EDMONTON -- Starting July 26, St. Albert will offer on-demand bus service that riders can book via an app.

The system will be piloted as a replacement of the current dial-a-bus service on evenings Monday through Saturday, Sunday, and statutory holidays.

The difference is the new program will allow riders to book a spot up to four weeks in advance through the app, web portal or via phone. The dial-a-bus service didn't accomodate future bookings, and only took bookings by phone during certain times. 

"Administration will monitor the success of the pilot to determine the use of the service during other off-peak times such as early mornings on Saturday and midday throughout the week," an announcement read.

City officials called St. Albert the first mid-sized transit system outside of Ontario to use the model during low-travel periods.

Most recently, Stratford launched a similar program on Sunday. Riders there said the on-demand service seemed, in their first impression, more convenient because it allowed riders to go from location to location rather than ride a whole route.

Transit users will be able to book rides in advance, or service for multiple riders.

The app will also offer information on estimated arrival times and a cancel ride feature.