On-demand bus service

Details about how to book a ride, pickup/drop off locations and other information will be available in April. Information will be shared on this webpage, on social media, and communication at our transit facilities. In the meantime, we encourage you to sign up to our email list to receive updates.

Guelph Transit is introducing on-demand bus service on May 2 to complement its conventional bus service. The on-demand service moves the City closer to meeting its goals set out in the Strategic Plan priority of Navigating our Future by improving connectivity of the whole transportation system.

On-demand differs from conventional transit in that there is no fixed route or schedule, and buses are dispatched on a request-basis. This means more flexibility for you as you can book a ride when it’s most convenient for you.

You can book a ride using the free app (available late April), by phone or from the website, and the bus will pick up and drop off at pre-set locations throughout the city.

On-demand service can be requested from anywhere in the city and will replace the Community Bus (north and south loops) and route 16 Southgate. The service will also extend into the Hanlon Creek Business Park, located west of the Hanlon Expressway in the city’s south end.

Service to the two business parks is the same as conventional service hours and on-demand service to other areas in the city is Monday to Saturday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. There is no additional cost to take an on-demand trip; use regular transit fare for the ride.

Frequently asked questions

On-demand will service any area within Guelph city limits, using Guelph Transit’s smaller buses.

On-demand service to the Hanlon Business Park and Hanlon Creek Business Park will use conventional-size buses. Customers travelling to the two business parks will catch the on-demand bus at the existing bus stop at Clair Road and Gordon Street. Return trips will also stop at this location, which is serviced by the 99 Mainline every 15 minutes, Monday through Saturday.

Wait times will vary depending on the time of day you’d like to book your trip. Once you book a trip, the app will give you a pickup window and arrive by time for your destination. You should be at the bus stop at the start of your pickup window time.

If you have a smartphone with the app, you’ll be able to see where the bus is and when it is expected at the pickup location. You’ll also get a text message when your ride is close. This means less waiting in the cold winter. However, please don’t be late. The maximum time the vehicle will wait for you at your requested pickup location is one minute.

You can book a trip up to seven days in advance.

On-demand provides similar or better flexibility/spontaneity than the current fixed-route service does. So yes, you can book a last-minute ride. Once you book a trip, the app will give you a pickup window and arrive by time for your destination. You should be at the bus stop at the start of your pickup window time.

We know that not all of our customers have access to a smartphone, and so we will have an option for them to book a trip through a web portal or by calling our dispatch office. Our customer service staff will be able to book the trip and let our customers know where and when to wait for their ride.

Yes, when booking a ride, indicate the number of riders travelling with you, when boarding, only the person who has booked the trip will be confirmed by the driver, who will see the count in your party. Your entire party can board.

You can book trips:

  • Anywhere within Guelph city limits
    Monday to Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Hanlon Business Park and Hanlon Creek Business Park
    Monday to Saturday, 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

The on-demand app will allow you to see exactly where your ride is while you wait, so you don’t have to worry that it has already come and gone or that it isn’t coming at all. Trips are designed by the app to take the fastest/best route for each trip or combination of trips. If there is a delay, you’ll get an update so you always know what to expect.

On-demand will service any area within Guelph city limits, using Guelph Transit’s smaller buses. This means that rides may be shared with Mobility Services customers.

Due to expected volume, on-demand service to the Hanlon Business Park and Hanlon Creek Business Park will use conventional-size buses.

Customers are required to wear a mask or face covering when riding on the bus. This means the maximum number of people on our buses is restricted to the number of seats available. With on-demand, we will know in advance how many buses we need to send at any given time and customers will not be left behind due to a bus being over capacity.

Guelph Transit’s smaller buses allow for up to 14 customers at one time and our conventional-size buses allow for up to 70 customers.

Yes, they can. Regular fares apply for youth taking transit.

This depends on your origin and destination. If you’re travelling within the transit network, no you won’t need to transfer. However, if you are using on-demand service to and from the Hanlon Business Park or Hanlon Creek Business Park you will need to transfer at the bus stop located at Clair Road and Gordon Street. The route 99 Mainline stops there every 15 minutes.

If there are multiple people waiting at a stop, there may be more than one bus on its way to that stop. To ensure customers get on the right bus, the app will let customers know which vehicle to board, and the bus operator will confirm customers as they board. We don’t anticipate our customers will intentionally board the wrong bus, as the trip will be customized to their destination. If they board the wrong bus, they’ll be taken somewhere else.

Every bus has a vehicle number that you can see from the outside of the vehicle—the number is located above the door and at the rear of the bus. The on-demand app will let you know which bus is coming for you and on the text message that is sent to you.

The one person will be picked up and brought to their destination.

The route for each trip is planned based on the needs of customers on that bus. The on-demand bus will take the most direct, fastest route to the destination. You may see on-demand buses on smaller, residential streets, if they are the best route.

There is no additional cost for you to take an on-demand trip; your regular transit fare is valid fare.

To improve service for everyone, we ask customers to:

  • Plan your trips well and allocate adequate time
  • If you can’t make a trip, make sure you cancel it versus keeping the trip and not showing up
  • If you must cancel a trip, aim to cancel at least 60 minutes before your scheduled pickup time

You can always call 519-822-1811 if you have questions about the service. Our friendly staff can help guide you through the process of booking a ride or downloading the app.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re experiencing lower than normal ridership levels on all of our routes, which contributes to reduced transit revenue.

We’ve already deferred the route 19 expansion as part of cost mitigation measures and we can further reduce our operating costs by introducing on-demand bus service, instead of conventional bus service, to low volume or new areas that easily connect to our current transit network.

This new on-demand (micro transit) service, which addresses service to the Hanlon Creek Business Park and other areas of the city with low ridership, is funded within Guelph Transit’s current operating budget approved by Council on December 2 as part of the City’s 2021 budget.