Okotoks On-Demand Transit Awarded for Exceptional Service

Okotoks On-Demand Transit Awarded for Exceptional Service

The Okotoks On-Demand Transit program was recently announced as the winner of the Minister’s Award for Municipal Excellence for Service Delivery Innovation by the Government of Alberta.

This award is given to a municipality that provides “an innovative initiative that improves the delivery process or reduces the cost of a program or service through a more efficient process or through the use of an alternate delivery approach”.

The curb-to-curb program launched in December 2019, providing service coverage and frequency that would not be possible through implementing a fixed-route public transit system. Okotoks On-Demand Transit, managed by the Town of Okotoks and operated by SOUTHLAND Transportation with RideCo as the technology partner, has surpassed all performance expectations, contributing to the agency’s many achievements that have resulted in this exciting award.

To learn more about Okotoks’ award-winning service, please read the Town of Okotoks press release.


We are immensely proud of the continuing success that the Okotoks On-Demand Transit service is experiencing – this success is a direct result of our strong partnership and passionate employees who have worked tirelessly to provide exceptional customer service to the residents of the Town of Okotoks! Receiving this award further solidifies our ongoing commitment to being the transportation Service Provider of Choice.


Source: Rideco.ca, Okotoks On-Demand Transit Awarded for Exceptional Service

PWT’s Propane Fleet Wins Green Bus Fleet Award

PWT’s Propane Fleet Wins Green Bus Fleet Award

We are excited to announce that PWT Student Division’s propane fleet has been selected as the winner of the 2021 Green Bus Summit Fleet Award in the Large Private Fleet category!

Winners were determined in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and announced during the School Transportation New’s live podcast on Earth Day, April 22 to close the Green Bus Summit.

Below is a clip from the awards portion of the podcast, you can watch the full version here:

School Transportation News issued a call for nominations for the Green Bus Summit Fleet Awards, seeking school districts and bus contractors that are stepping into the future of clean fuel and energy for their fleets. Then selecting the winners, the following aspects were considered:

  • Length of time project has been underway
  • NOx reduction/pollution reduction (if specific numbers are known)
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Community impact
  • Student/driver health
  • Future outlook

Four awards were given in the following categories:

  • Small school district (under 100 buses)
  • Large school district (over 100 buses)
  • Small bus contractor (under 100 buses)
  • Large bus contractor (over 100 buses)

Our Student Transportation division has been utilizing propane as an alternative to diesel fuel since the 1980’s, and we currently own and operate the largest propane fleet in Canada. Not only are we proud to receive this recognition, but we are also proud to be the only Canadian company nominated for this multi-national award.

100% Electric Zero-emissions Motor Coach Arrives in Fort McMurray

100% Electric Zero-emissions Motor Coach Arrives in Fort McMurray

J4500e 2021 hIGrES2

Diversified Transportation, in partnership with Motor Coach Industries (“MCI”), a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (“NFI”), and Fort McMurray First Nation Group of Companies, is demonstrating a 100% battery-electric motorcoach in varying settings in the Wood Buffalo region from March 2nd through March 14th, 2021.

This is the first time a zero-emissions motorcoach – a 45-foot, battery-electric MCI J4500e CHARGE™ – will be on the road in Alberta and the first time in Canada that it will be utilized for employee site transportation.

The 56 passenger MCI J4500e CHARGE™ leverages electric vehicle technology from New Flyer, another NFI subsidiary, and is equipped with 544 kWh of heavy-duty lithium-ion batteries, delivering a range of up to 320 kilometres on a single charge.

Diversified Transportation has been providing safe and sustainable employee transportation services to oil, gas, energy, and construction companies in Northern Alberta since 1964. With facilities in both Edmonton and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Diversified carries approximately five million passengers per year via their fleet of modern highway motorcoaches, site service vehicles, and shuttles – all uniquely equipped to handle the extreme northern weather conditions.

“Diversified Transportation is excited to partner with MCI to provide our customers and passengers with the opportunity to experience the energy of a 100% electric, zero-emissions motorcoach. Compared to cars, trains, and airplanes, motorcoach travel is the most sustainable form of passenger transportation and with the introduction of a 100% battery-electric option we can further reduce our carbon footprint,” said Tim Lindsay, Vice President of Diversified Transportation.

