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Regional Transit Services Commission

Thirteen municipalities in the Edmonton Metropolitan region are examining the possibility of delivering integrated transit services, through a potential Regional Transit Service Commission. This initial exploration includes researching the overall feasibility of an integrated-service approach that aims to deliver efficient and affordable transit options for riders throughout the region.

Why consider creating a Regional Transit Commission?

Public transportation is a critical service that warrants regional consideration. As cities and communities continue to attract more people, demand for appealing and viable public transit alternatives for commuters continues to grow.

Municipal transit system providers face changing mobility preferences and shifts to regional economies that can make planning and forecasting transit services at the local level challenging.

In addition, the following considerations are worth examining at a regional level:  

  • The number of daily transit trips in the region has increased by nearly 9,000 since 2005, while the number of automobile trips has increased by about 236,000. That is one transit trip for every 26 automobile trips.
  • Population impacts on our infrastructure and services may become more pronounced. For example, the regional forecast for 2020 population is 1.5M and by 2065, this is expected to reach 3M people, with 2M people in the City of Edmonton and 1M people in the region.
  • Regional employment is forecasted to grow from 767,000 to 1.5M jobs, reinforcing the need for efficient and effective transportation to support an increasing population.

What will be considered as part of the regional transit service commission business case?

The Regional Transit Service Commission business case will examine the possibility for:

  • convenient, cost-effective and extensive service across municipalities
  • integrated customer experience through improved community connections

This consideration will be based on data, costing and mapping of current local transit systems provided by each of the participating municipalities.

Next Steps

Nine municipalities in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region have submitted a joint application to the Province of Alberta formally seeking the establishment of a Regional Transit Services Commission.

While the Province considers the application, an interim Board of elected representatives from the nine municipalities will meet to begin preparing for the implementation of the RTSC. This work will include an executive search for a CEO and planning a smooth transition to the Commission.

Background

In September 2017, City of Edmonton and City of St. Albert Councils approved an agreement to begin taking steps to develop a Regional Transit Services Commission. The other 11 Edmonton Metropolitan Region communities joined in October, 2018.

To begin this work, the Government of Alberta awarded the City of Edmonton and City of St. Albert with a $3.7 Million Community Partnership Grant, as the initial signatories, to work with the region to analyze the feasibility of a potential Transit Commission.

The Regional Transit Services Commission Transition Team released its business case, including a strategic plan and financial model, in January 2020 to determine the viability of a Commission, and how it could best operate in the region.

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