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.
The Regional Transit Services Commission Transition Team is working toward finalizing the business case - including a strategic plan and financial model - to determine the viability of a Commission, and how it could best operate in the region.
Based on the business case, all 13 Edmonton Metropolitan Region municipal member councils will vote in the first quarter of 2020 if they choose to be part of the future Commission.
Municipalities who choose to join will jointly sponsor a proposal to the Government of Alberta to establish the Commission in Provincial Regulation. Public engagement activities will be undertaken at that time.
The Government of Alberta must approve the new Commission before it can begin operation, tentatively by 2022.
In September 2017, City of Edmonton and City of St. Albert Councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 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 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 following 13 municipalities that signed the MOU are represented on the Regional Transit Services Commission Transition Team: Beaumont, Devon, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Leduc County, Morinville, Parkland County, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Strathcona County, Stony Plain, and Sturgeon County.