Logistics mitigation plan
In order to provide a regional public transit service, transit service providers must apply for and be granted an Operating Authority Certificate from Alberta Transportation. The application must include a Passenger Risk Mitigation Strategy. The objective of the Passenger Risk Mitigation Strategy is to ensure compliance to existing standards and consistency with legislative and operational requirements, and demonstrate that the regional public transit provider has considered passenger safety issues and taken appropriate steps to mitigate the risks.
Strathcona County Transit Logistics Plan and Passenger Mitigation Strategy
Definition of Service
Strathcona County Transit provides fixed-route intermunicipal transit service between the Hamlet of Sherwood Park and the adjacent the City of Edmonton. Intermunicipal service between Sherwood Park and Edmonton operates via the Sherwood Park Freeway and/or Baseline Rd. SCT services area always in a contiguous urban service area and never travel more than 20 kilometres from the maintenance facility in Sherwood Park. Strathcona County does notoperate any fixed-route service between Sherwood Park and any other hamlet in Strathcona County.
Strathcona Transit operates out of two main transfer locations located at 970 Ordze Road and 700 Bethel Drive in Sherwood Park. The location at 700 Bethel Drive is the main transit station and also houses the customer service center.
Strathcona County Transit operates a fleet of 76 conventional transit buses including standard 40 ft transit buses and Double Deck buses. Any of these bus types could be used for intermunicipal service.
Vehicle Breakdown Procedures
SCT has a number of procedures for vehicle break downs:
- All transit vehicles are equipped with a two-way radio that provides contact with the central dispatch area located in the transit garage at 200 Streambank Ave Sherwood Park. Operators are required to contact dispatch for any issues related to vehicle breakdown, customer issues or emergent/emergency issues.
- In the event of a break down;
- Operator calls dispatch via the two-way radio giving the route ID, unit # , location, and a brief description of the problem.
- Dispatch will then notify Fleet service to make a determination to allow the unit to carry on or to shut down.
- Based on the recommendation of Fleet Services Dispatch will then determine the correct course of action and which resources to dispatch.
- Buses are equipped with safety triangles and each operator is issued a safety vest and or jackets that are made of safety reflective material. Operators are required to secure the location of the vehicle breakdown by pulling over to the side of the road as far as possible and secure the scene by placing warning triangles in strategic locations to warn oncoming traffic.
- Strathcona Transit has on-road mobile supervisors available to respond to emergent issues during all times when buses are in service. Supervisor vehicles are equipped with overhead warning lights and will place their vehicle is a location to warn oncoming traffic of a potential hazard. On-Road Supervisors are trained in security, first aid and level two, accident investigation.
- In the case of vehicle breakdowns, replacement buses are dispatched from the transit garage to maintain on road service.
Strathcona Transit has been in operation for 30+ years and has a well established service department which follows a regimented maintenance program in accordance with the Alberta Commercial Vehicle Inspection Program.
Strathcona County Transit currently has an operator pool consisting of 79 full-time and 20 part-time operators. Work assignments are designed by SCT management to comply with OH&S regulations and labour standards as set out by the provincial and federal government. These regulations mean that shifts are designed to have no longer than a 12 hour spread. There is a minimum 8 hour rest period between shifts. Operator’s are required to have a minimum of two days off in a 14 day work cycle.
Passenger Risk Mitigation Strategy
Strathcona County Transit (SCT) has been providing intermunicipal transit service to the City of Edmonton since 1977. SCT has an excellent safety record and places the highest value of customer and staff safety.
Standees are common on SCT intermunicipal routes and allowed by SCT. SCT takes several steps to ensure the safety of standees:
- Buses are equipped with straps, stanchions, and grab bars to provide the standee with support and stability.
- Operators are required to ensure the front area of the bus is free from standees and that operator visibility remains unrestricted.
Operators are trained in, and follow defensive driving practices as set out by the Canada Safety Counsel and the Alberta Safety Counsel. Under the guidelines of the Canada Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course (DDC / PDIC) our operators are trained in categories such as, but not limited to, the following:
- Standard accident prevention formula (SAPF)
- Recognize the hazard
- Understand the defence
- Act in time
- Four point intersection safety program
- Time interval formula (following distance – 6 seconds)
- Drive to conditions (weather, traffic, construction, etc.)
