Why is Winnipeg Transit Plus changing how it responds to no-shows and late cancellations?

    We are committed to providing the best service possible for our customers. Transit Plus has a limited number of vehicles and drivers. When a customer cancels late or doesn’t show for their trip, a vehicle goes unused, and a trip is wasted. 

    The proposed policy aims to improve service for Transit Plus customers, by using a point-based system with suspension of service. 

    These changes follow recommendations from both the Manitoba Ombudsman’s report and the Winnipeg Transit Master Plan. They highlighted specific areas of improvement for our service and we’re following through.

    How does the new system work?

    Under the proposed policy, customers are given seven Transit Plus points at the beginning of each month (points do not carry over). They lose two points with each no-show and one point with each late cancellation. 

     If a customer loses all their points, they will receive a 'strike'. Repeated 'strikes' can result in a service suspension. Points refill each month and strikes are erased after a year if no further strikes happen. 

    The proposed policy also requires customers to give four hours’ notice to cancel a trip. This will bring Transit Plus in line with rules at other paratransit providers.  

    Sometimes things happen that are outside of a customer’s control. That’s why the proposed system gives every customer seven points each month. There will be no more financial penalties for no-shows and late cancellations. The image below illustrates how the new proposed system works.

    Proposed Transit Plus No-Show and Late Cancellation Policy

    First day of the month: Start with seven points in your Transit Plus account.
    Book and take trips with Transit Plus throughout the month.
    Don't take a trip:
    - If you do not take a trip and cancel four hours or more before the pick-up window, there is no change in points.
    - If you do not take a trip and cancel less than four hours before the pick-up window you lose one point.
    - If you no-show, you lose two points.
    Lose all seven points in a month: you get a strike on your account.
    First Strike: The first strike is a friendly reminder.
    Second strike or more: The second strike or more results in suspension of service.
    One year without any strikes: strikes are erased from your account.

    What are no-shows and late cancellations?

    A no-show is when a customer is not at the pick-up for their scheduled trip. 

    A late cancellation is when a trip is cancelled without enough notice. The proposed system records a late cancellation if a ride is cancelled with less than four hours’ notice. For example, if your scheduled pick-up time is 9 p.m., you must cancel before 5 p.m. to avoid being recorded as a late cancellation.  

    How many points do you need to lose to get a strike? How many strikes before service is suspended?

    If a customer loses all seven points in one month, they will receive a strike.  

    With each strike, Transit Plus will contact the customer.  After the first strike, Transit Plus will reach out to the customer to confirm they know how the policy and points system works. After the second strike, the customer will get a one-week suspension from using Transit Plus. The third strike results in a two-week suspension, and the fourth strike is a one-month suspension of service. 

    Strikes are erased after one year if you don’t get any other strikes. 

    Is it fair to suspend service? What about people who take Transit Plus to medical appointments?

    We understand that sometimes a customer cancels late for reasons beyond their control. That’s why the proposed system gives every customer seven points each month.

    It takes significant and repeated service misuse to get suspended. It would take four to seven infractions in a single month for a strike and it takes multiple strikes before you face a service suspension. For example, three no-snows and one late cancellation would result in a strike. Similarly, seven late cancellations in a month would result in a strike. 

    Under our current policy, Transit Plus customers face financial penalties for missing a trip or late cancelling. Repeat offenders who don’t pay fines face suspension of service.

    How will I check my Transit Plus points balance?

    This is one of a number of exciting changes we’re making in the next year. Our customers can also get ready for an improved booking system with more self-serve options for many aspects of our service, including the ability to check your Transit Plus points balance once this policy is implemented.

    When will this policy change and the points system take effect?

    The following steps need to take place first:

    • feedback from this engagement will be analyzed and changes may be made to the proposed policy
    • a final version of the policy will go to Winnipeg City Council for consideration
    • Winnipeg Transit Plus will bring in an improved booking system. This will allow customers to book/cancel trips online

    If the policy is approved by Council, and once the improved booking system is in place, the policy will then be implemented.

    How can I get involved?

    Winnipeg Transit Plus customers, family members or caregivers of a Transit Plus customer, and service providers are invited are invited to attend a virtual event and provide feedback through the online survey. Subscribe for updates (top-right of the page) to stay informed on next steps.