Updates to transit approach benefit riders locally and throughout the region

July 7, 2021

Updates to transit approach benefit riders locally and throughout the region

At its July 6, 2021 meeting, Council passed a new Transit Bylaw (25-2021) with updated provisions that meet current and future transit needs, including compatibility with the regional smart fare approach (Arc).

Replacing the previous Transit Bylaw (Public Transportation System Bylaw 44-88), the new Transit Bylaw features updated sections such as:

  • fares (guidance on proof of payment and updated different types of fare media),
  • passenger conduct (removal of food and beverage restrictions on buses)
  • Chief Commissioner authority (approve fare validation devices, prohibiting a person from using transit, when necessary)
  • enforcement (types of records required for enforcement in a smart fare system) and penalties (municipal tags and violation tickets, new penalties for repeat offences and severity of the risk of the offence).  

This bylaw update follows Council’s approved amendment to the Fees, Rates and Charges Bylaw to enable new regional Smart Fare (Arc) products.

On-demand transit pilot
As part of the Transit Master Plan’s implementation, and focus on maximizing efficiency and effectiveness in serving our riders, Administration presented Council with information on the on-demand transit. The pilot approach would provide local evening and weekend services, scheduled to be implemented in spring, 2022. Council approved the temporary expansion of the Mobility Bus fleet, from 13 to 15 vehicles, to be used during the on-demand transit pilot within Sherwood Park.

On-demand service is designed to be a shared-ride, demand-responsive service that use smaller vehicles (Mobility Buses) and mobile app technology to provide efficient service to riders. The service is similar to the previous Dial-A-Bus, but will leverage new technology to provide instant access to booking services, near real-time tracking and the most efficient route to the requested destination. On-demand transit would replace the current local weekday evening and weekend conventional fixed route services, that currently require five full-sized buses to provide the services.

Once launched in May 2022, the on-demand pilot service will run until December 2023 and be evaluated for overall customer satisfaction, ridership, decreased on-board travel time and reduced wait times for local transit services. Administration expects to save an estimated $635K through the on-demand approach over the 20 month pilot period.

For more information about the new transit bylaw, or plans for the on-demand transit pilot project, contact Transit director Wade Coombs at Wade.Coombs@strathcona.ca.

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Contact:  Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595