Red Arrow Blog

Our Continued Commitment to Safety

Posted by John Stepovy on Oct 8, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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PWTO Safely Clean Travel with Confidence

For over 60 years that the Pacific Western Group of Companies has been operating, Safety has been our top priority and is reinforced by our Safely Home branding and our Safety Vision:

Safely Home is our deep conviction to Safety, and the ultimate promise we make to each other, to our clients, and to the communities in which we operate.

The Pacific Western Group of Companies is driven by safety. It is our first Core Value and is at the heart of all that we do.

In our business, for every employee, every passenger and every member of the travelling public, we know that the most important thing we do, each day, is ensure we ALL get Safely Home. The Safely Home journey has always been one of growth, change, and collaboration and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has never been more true.

In the early stages of the pandemic, our scheduled inter-city passenger brands, Red Arrow and Ebus, were one of the first to recognize the threat to the safety of staff and passengers and quickly identified that suspending services was the socially responsible thing to do. We adjusted our Safely Home messaging to encouraging our staff, passengers, partners, industry, and the public as a whole to Stay Safely Home. As we did so, our focus was developing a game plan on how to safely and responsibly operate in the future. This is how our industry-leading Safely Clean program was born. Once the curve began to flatten, we were able to re-launch some of our services and publicly introduced Safely Clean.

The Safely Clean Program is dedicated to enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitization, preventative measures, and elevated protocols to ensure the safety and protection of our staff, passengers, and the communities in which we operate. 

Here are some of the Safely Clean protocols passengers can expect when traveling:

  • Health and Safety Screening
  • Proper face masks requirements
  • Available hand sanitizer
  •  Personal Protective Equipment including masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer available for purchase
  • Coaches are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized with an industry leading electro-static spraying
  •  Controls are in place to reduce crowding and encouraging physical distancing

PWTO Safely Clean program

Further to the Safely Clean program which is now an ingrained practice into our every day operations, PWT now has available technological solutions to offer our clients and customers as an added layer of safety and security.

Virtual Queuing Technology

Virtual Queuing is an easy-to-use tech solution to control the volume and crowding of passengers while waiting for and while boarding a motorcoach. It helps promote physical distancing on our buses by allowing a controlled, safe, and even flow of passengers while boarding and waiting to board the bus, mitigating unnecessary crowding.

This cloud-based solution allows passengers to add themselves to the queue using their mobile phone, they can either schedule a time or take the next available slot. They are informed via SMS or push notification of the expected wait time and can then wait somewhere safely, instead of standing in close proximity to other people. They receive a second message when it is their turn to board the bus.

Virtual Queuing Technology

User Friendly

  • Simply requires signage displaying a QR Code and/or number to text
  •  There is nothing for a passenger to download; everything works via a simple web Interface
  • This cloud-based solution requires no hardware, allowing very quick deployment


  • Passengers can wait wherever they please at a safe location nearby, which ensures Social Distancing around the pickup location and reduces crowding
  • By using personal devices to manage the queue, it resolves the need to touch a shared device or physical tickets
  • Reduces the need for passengers to wait outside in a line during inclement weather
  • Reduces conflict when a passenger jumps in front of the line

 Easy to Manage

  • Easily set the maximum capacity of passengers in the queue
  •  Drivers can manage the queue from a mobile device. They check in passengers several at a time, maintaining physical distance and avoiding crowds

Contract Tracing Technology

In order to support the health and wellbeing of our passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific Western Transportation has developed Electronic Manifest Technology that can be deployed on our vehicles. This technology is vital in keeping everyone at our worksites safe, and will allow us to respond quickly in the event of a potential COVID-19 infection.

This technology offers configurable seat assignments that allow for optimal physical distancing. Additionally, it provides real-time access for our customers to ridership data so that they are able to contact trace in the event of an infection.

The application is developed on the Android platform and runs on Ruggedized Android devices installed in the buses. The data is stored in a secure database and will be made available to our customers through a cloud service platform.

Contact Tracing Technology

How it works:

  1. Upon boarding the bus, scan the NFC Boarding Card issued by the client. Passengers must use these cards to scan onto the bus every time they board.
  2. After scanning, passengers will be directed to their assigned seat by a virtual boarding assistant. Seat assignments are based on optimal physical distancing requirements and are customizable to client specifications.
  3. Once passengers have reached their destination, they will scan their NFC Boarding Card once again, prior to disembarking from the bus. This is do that the system can free up the space on the bus
  4. The data from the scan will be synchronized to a secure database. For privacy reasons, our database does not capture personal information. The data that is collected is a unique non-personal passenger ID, unit #, embarking and disembarking times, and seat number of the passengers during a trip.

For tracing purposes, clients have the ability to associate the data collected from the NFC card scans with their employees in the event of an outbreak.

We continue to communicate closely with passengers and clients and their feedback is vital to our future success. With Safety as our first Core Value, and Customer Service a close second, we look forward to continuing on this path of innovation, of leveraging our expertise and technology, with an end goal of offering the highest standard of Safety and ensuring we all get Safely Home.

Topics: General Information, Sustainable travel, Alberta, Safely Home, technology, Safely Clean

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