By John Henry. 22 November 2021. The Star Oshawa.
The Region of Durham prides itself on its ability to look towards the future, not just with strategies and plans, but with actions. We aim to improve and enhance our services through innovation and technology, to make Durham one of the best places to call home.
The Whitby Autonomous Vehicle Electric (WAVE) shuttle is a pilot project that perfectly highlights our desire to improve on existing services through innovation and technology, while leading the way with fresh new ideas. This pilot is the first in Canada — an autonomous shuttle fully integrated into an existing transit service.
The WAVE’s purpose is to help us understand how autonomous technologies can contribute to safe, sustainable and connected transit operations. The WAVE will also help us better understand potential applications of all electric, zero-emission vehicles in public transit.
The six-kilometre shuttle route begins and ends at the Whitby Station, making a loop through the Port Whitby area. There is a trained safety attendant on board at all times. Shuttle passengers are required to wear seatbelts and follow all recommended provincial and local public health COVID-19 safety protocols for public transit. Passengers must be eight years of age or older to accommodate seatbelt requirements.
The WAVE shuttle pilot project is part of broader efforts underway to provide smarter mobility options that are more convenient and responsive to the needs of Durham residents.
Over the past year, we introduced Canada’s largest On Demand micro transit service, ensuring all residents of Durham have access to transit regardless of where they live or work. We have also launched e-Mission Zero, our ambitious fleet transition program to convert our buses to quieter, lower emission options, including the acquisition of our first hybrid and battery electric buses.
And this is just the beginning. More innovation and progress will continue to be made in Durham’s transit sector and beyond. We hope you enjoy the ride.
For more up-to-date information on the latest news from the region, visit durham.ca/newsroom.
John Henry is the regional chair of Durham Region.
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