Alberta Mirror

Friday, September 29, 2023

Transit changes arriving at Edmonton a year after bus network redesign


Key takeaways: 

  • City councilors say cleanliness safety must be managed to win back riders.
  • Edmonton has been trying to enhance service since ridership was cut in half during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Changes are arriving in Edmonton’s transit roads in a proposal to enhance service, one year after the city founded its bus network redesign, Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) managers told Wednesday.

Over the previous year, ETS has collected public feedback and re-evaluated the transit network, said department manager Carrie Hotton-MacDonald.

The yearly transit service plan, given to the city council, outlines plans to develop on-demand service in some communities, launching the intelligent fare system for regional routes and expanding LRT (Light Rail Train) frequency.

“We’re getting some on-demand service to some of the northern communities in the northern part of the city, which we heard loud and clear, the requirement for some other transit support,” Hotton-MacDonald said.

That’s good news to Coun. Karen Principe, from Ward tastawiyiniwak, where the city cut roads and didn’t deliver on-demand service till now. 

“They arrived through for the north side here,” Principe told CBC News. 

Read more: Edmonton city council denies requiring masks at recreation centers

The yearly transit service plan, given to the city council, outlines plans to develop on-demand service

The new on-demand service will run from North Chamberry and North Elsinore to the Eaux Claires Transit Centre, South Klarvatten to Eaux Claires, and Balwin to Coliseum and Belvedere transit centers.

The yearly report summarizes specific ways that could be improved beginning in 2023 by expanding weekend and evening hours. 

Transit not pure, safe: councilors

Councilors flagged problems that persist in haunting the transit system and preventing people from riding the bus and LRT.

Safety has been a massive issue, said mayor Amarjeet Sohi, with significant social disorder around transit and rising cases of opioid use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s a significant barrier, and that is a complicated problem,” Sohi stated. “It links into our social problems past the capacity of ETS and even the city’s capacity.” 

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