“The MCI team, and those across the entire NFI family of brands, remains committed to sustainable mobility. Our zero-emissions J4500e motorcoach embodies this commitment by delivering clean, safe, quiet transportation powered with battery-electric technology. Together, NFI offers the widest range of EV buses and coaches in North America, and leads the industry in unmatched innovation, making motorcoaches among the safest form of any transportation,” said Brent Maitland, MCI’s Vice President of Private Sector Sales and Marketing.



  • A high-torque Siemens 3320 ft-lbs electric drive system designed to handle long-distance applications and highway speeds. Top speed of 116 km/hr with over 400 horsepower.
  • Energy-dense nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) lithium-ion batteries with high-power plug-in charging from empty to full in under 4 hours.
  • A range of over 320KM at average road speeds and conditions. Regenerative braking captures kinetic energy to recharge the battery system, making for highly efficient driving in start-stop traffic conditions.
  • The J4500e is built on decades of electric drive technology developed by both MCI and New Flyer and implemented on MCI’s Reliability Driven coach structure.
  • With purpose-built batteries for heavy-duty vehicles, the J4500e is built in North America, for North America’s rugged environment.


Q: How does the operating cost of an electric coach compare to a diesel coach?
A: This largely depends on the cost of electricity, which may vary greatly by location and time of day. Electric coaches are typically 3 times more efficient than diesel coaches and they may require up to 50% less maintenance.

Q: Can I convert my existing MCI diesel coach to electric?
A: MCI has converted several existing diesel coaches into electric models, but at this point in time the process isn’t commercially or economically feasible for operators.

Q: What’s the empty weight of an electric coach vs a diesel coach?
A: Depending on battery capacity/coach model, curb weight is around 6,500 lbs heavier than a diesel coach.

Q: What type of cabin heating system does an electric coach use?
A: MCI’s electric coach models typically use 40 kW resistive electric heaters.

Q: How does battery capacity equate to range?
A: Range will vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including ambient temperature (HVAC use), the number of passengers (weight), and grade (regenerative braking ability). Under “normal” operating conditions, general efficiency of 2 kWh per mile can be expected, with this increasing to 2.25 kWh per mile for routes with higher HVAC demand.

Q: How many chargers are required per coach?
A: This depends on the deployment schedule. If coaches are all charged overnight, then one charger for two coaches makes the most sense (if the available charging time is 8+ hours). If dwell time is shorter, one charger per coach may be required. If the fleet schedule is very staggered, then a custom solution can be developed to optimize the number of chargers required.

Q: What’s the impact of ambient temperature on vehicle range and battery performance?
A: All MCI coaches incorporate a Battery Thermal Management System (BTMS) which helps keep the batteries at an optimal temperature, thereby maximizing performance and life expectancy.

Canada’s Largest On Demand Transit Service Set to Launch in Edmonton

Canada’s Largest On Demand Transit Service Set to Launch in Edmonton

EDMONTON, AB, September 23, 2020 – To ensure all Edmontonians can connect to the City’s new bus network next year, Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) has selected Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) and Via to launch Canada’s largest On-Demand Transit service. A total of 57 shuttle buses will conveniently and safely connect residents in select neighbourhoods with a nearby transit hub. These accessible shuttles do not follow fixed routes and only operate upon request. The On-Demand Transit service, which will add a new layer to ETS’ integrated transit network, is set to launch in mid-2021 and will be part of a two-year pilot project.

Edmontonians will be able to book a ride directly from their smartphone using an app, a telephone, or a website. A shuttle bus with a professionally trained driver will take customers from designated stops in their neighbourhood to nearby transit hubs. This shared ride service provides quick and efficient trips by using Via’s advanced trip planning software to match multiple passengers headed in the same direction.

“As Edmonton continues to grow and evolve, we are looking for creative transportation solutions to keep our residents connected. That’s one of the reasons we are excited to work with PWT and Via as partners to provide On-Demand Transit given their strong experience operating on-demand service in Western Canada and applying their technology globally,” said Eddie Robar, Branch Manager of Edmonton Transit Service.

“We are immensely proud to partner with Pacific Western and the City of Edmonton to debut Canada’s largest on-demand public transportation network, connecting more residents to transit than ever before,” said Via CEO and co-founder Daniel Ramot. “Via’s technology provides a flexible mobility solution that currently enables more than 150 partners around the globe to transform the way people move, using technology to usher in the next generation of mass transit. The launch of Edmonton’s new on-demand service represents a milestone in Canada, and an opportunity for innovation-forward cities and transit agencies to follow.”

