• Trevor Greenway

Transcollines On-Demand a win, both ways

It felt a bit strange standing on a country road in front of a random house, dolled up and ready to go out for a night on the town.


But when the red Taxi Loyal showed up – right on time – it was worth the three-minute walk on a dusty gravel road in my and my partner’s nicest threads.


It was our first time taking the Transcollines On-Demand service, and the ride was every bit as exciting as we thought it would be. Never have I been so thrilled for a taxi ride through the Hills.


From booking to drop off, the process was as easy as calling for a cab, but the price of our trip from Masham to Wakefield and back was far from the $100-plus I would have spent. The new Transcollines On-Demand is free on weekends until the end of the year, so it only cost me a few bucks in tips.


We were heading to the Wakefield Out Loud show at the Wakefield community centre Nov. 5, and it took about two minutes online to book a ride to and from the event. We simply picked our time, put in our destination and voila — our ride was booked. The car wouldn’t pick us up directly at our house, but there are hundreds of stops marked throughout the Hills; residents may have to walk five minutes at most to their pick-up spot. And what’s wrong with a pleasant stroll through the countryside?


Aside from not having to worry about a safe ride home at the end of the night, what was most exciting about the ride was that it made us feel like we were going for a real night out in the big city. As we got dolled up, we kept our eye on the time to make it to our pick-up point.


And when we jumped into the cab, the driver said, “So, you’re heading to downtown Wakefield?”


To which we replied, “Hell yeah, we are!”


What was so exciting about this trip were the possibilities we thought of as we cruised along Hwy 366 toward Wakefield: revellers will be excited for a safe ride home if they’re ready to leave the party by midnight; students can head to libraries in Chelsea, Wakefield or Cantley, study and take a ride back home at a decent hour; service-industry workers can take that late shift at the Chelsea Pub and still have options to get home. Elderly residents with mobility issues who need to make appointments at the hospital or clinic can easily get around the Hills with this new service.


As we were waiting for our ride to pick us up at the end of the night, it seemed that we were the envy of Wakefield. The smoking crowd outside the community centre was blown away to learn that we had a cab booked – for free – to take us from Wakefield to Masham on a vibrant Saturday night.


But for this service to work, we need to use it. Transcollines is looking at the numbers, and they’re listening to users’ feedback to tailor the service to the region's specific needs. Let’s show Transcollines just how much we need this service.


Drunk driving is one of the biggest issues on Hills roads — cops have already arrested 63 drunk drivers since Sept. 23. The number is on par with last year’s stats, which saw cops catch 83 drunk drivers.


If we want to bring this number closer to 0, it starts with Transcollines.


If we don’t use it, we’ll lose it.


Staffers at Transcollines said when paid routes come into effect into the new year, a basic trip would cost around $4. The organization stressed that, for the service to work, it needs to be significantly cheaper than booking a taxi.


Book now at transcollines.ca.