CASE STUDY | November 2021

Cobourg Rides

On Demand Bus Service


Town of Cobourg, ON


Town boundaries of Cobourg


April 2021


To pilot an alternative model of transit for residents and visitors of Cobourg – a service that is optimized for sustainability, cost, and to grow ridership.

Project Overview

Cobourg is a lakeside township of Lake Ontario. The Town operated its conventional public transit service on a one-hour fixed loop transit system for many years. They also offered an origin to destination service called WHEELS for eligible riders who cannot use conventional transit. The Town was investigating a way to optimize its existing transit offerings. The solution? Cobourg Rides On Demand Bus Service.

The Town of Cobourg partnered with  Century Transportation, a Division of the Pacific Western Group of Companies, as its service provider to convert their existing conventional service model to a demand-responsive one.

The Solution

Cobourg Rides launched on April 19, 2021. This is an on-demand transit service for the town of Cobourg, offering convenient pick-up locations and dynamic routing. 

For the town of Cobourg converting the existing transit system to an on-demand model was the right-sized solution. Riders can book, pay, track, and rate their rides from a computer, tablet, or smartphone using the Pick-Up On Demand app on Google Play, the App Store, or via phone. Bookings can be made immediately and up to one week in advance.

The service was deployed in two distinct phases to ensure the successful adoption of this new mode of operation. The first phase (Soft Launch) began on April 19, 2021, providing WHEELS transit members with access to on demand transit for all hours of operations and all riders the option of utilizing the on demand service in the evenings and on weekends. Riders could also continue to utilize the Conventional Transit during the weekdays until 5 p.m. The second phase (Full Launch) began on June 14 and had both the WHEELS and Conventional Transit riders switched to the on demand operation model.



Shared Rides


On Time Performance


Average Customer Rating

The Cobourg Rides on-demand transit service has substantially reduced wait and travel times for the Town – all of this while leaving a reduced carbon footprint in their Town. Users of the system book the majority of their trips on the same day, making the most of the on-demand service’s flexibility.

Initial feedback from the community has allowed Cobourg to refine its wait times and accessibility during busier times. Additionally, service has expanded to areas that previously had no service coverage by adding virtual stops, and despite COVID-19 restrictions, ridership is in steady and increased demand.


Residents and visitors of Cobourg, including youth, seniors, those with disabilities, as well as residents who prefer not to use a personal vehicle


Utilizing the Town of Cobourg’s existing fleet of transit and WHEELS buses.

This demand-based transit service will provide our community with cost-effective travel options and improved passenger experience in an effort to make parts of Cobourg more accessible.”

– Brian Darling

Cobourg Councilor

Connect with us

For more information about our on demand services, email us: