Strathcona County votes to maintain its transit service, while still pursuing regional transit partnerships

February 12, 2020

Strathcona County votes to maintain its transit service, while still pursuing regional transit partnerships

On February 11, Strathcona County Council voted to maintain its current transit service by declining the invitation to join the Regional Transit Services Commission; while also passing a motion to continue exploring partnerships with sub-regional transit initiatives.

The decision is based on the Accelerating Transit Service in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission report, as well as current operations and rider satisfaction of Strathcona County Transit service.

“As a Council, we studied the report’s recommendations in detail to ensure we fully considered the financial, staffing, autonomy and overall service level impacts to our community,” says Mayor Rod Frank. “Simply said, there are no cost savings for our citizens. At this time, we cannot justify handing over decision-making authority for $100 million worth of flagship transit services and assets, to a commission where we would only have 1 vote of 13 to influence transit service for our community and beyond.”

"We are appreciative of the opportunity to sit with twelve other municipalities over the past 16 months to further understand our region’s transit needs. We see great value in continuing these conversations, outside of another level of bureaucracy. We have already-proven ways we can meet the region’s transit needs, while still remaining accountable to our citizens, at a municipal level.”

As the largest provider of commuter service in the Edmonton region, Strathcona has been, and continues to be, interested in promoting public transit as a viable and accessible transit option, as demonstrated by its participation in successful regional initiatives.

Strathcona County currently employs 173 highly trained transit staff to provide local, commuter and Mobility Bus (accessible transit) services through a fleet of 89 buses and four transit facilities.

The 13 municipalities considering the Regional Transit Services Commission include the City of Beaumont, the Town of Devon, the City of Edmonton, the City of Fort Saskatchewan, the City of Leduc, Leduc County, the Town of Morinville, Parkland County, the City of Spruce Grove, the City of St. Albert, the Town of Stony Plain, Strathcona County and Sturgeon County.

A copy of the report and its executive summary, is available online at strathcona.ca/RTSC.

 

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of hydrocarbon processing in Western Canada. Strathcona County is a leader in environmental conservation, and 55 per cent of its land is within the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.

- 30 -

Contact: Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595