City council heard an administrative report about the Proposed Implementation Plan for Modernizing Transit Routes at its Aug. 2 meeting.
In 2018, the city commissioned the Transit Master Plan (TMP) which was approved as a guiding document by council, explained Jason Bradshaw, manager of transit.
One of the significant recommendations in the TMP was to “improve existing route alignment and scheduling to better match demand” read the administrative report.
Following the recommendation, a report with options and recommendations to modernize the transit routes was completed by the consultant in July 2021.
Three options were reviewed and a cost-neutral option was selected. Following the direction to the cost-neutral option, the consultants proposed several schedule variations to be considered. This resulted in the “final route recommendation.”
A phased implementation approach was recommended.
Given the existing budgets and timing of the final report, administration has reviewed the changes that can feasibly be done in 2021.
Bradshaw said the first phase proposes only introduces improved transit services to Whistle Bend so that “service levels in this neighbourhood are similar to other neighbourhoods.”
This phase of the project would be scheduled for August 2021 before the school year begins, read the analysis section of the report.
“The proposed upgrade would improve service coverage with the addition of weekend service and five new stops, including at the Whistle Bend Long-Term Care Facility,” Bradshaw told council.
Bradshaw further explained that this might be the most important enhancement to the existing route system in “terms of achieving equitable service to all urban neighbourhoods and achieving planned sustainability goals in Whistle Bend.”
The new route network would require the installation of additional stops and relocation of existing transit stops to better focus services in higher demand areas, read the report.
It would also require an increase in full-time and part-time shifts for both the change to conventional transit services and the future introduction of the on-request service for Lobird and Raven’s Ridge neighbourhoods.
Mayor Dan Curtis said it is important to have a transit bus stop in front of the Whistle Bend Long Term Care Facility.
“I’m sure that the residents at Whistle Bend will be very excited to be able to access this resource,” said Curtis.
Councillor Steve Roddick said having the bus route stop at the Long Term Care Facility is “important for folks there to have better mobility and for them to be able to receive visitors.”
Roddick said he’s overall supportive of the improved services and the adjusted plan being proposed.
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org