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SAM On-Demand to launch in mid December

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 8:45 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Public transportation in Sioux Falls is expected to take a big step forward this month.

The SAM On-Demand Transit Project is just weeks away from launching.

For years, buses in Sioux Falls have run on a fixed bus route, but with Sam On-Demand riders will now be allowed some flexibility.

“For instance, if you’re riding from Lincoln High School, the bus stop there, and you’re going to the Empire Mall, the way you have to do it now is you have to ride to the downtown depot on route five, and then you transfer at the downtown depot, and then you take route three to the Empire Mall,” City of Sioux Falls Senior Planner Sam Trebilcock said. “With this system you don’t have to transfer, you say I want to go from this bus stop at Lincoln High School to this bus stop at the Empire Mall.”

Users will be able to schedule rides three different ways: through the On Demand Transit: Rider App, on samondemand.org, or by calling Sioux Area Metro.

“It is kind of a hybrid system,” Trebilcock said. “They’re still going from those bus stop signs to another bus stop sign, so you have to walk some, but you don’t have those transfers, and you can schedule the ride when you want it.”

While the program will initially only operate on Saturdays as a pilot, Sioux Falls City Councilor Alex Jensen is excited about the future of SAM On-Demand.

“A lot of people have worked a long time on this project, and with using the algorithms, and the technology that we’re going to be using, this is going to change the way that we provide bus transit in Sioux Falls and that will be to the benefit of the people here.”

The On Demand Transit: Rider App has already gone live and the pilot program will officially launch to the public on Saturday, December 19.

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