At the December 7th Urban Planning Committee meeting, Administration brought forth a report outlining the results of the public engagement portion within the Transit Strategy Review. You can view the full report and it’s findings here Around 20,000 surveys were completed by residents who were asked to make some tough choices in order to determine priorities for transit users without increasing our transit budget. The questions were intentionally designed to encourage respondents to make decisions around trade-offs. The major trade-off being proximity to bus stops and community bus service versus direct connections and express routes. This is not to say we are only going to implement one type of service and not the other. This is to determine resident’s requirements from a broad group of individuals in order to assess the needs and wants from all Edmontonians. You can view the full strategy review and it’s process here.
The service standards that the City uses to plan, schedule and operate the transit services it provides represent a balance between the interests and values of the community being served, the customers being carried, the resources available to provide the service, and guide the transit system accordingly. It is nearly impossible to develop a standard to address all potential circumstances that may be encountered in something as complex as organizing public transit in a city. The transit system’s role is to apply the service standards fairly and to seek guidance from its elected representatives when there is a conflict between them and the interests and values of the community. The challenge is to develop and implement service standards that are effective in most circumstances. Here is the strategic direction the City will use to determine the transit plans for Edmonton going forward.
Council will have the tough job of reviewing and debating the priorities for our Transit system. Types of services, focus of services and fare rates will all be a part of this. This is why public engagement is critical when going through this process. Please continue to send me your feedback on our transit system and let me know what is working and what you’d like to see change. I would like to emphasize that absolutely no decisions have been made regarding our transit service plans. When decisions are being made, there will be plenty of opportunities for residents to share their opinions/ideas long before we get to this point.
Co-authored by K. Machin and A. Knack