our system into a true regional system. Be sure to book your ride with Pick-Up On-Demand App and BOLT will be happy to pick you up.”
BOLT will feature one seven-passenger van with one wheelchair accessible seat and lift. Prairie Bus Lines will provide the drivers, bookings, and a second vehicle, should one be needed as well as monitor the call centre for BOLT.
From Aug. 31 until the end of September, BOLT will be available to riders free of charge, with appointment bookings, to ensure the technology is operating at the highest level of efficiency. Starting Oct. 1, regular paid service will begin.
More information including a map of virtual stops, rates, hours, and scheduling has been posted to our website here: www.blackfalds.com/BOLT
–Town of Blackfalds photo