On Demand

What is On Demand?

On Demand is transit service offered when and where ridership levels are low in Durham Region and scheduled bus routes are not available. On Demand also delivers door-to-door accessible service for customers whose disabilities prevent them from using scheduled service for all or parts of their trip.
Why is On Demand only available in certain areas of Durham Region?
On Demand only operates where and when scheduled service is not operating. If there is a scheduled bus service nearby, the On Demand system will prompt customers to use that service.
Is the service accessible?

When booking a trip through the DRT On Demand App or over the phone, remember to indicate if a wheelchair accessible vehicle is required. As with regular public transit service, the operator does not assist you in entering or exiting the vehicle or from door-to-door. If you require door-to-door accessible transit service, please contact our Customer Service Centre about Specialized Transit.

Fare payment
What is the fare structure for On Demand?
Fares for On Demand are the same as regular DRT fares. The PRESTO E-Ticket app, regular PRESTO cards and exact cash are all acceptable payment options available. 

Are transfers accepted on On Demand?

Yes, transfers are accepted between On Demand and scheduled service. When using your PRESTO card the transfer will be applied automatically. When paying by cash or ticket a paper transfer will be provided
Planning your travel
How do I plan my On Demand trip using my smartphone?

You can plan your whole DRT trip within the DRT On Demand app, including connections to scheduled bus routes.

Download the DRT On Demand app, create an account or log-in, and input your origin and destination. If you are not planning to travel right away, you can press the “Schedule” button to change the date and time of your trip. You will be able to search for the current date and the following date.

If your trip will involve both On Demand and DRT scheduled service, or you are not sure, you can plan your whole trip in the app and you will be provided with directions including where to transfer and when to catch your connecting scheduled bus trips. If your trip will involve multiple On Demand trips (because you need to take On Demand at both ends of the trip), each On Demand trip will need to be booked separately.

If you need help planning a trip, contact a booking agent.

How do I plan my On Demand trip without a smartphone?

Customers without a smartphone can book their trips through the DRT On Demand web portal. The trip planning functions are similar to the smartphone app. Customers can also call a booking agent at 1-866-247-0055.

What trips can be made using On Demand?

If scheduled service buses can be used to complete your trip within a reasonable walking distance, On Demand will not be available. You can use the DRT On Demand app, Transit App, or other trip planners to see whether scheduled bus routes are right for your trip.

If there are no scheduled buses operating near the start or end of your trip, On Demand can be used to get you to an operating bus route.

In rural areas where no scheduled services operate, On Demand can be used to reach nearby communities and other rural destinations. Scheduled buses are available in Uxbridge and Port Perry (connecting to Oshawa and Whitby Station), and in Orono and Newcastle (connecting to Bowmanville).

Can trips be booked for future days?

Trips can only be booked on the day of travel and the day before, with no limit on the number of trips per day.
Are there limits on the number of trips that can be booked?
There is no specific limit on the number of trips you can schedule, but trips cannot overlap or be too close in time. If you need to plan back-to-back trips, you may need to schedule the first trip to be an "arrive by" trip and the second a "depart at" trip.
How long can I expect my trip to take?
On Demand is a shared transportation service, so you may be sharing a vehicle with others. Rides may not be direct because the operator may pick up or drop off other customers along the way. When selecting your trip, the DRT On Demand app will provide a window during which your pickup will take place, reflecting the possibility that other customers travelling in your direction will be booked to the same vehicle or existing bookings will be cancelled.
What is a pickup window?

When you book a trip, you will be given a 20-minute window during which you can expect your pickup.

When a trip is requested, is the trip guaranteed?
A trip is booked when you receive confirmation from the DRT On Demand app, which occurs immediately after selecting the trip. The app will not make a booking if a trip is unavailable. DRT On Demand vehicles are subject to traffic and weather; if your trip is running behind updates will be reflected in the DRT On Demand app.
Can I use Transit App to plan my On Demand trip?

On Demand trips will not be included in trip planning results in Transit App in September 2023. While we work to include On Demand in those search results customers can use the new On Demand and scheduled bus trips, but connections to GO Transit, TTC and other GTHA transit agencies will need to be planned separately in Transit App or with assistance from Customer Service.

How many people can be booked on a single trip?
The service is delivered by multiple vehicle types ranging from sedans to small buses. The maximum group size will depend on which vehicles are operating in the area and what trips are already booked.

How do I schedule my trips if I need to be somewhere by a particular time?

Customers can schedule a trip to “arrive by” a specific time. The pickup time you are given takes into account the possibility that your ride will be a shared ride and other customers’ trips might make yours longer, so we will pick you up earlier than would be required if you were the only customer on the vehicle.
How do I correct trip locations if my address is not being interpreted accurately by the app?
In some rural areas, mapping systems may not precisely pinpoint addresses. An alternative way of indicating your requested pickup or drop-off location is to use a Plus Code, an alphanumeric code that describes precise locations when addresses are not available. Once located these can be saved as favourite locations to your account.

