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HomeNewsTransit project could cut down on empty buses running at off-peak times

Transit project could cut down on empty buses running at off-peak times

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In the near future — on selected routes — a North Bay transit bus could be summoned to your location on demand.

North Bay Transit is in the planning stages of implementing a Transit Dynamic Dispatching pilot project with the objective of reducing the overall consumption of fuel by the transit system while retaining the overall service level.

The pilot project will initially run in the evenings and on weekends when transit use is the least. Based on its results, the pilot will be integrated into the transit system. The City of North Bay has submitted an application for ICIP (Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program) funding and is targeting to implement the initiative this year.

The pilot piqued the interest of Councillor Mike Anthony when it was presented in a report to council at a recent meeting.

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“Where this could help is with those routes that we have trouble justifying or have very near-empty buses,” said Anthony.

Anthony added the green benefits reduce transit’s carbon footprint by only visiting infrequently used stops when needed.

“Instead of running a near-empty or empty bus 10 or 15 times a night, we don’t run the buses unless somebody uses their mobile phone,” to alert North Bay Transit to the request for service.

Councillor Chris Mayne, who heads council’s infrastructure and operations committee, said the transit-on-demand initiative fits feedback received at the Climate and Energy Conservation Open House hosted by the City last fall.

There is a great deal of interest in “what we’re doing as a community and what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint, to reduce our use of fossil fuels,” said Mayne. “What can we replace them with? What can we do to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere?”

“Some of the smaller things we are looking at include banning the use of one-time plastics in the city and trying to improve our greening projects because anything we plant in the ways of trees absorbs the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere,” said Mayne.

“There are a lot of things we are doing already but the idea is to continue them, expand them, and keep our ears open for new ideas as they come forward, and as are affordable,” Mayne added.

Councillor Scott Robertson has been advocating for council to adopt a climate action plan for some time. He said the sheer interest in the climate meeting shows environmental stewardship is not a fringe activity. It was noted by several around the council table the climate meeting was better attended than any budget meeting.

“The fact that we had well over a hundred people attend and give their feedback show a lot and really should demonstrate to this council and to senior management this is a priority in our community.”

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