Future Concepts

The City is considering different options for its future transit service. These options are based on the existing service model, i.e. a commuter-oriented system operated through a contract agreement. Other options will be considered, including the viability of a local service, once a decision has been made about whether a regional transit commission will be created for the Edmonton Capital Region. 

September 2015 - Options

Option A - Two Routes, More Coverage, Less Trips, 

Overview

  • Split existing peak hour Route 560 into two routes introducing service into new areas. Offer four trips per route in both AM and PM directions. 
  • The two routes will continue to service areas already covered by Route 560 and add service to Spruce Ridge, Harvest Ridge, Hilldowns, Stoneshire, Linkside, Aspenglen, Deer Park, and Greenbury. 
  • Midday service is maintained. 

Map 1 - Option A, Two Local Routes
Route 197 Option A JPG

Strengths

  • New areas are provided with direct service, i.e. more equitable coverage.
  • City is responding to growth.
  • Add some capacity.
  • Potential to attract new riders.

Weaknesses

  • More expensive. 
  • Smaller number of trips. 
  • Existing passengers may see this as a decline in service. 
  • May need to offer a minimum of 5-trips per route to ensure the service is convenient enough. This will increase the cost.  

Option B - Existing Route, Same Coverage, One More Trip

Overview

  • Maintain modified peak hour Route 560 (Stage 1) but add an eighth trip in each direction. This would respond to rider demand for later service in the morning and in the evening.
  • No new neighbourhoods would be added. 
  • The midday service would be maintained.

Map 2 - Option B, Existing Route
Route 197 Option B JPG

Strengths

  • Adds flexibility for current riders.
  • Adds more capacity and cheaper to expand capacity in future.
  • Good temporary option as it reduces impacts on existing ridership.
  • Less expensive for both ETS contract costs and City bus stop maintenance costs.

 Weaknesses

  • Less coverage within Spruce Grove.
  • Less equitable for/accessible to all residents.
  • May be viewed as not doing enough. 

Option C - Express Route, Less Coverage, More Trips > NEW

Overview

  • Run one express commuter route along major roads in Spruce Grove to shorten travel time. 
  • Link route in with park and ride. 
  • Add more trips to City Centre and/or explore options to add a new route to WEM-South Campus. 
  • Route concept came out of feedback at the open houses. Attendees seemed supportive of longer walking distances to local stops if the route was shorter and provided more flexibility. 

Map 3 - Option C, Express Route
Route 197 Option C JPG

Strengths

  • Most efficient/cost effective to operate. Allows for more opportunity to add more trip options to City Centre and to explore direct peak hour connections to West Edmonton Mall transfer station and the South Campus LRT (i.e. more direct route to UofA).
  • Reduces travel time, potentially by 10-15 minutes. 
  • Still provides decent coverage in Spruce Grove.
  • Reflects the large proportion of riders who currently drive or get a ride to the service now.

Weaknesses

  • Potentially less convenient for riders who currently walk to the bus stop.
  • Less coverage within Spruce Grove. 
  • Riders may perceive this as a service decline. 
  • Requires more investment for infrastructure, i.e. shelters at all bus stops, convenient park and ride.

September 2016 and 2017

Overview 

  • Starting in 2016, hourly WEM express service in the evenings Monday to Friday. Service would run from 5:30-10:30 pm between Spruce Grove and WEM. This would provide additional flexibility to people working late or meeting friends and allow students to use the system and take a night class.
  • Starting in 2017, hourly WEM express service on Saturday. Service would run from 9:00 am-7:00 pm between Spruce Grove and WEM. 

Map 4: WEM Evening & Weekend Service
Route 197 WEM route JPG