Road visible through windshield, drivers hand on steering wheel

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Innovative ride share pilot project in the works for Renfrew County

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Posted on Thursday April 8, 2021


PEMBROKE - The County of Renfrew is collaborating with RideShark Corporation from Ottawa, to develop the world’s first Winterized On-Demand Community Transit Network focused on improved mobility solutions for rural areas.

The county is currently working with RideShark on the development and deployment of a ride share system to serve commuters, employers, residents, students, youth, and visitors to the county and facilitate travel around the region and beyond.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that service has been delayed until travel and gathering restrictions have been eased.

“We hope to soon launch our Renfrew County ride share platform, ShareTheRide.ca, in cooperation with local employers, schools, Algonquin College and seniors and community organizations,” stated Warden Debbie Robinson.

As the largest geographic County in all of Ontario, encompassing various different environments and populations centres, the County of Renfrew is the ideal partner to enable the development, testing and validation of an innovative transportation solution. Understanding the specific needs of community members and organizations – including social services and health agencies, employer associations and recreational groups – will enable the development of a complete solution.

“RideShark is a global leading provider of commuter management solutions that public sector, corporate and campus-based organizations use to promote safe and sustainable mobility options such as carpooling, vanpooling, public transit and active transportation all on one easy-to-use app,” explained Sharon Lewinson, President of RideShark. “Leveraging its Unified Mobility™ platform, RideShark will develop a community transit solution that can withstand harsh Canadian winters on semi-urban and rural roads.”

With support from the Ontario government’s Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), RideShark and the county are developing and testing a leading transportation technology solution that will improve community accessibility, employment, health and social connections, as well as sustainability outcomes. Technology development will be carried out by Rideshark, beginning early in 2021. Fair weather test runs in the fall of 2021 and on-road winter conditions testing in January and February of 2022 will follow this.

“The County of Renfrew is proud to be bringing such an innovative transportation solution to the residents of Renfrew County. We are excited to be collaborating with the Ontario government, through the Ontario Centre of Innovation and the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network, and RideShark to host this world-leading pilot and demonstration project,” added Warden Robinson.