PWT has been leading the Canadian new mobility market since 2017 by offering solutions in the realm of On-Demand Transit, Autonomous Vehicles, and Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. With its flourishing On-Demand Transit systems operating in Calgary, Cochrane, and Okotoks, PWT has the proven operational expertise and resources to successfully manage On-Demand Transit service in Edmonton.

“We take great pride and responsibility in being the leading operator of On-Demand Transportation in Canada and are excited to work with the transit industry trail-blazers at the City of Edmonton,” said Greg Nichols, Vice-President of Transit with Pacific Western Transportation.

Edmonton’s On-Demand Transit service will operate during peak and off-peak hours in approximately 30 communities and provide service to 18 large seniors residences. These sites, which were selected based on a number of factors, will be provided a flexible connection to the new bus network that is rolling out in mid-2021. Edmonton is one of many municipalities that are choosing on-demand transit options for neighbourhoods where it is a better fit than conventional bus service.


For more information visit:




Media Contact:

Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) 
Pamela Deadmarsh, Director, Communications Centre of Excellence Phone: 403-999-2604


About Edmonton Transit Service (ETS): Transit service in Edmonton began operation in 1908 and today it’s a fully integrated, progressive, easy-to-use public transit system that regularly provides over 80 million rides each year. Transit plays an essential role in city building so ETS is modernizing its system to provide safe, fast, convenient and reliable service to more Edmontonians. The new On Demand Transit service will complement the redesigned bus network rolling out in 2021 and the expanding LRT service. For more information, visit edmonton.ca/transit.

About Pacific Western Transportation (PWT): Founded in 1957, the Pacific Western Group of Companies is the largest privately-owned people transportation company in Canada. Today, PWT offers comprehensive transportation services and solutions across the country, with over 5,600 employees and numerous business locations. As an operator and integrator of mobility, the Pacific Western Group of Companies is proud to provide multiple innovative new mobility solutions that connect people and communities: Autonomous Vehicles, On Demand Transit, and Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). Our team of innovators and industry leaders are passionate about getting people Safely Home and giving back to the communities we serve. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships, trust and transparency, and the PWT passion in our commitment to customer service and mobility solutions that we are so well known for. For more information visit pwt.ca.

About Via: Via is reimagining how the world moves, from a system of rigid routes and schedules to fully dynamic networks. Via’s mobile app connects multiple passengers who are headed the same way, allowing riders to seamlessly share a premium vehicle. First launched in New York City in 2013, Via’s technology is now deployed globally, including in Europe as ViaVan. Today Via and ViaVan partner with over 150 public transportation agencies, private transit operators, taxi fleets, private companies, school districts, and universities, seamlessly integrating with transportation infrastructure to power cutting-edge mobility. For more information, visit ridewithvia.com.

Pacific Western Transportation’s Response to COVID-19

Pacific Western Transportation’s Response to COVID-19

The purpose of this announcement is to provide you with information regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and how the Pacific Western Group of Companies are responding.

The health and safety of our passengers, customers, and employees remains our top priority.

We have initiated several proactive measures to ensure we navigate the evolving COVID-19 situation, while continuing to support our employees and serve our passengers and customers.

For the last few weeks, we have been closely monitoring and preparing for all the possible scenarios and ensuring we have the right plans and resources in place.

As a part of our daily routine cleaning, all vehicles and offices are cleaned at regular intervals.  Recently, we have enhanced our sanitation efforts by increasing the frequency, method, and materials used to complete this work.

PWT is proactively executing several internal initiatives to ensure we are prepared for the possibility of widespread illness. These initiatives include, but are not limited to:

  • Execution of a robust communications plan
  • Travel and health related protocols
  • Operational contingency planning and testing

Today and always, we remain committed to doing what’s best for our employees, passengers, and customers. We are working together as a group of companies to take care of one another and continue to make decisions through the lens of our Core Values and Strategic Goals.

PWT remains committed to our Safely Home promise and hope that the actions we are taking give you confidence in our dedication to the health and safety of our passengers, customers, and employees.

To view brand-specific responses to COVID-19, please visit:

Diversified Transportation Ltd

SOUTHLAND Transportation

Cold Lake Bus Lines

Pacific Western Toronto

Montgomery Bus Lines

Standard Bus BC & YK

Century Transportation

McCluskey Transportation

Prairie Bus Lines

On-It Regional Transit

Diversified Transportation BC Operations

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