Innovative solutions for Edmonton’s future transit needs

As our city fast approaches a population of one million, it is a perfect time to re-evaluate our transit system to make sure it meets the demands of Edmontonians. In 2020, the Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) bus network will look completely different than it does today as it transforms the way we move people more quickly and efficiently.

Since the last city-wide revision of the network, new technologies have helped the City better track transit use. The data that we gathered is extremely valuable in creating a network that is responsive to the needs of residents and also provides value to taxpayers.

As part of ETS’ innovative transit solution, the proposed new routes will be grouped into four types including: frequent bus routes, rapid bus routes, crosstown routes and local routes. Each of these routes will be straighter with less overlap between them. Inner areas of the city will see an increase of frequency throughout the day while outer suburban areas will see more service during rush hour for commuters. Check out the routes maps at edmonton.ca/newbusroutes.

In the west end, the proposed network features a couple of routes that will benefit residents and industrial workers. There will be a new crosstown route that will run along 137 Avenue and will connect West Edmonton Mall with Clareview in the north east part of the city. The network also includes new routes that will move people from downtown to the industrial areas in the morning and bring them back downtown at the end of the day. This is being called “reverse peak” service.

Both of these routes are new concepts for Edmonton that will see better connections across quadrants without needing to transfer downtown. These will lessen the overall travel time to help people move more efficiently around our city.

However, in order for ETS to provide faster or more frequent service requested by many Edmontonians, some people may need to walk a bit longer to get to a bus stop. We recognize this is not possible for some residents, so a first kilometre/last kilometre study is underway to see how other cities manage this situation to ensure most people can get to where they are going. You can read my previous Transit Strategy blog on this from July. There likely won’t be one approach that will work for the entire city. I don’t want to hide the fact that there will likely be a portion of the current 13% who may not get the same service as before. There are going to be some tough trade-offs and that is why your feedback is necessary.  If there is a solution that could work in your neighbourhood, share your thoughts with my office or contact 311. It is our responsibility to consider new mobility options in our decision making and to prepare for new technology.

Citizen feedback will help ensure the proposed bus network meets everyone’s needs. Options including filling out an online survey or attending one of 24 public engagement drop-in workshops.

The next workshops in the west end are:

Date: Saturday April 28, 2018

Time: 11am-3pm

Location: West Edmonton Mall (Level 1 Centre Stage – Bay)

8882 170 Street

 

Date: Thursday May 3, 2018

Time: 3-7pm

Location: Lois Hole Library (Program Room)

17650 69 Avenue

 

Date: Saturday May 26, 2018

Time: 11am-3pm

Location: TELUS World of Science (IMAX Lobby)

11211 142 Street

 

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