The Challenge

Over 60 years of operations, Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) has grown to become Canada’s largest privately-owned people transportation company. Each day, its 14 regional subsidiaries transport thousands of students, commuters, travellers and workforce in five Canadian provinces and territories. However, this scale and diversity of operations posed a communication challenge for the company: drivers and other frontline staff, who make up the majority of PWT’s 5,000+ employees, work remotely and had limited opportunity to interact with the parent organization.

“PWT is a large company with many subsidiaries, and in the past, our employees may not have been completely aware of its reach and involvement in a multitude of communities across Canada,” explains Amaira Hansen, Interim Communications Director at PWT.

The Solution

Suspecting that the traditional communication channels were not effective at keeping everyone well-informed, Amaira’s team set out to reimagine its internal communication strategy to better reach ALL employees, regardless of where they were located.

Establishing a Communications Centre of Excellence at PWT was the first step to standardizing internal and external communications across the entire organization. But to be successful, PWT needed the right channel to get the message across to its front-line staff. “We looked for a mobile application that is simple and easy to use for all of our employees,” says Amaira. Sparrow’s familiar, newsfeed-style communication platform was a great fit.

To increase the overall awareness of the PWT brand amongst staff, the team focused their efforts on integrated communication. “We wanted to maintain consistent branding, so white-labelling the application was a must,” says Amaira. “Sparrow was the only platform that gave us this ability,” she adds.

Sparrow, renamed as “PWT InTouch”, was launched in April 2018. The platform helps keep the entire staff up-to-date on company-wide news, safety and maintenance programs, and career opportunities. Additionally, it allows the communications team to strengthen the sense of community within the PWT group by shining a spotlight at local initiatives and exemplary leadership at the subsidiary companies. “Since using Sparrow, we have seen an increase in overall inter-company awareness and engagement,” adds Amaira.

PWT’s reimagined communication strategy has garnered the attention of the bus transit industry. Six months after rolling out the application to its frontline staff, PWT was recognized nationally by the Canadian Urban Transit Association for excellence in marketing and communications.

Some of PWT’s favourite Sparrow features include:

Advanced Analytics

Thanks to built-in analytics, PWT gains insights into how employees engage with the company.

Tailored Newsfeed

By selecting and subscribing to channels, PWT employees receive the news that matters most to them.

Mobile-First Design

Employees can access Sparrow from anywhere on iOS and Android devices.

“Sparrow provides us with an avenue to inform, empower and engage our employees and foster connections across the entire organization.”

Amaira Hansen, Interim Communications Director,
Pacific Western Transportation

Pacific Western Transportation Logo

The Outcomes

Sparrow analytics provide a wealth of valuable information to Amaira and her team, empowering PWT to make strategic and informed decisions when it comes to their internal communication:


Active Users

Since launching in April of 2018, PWT has added over 1600 active users to their Sparrow platform.


Read a Month

The average active user reads 10 Sparrow articles each month.


Engagement Rate

A typical PWT article inspires at least 20% of readers to engage with content by using reactions or comments


Complete Reads

Each PWT post is fully read by approximately 60% of viewers.



In a year, PWT has posted 640 articles on Sparrow. Some of the most popular topics include safety information, career opportunities and leadership news.



PWT currently uses four reactions (Like, Curious, Great Idea and Hurray!) to drive engagement with their content and add personality to their app experience.

Associated Case Studies

Sparrow Modern Workplace Case Study

Sparrow Story: Pacific Western Transportation

Canada's largest people transportation company increases employee engagement with Sparrow.

Case Study: Accelerating Information Retrieval at Horse Racing Alberta

Human-friendly software speeds up a critical process at Horse Racing Alberta.

Case Study: Connecting with Customers at Carfinco

Following an insightful Ideation Workshop, Carfinco re-engaged DevFacto to develop a customer self-service portal and a mobile app.

Sparrow Story: A New Generation Intranet at Tervita

A modern digital workplace designed to foster collaboration and engage teams at Tervita.

Case Study: Envisioning a New Online Customer Experience at Carfinco

To improve their online customer experience, Carfinco partnered with DevFacto for an ideation engagement.

Case Study: Communicating Student Learning (CSL)

Communicating Student Learning (CSL) is a cloud-based solution that shifts the way student learning is captured and shared between teachers, parents, and students.

Case Study: My ASEBP Pt.1 - Establishing a clear vision through ideation

In order to establish a clear vision for what the new app could be, ASEBP partnered with DevFacto to run an ideation workshop.

Case Study: Re-envisioning ASEBP's benefit services experience

DevFacto's ideation methodology helps ASEBP to re-envision their approach to technology and customer service.

Case Study: My ASEBP Pt.2 - Developing a future-friendly app

DevFacto and ASEBP worked together to build the Employer Services Portal, a web application that is scalable...