Durham Region Receives Municipal Innovation Award for OnDemand Transit Service

Ottawa, Ontario, August 16, 2022 – The Peter J. Marshall Innovation Award Jury presented its highest award to Durham Region for its On Demand transit service. Durham’s On Demand transit system ensures that all residents have access to public transit, regardless of where they live in the region. The Plaque Award was presented to Regional CAO Elaine Baxter-Trahair and Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster on the main stage of the 2022 AMO Conference in Ottawa.

Durham’s On Demand transit service provides public transit in low-demand areas where regularly scheduled bus service isn’t cost effective. Customers book their trip in real time through the app or by calling a booking agent, with pick up at the nearest bus stop in urban areas and home, business, or school in rural areas.

In 2020, when the pandemic forced people to stay at home and transit ridership fell across the province, Durham Region Transit (DRT) recognized that scaling up the On Demand service more quickly would help residents and essential workers get to their jobs while mitigating operational pressures.

The cost-effectiveness of On Demand service has enabled DRT to further invest in scheduled service in main corridors, increasing frequency and the convenience of public transit, and to provide 24/7 service for residents who need public transit overnight to get to and from work. It helps support growth of public transit ridership and access to transit services region-wide.

“As one of the largest regional transit systems in the province—serving 2,523 square kilometres—innovation and forward thinking are key to operations at Durham Region Transit. We are proud to offer On Demand—a personal and flexible service delivery model that provides access to transit, seven days a week, regardless of location,” said Elaine Baxter-Trahair, Chief Administrative Officer for The Regional Municipality of Durham. “We are truly honoured to be named a recipient of this award. It’s a reflection of our commitment to customer-centric operations; designing services that meet the specific needs of our residents.”

The P.J. Marshall Award is an annual competitive process to acknowledge municipalities who have had creativity and success in implementing new, innovative ways of serving the public. It is sponsored by AMO, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks & Treasurers of Ontario, the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships, the Municipal Finance Officers’ Association, and the Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association.

In addition to Durham Region, two other municipalities received plaque awards: the Region of York for the innovative use of microtunnelling technology to improve wastewater infrastructure while reducing disruption to people and the environment; and Prince Edward County for a taking a proactive approach to financing infrastructure and service expansion to support new housing development.

AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario’s 444 municipal governments. AMO supports strong and effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION: Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, 416-729-5425, lambie@redbrick.ca

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