You can find the Plus Code for a location using Google Maps on Android, iOS and your computer. Instructions for finding a Plus Code can be found on the Google Maps Help page.
Travelling on On Demand
Can I walk-up or hail an On Demand vehicle for a trip?
No, you need to book your trip via the DRT On Demand app or via phone with the booking agent directly.
Can I cancel my booking?
Yes, customers are encouraged to cancel their trips with as much notice as possible to maximize the trip-booking options for other customers. Trips can be canceled in the app or by calling a booking agent.
Can I bring items such as groceries, a bike, or luggage?
You can bring luggage or grocery bags on board, but are limited to what you can carry yourself. Bags cannot be left on seats if it interferes with other customers' travel. You are responsible for loading and unloading your own belongings. Currently, we are unable to accommodate bikes on the On Demand service.
Are pets allowed on board?
As with regular transit service, if you require the support of a service animal you are permitted to bring your service animal onto the vehicle and into a transit facility at any time. For the safety of all passengers, service animals must always be securely leashed and under the care and control of the owner. Vehicle operators, authorized transit staff or supervisors may ask you for confirmation of service animal certification. All non-service dogs on board must be in a crate or wearing a muzzle.

If you are booking a trip involving a service animal, please contact a booking agent.
Can I travel with young children who require a car seat?
Customers travelling with small children are advised to book their On Demand trip by calling 1-866-247-0055.
Can I make stops or change my bookings along the way?
No. Drivers cannot make changes to destinations or add stops. If you need to make multiple stops, separate bookings will be required. If you need to change your trip details, please contact a booking agent or rebook your trip through the DRT On Demand app.
Getting in touch
Can I book a trip over the phone?
Yes. Contact a booking agent by dialing 311 (within Regional limits) or 1-866-247-0055. 

Booking agents are available:

Weekdays – 05:00-24:00

Saturday – 07:00-24:00

Sunday – 07:00-22:00

How can I provide feedback?
We welcome your feedback on all aspects of your On Demand trips, including the bus stops where you are picked up or connect with scheduled service, the booking process, and your onboard experience. You can provide your comments, suggestions, and complaints to Customer Service by submitting a Customer Comment Form on our website, or by phone.

You can rate your trips through the app. Your feedback helps us improve the DRT On Demand service.
Can I contact my driver to coordinate pickups or change my trip?
No. Drivers do not accept calls directly from customers. If you need to change your trip details please contact a booking agent or make the adjustments in the DRT On Demand app.
Will I get automated text messages about my trips?
Yes. You will receive an SMS (text) message the evening before your trip reminding you about your trip. You will also receive an SMS ten minutes before your ride. When you book your ride you will not receive a text; if you are booking over the phone be sure to make a note of your trip details. If you are booking through the app you can find your trip details in the app.

If you are not receiving SMS messages, your phone number on file might need to be updated. Contact a booking agent for assistance. If you continue to experience issues, check that the messages are not being sent to your spam folder.
Specialized Transit
I am a Specialized Transit customer, can I book using the new app?
With the new DRT On Demand app, Specialized Transit customers can review and cancel upcoming trips, and make minor edits to trip times in the two days prior to the trip (subject to vehicle availability). Trip bookings must be made over the phone with a booking agent.

Future upgrades to the system will focus on Specialized Transit trip bookings.
I have a recurring trip already scheduled on Specialized Transit, do I have to rebook it?
Specialized Transit customers who have scheduled recurring trips will continue receiving trips at the same time each day. As DRT staff work to optimize schedules and ensure customers reach their destination on time, customers may be contacted to confirm trip details.
Do I need to re-register to use Specialized Transit or the new app or web portal?
No. Customers’ eligibility for Specialized Transit will not change and registered customers will be transitioned to the new system automatically. To use the mobile app your account needs to be registered with a phone that can receive text messages. If your account information needs to be updated please contact a booking agent. If you do not have a phone that can receive text messages, a booking agent can assist you over the phone to access the web portal.
New mobile application - September 2023
I already have the mobile application, why do I need to download a new one?
A new application has been created to allow all customers to book On Demand trips using the same platform. The current application will be removed from the app store after September 4. For travel before 11 a.m. on September 3, continue booking trips through the existing app or by calling a booking agent. For travel after 11 a.m. on September 3, book trips through the new app, the web portal or by calling a booking agent
Will the new application have my information?
No, if you have been using the On Demand app, you will need to re-register when you download the new application, and customers will need to re-create their favourite locations. Customers who have been registered with Specialized Transit do not need to go through the registration and eligibility process again.
How do I setup the new app?
After downloading and installing the new app, you will be prompted for your phone number. You will receive a text message with a login code. If you do not receive the text message with your temporary password, check your spam folder. 

If you do not have a phone that can receive text messages you will need to create your account over the phone with a booking agent, and login using your email address and the temporary password provided. 

The trip results presented in the On Demand app are not what I am accustomed to. Is something wrong?

Changes to scheduled service impact the availability of On Demand service. We welcome your feedback on the trip plans presented in the DRT On Demand app. If you are trying to make a trip that cannot be completed via scheduled service and are not getting any results, please contact Customer Service by submitting a Customer Comment Form on our website or by phone.
How do I know whether I have the new app or the old one?

The apps are available on the Play Store (for Android) and the App Store (for iOS). You may find our old app there, until it is removed in early September. The developer's name (shown immediately below the app’s name) should be “Via Transportation” on the up-to-date version of the app.

Where can I find my pickup and dropoff locations?

Your scheduled pickup location will be shown during the booking process, so you know where to expect your ride. The full ride details, including your pickup and dropoff locations, are shown in the DRT On Demand app 30 minutes before your scheduled pickup.