- Eye lead time (scanning ahead, 12-15 seconds urban)
Objects brought onto the bus.
As SCT intermunicipal service is used by commuters and students, riders commonly bring backpacks, purses, and brief cases. Passengers are requested to store bulky items out of the way of other passengers and keep entrances and exits free and clear of hazards. Strathcona Transit has no plans to further restrict these types of personal belongings.
SCT has no separate procedure/policy regarding “cargo” as we rarely, if ever, see passengers with suitcases or parcels. We do not transport freight.
The majority of Strathcona County buses are low-floor kneeling buses equipped with deployable ramps and designated wheel chair tie down areas. Since 2008, SCT practise has been to only purchase low-floor transit buses in accordance with a council directive that all services be fully accessible. High floor coaches were not purchased with lifts and retrofitting lifts is cost-prohibitive. These vehicles are being phased out.
Strathcona Transit’s training program has received accreditation by the MCPCC (Motor Carrier Passenger Council of Canada. New Operators are selected by specific criterion, which includes the application of the STRADA psychometrics analysis system. Strathcona County Transit has a six week comprehensive training program in which students receive instruction in practical driving re-enforced with lecture. The educational integrity of Strathcona County Transit’s training is measured by the student’s demonstrated understanding and application of the curriculum and successful completion of written exercises.
Included in the practical driving experience is a minimum of eight days of operating a variety of units on Baseline Road and Sherwood Park Freeway. Students must demonstrate an understanding of pre and post trip inspection requirements (AR121/2009, Section 10 (4)(b) Schedule 2 of NSC Standard 13, part 2), incident/collision protocols, location and application of emergency triangles, first aid kit and fire extinguisher.
Strathcona County Transit’s training program incorporate curriculum that is certified by the Motor Carrier Passenger Council of Canada and is in compliance to the following international, national and provincial organizations:
- Canada Safety Council (Defensive Driving)
- Alberta Safety Council (Defensive Driving)
- Gov’t of Canada – Natural Resources Canada (FleetSmart – Fuel Conservation)
- Canadian Urban Transit Association (Customer Service, Diversity and Fuel Conservation)
- Smith System International (Defensive Driving)
Strathcona County Transit’s bus operators operate their vehicles in accordance with the requirements of Alberta Traffic Safety Act, Regulation 304/2002 – Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation.
In the event of a security incident on a bus, SCT has several strategies in place:
- All transit vehicles are equipped with a two-way radio system, which allows the operator to contact a centralized dispatch area in the event of on road situations. . Routes travel through two adjacent urban areas and there is quick response from emergency services. EMS, Police, and On-Road Supervisors can be dispatched to attend to a variety of emergent situations in a very short time.
- Strathcona Transit is in the process of equipping buses with cameras systems to provide enhanced security.
- In 2009, SCT completed a federally funded Threat & Risk Assessment and Security Plan. This plan identified ways to reduce vulnerabilities to terrorist attack. SCT has been implementing these security measures.
SCT is not a true high-speed operation. SCT operates routes on one (1) provincial highway where the maximum speed is above 80 kph, the Sherwood Park Freeway (max 100 kph) for a distance of 4 kilometres. Each bus trip is typically on this section of road for 5 minutes (travel time). There are no stops located in the 100 kph zone. There is more than adequate space and time to enter and exit the traffic lanes.
Baseline Road which crosses highway 216 using a provincial bridge is the main transportation corridor used by Strathcona Transit for the majority of its commuter routes connecting downtown Edmonton and the University of Alberta with Sherwood Park. Speed along this corridor is limited to a maximum of 80 kilometers per hour.
Strathcona County Transit has specific “preferred practices” with regard to driving on the Sherwood Park Freeway. These include, but are not limited to:
- Drive in the right most lane
- Buses do not pass buses
- Suggested “green speed” of 90 km/h (10km/h below posted speed limit)
- DDC “time interval formula” is expanded as conditions warrant
- Drive with additional caution when experiencing “standing” passenger loads
The County directly procures and maintenance all transit buses. A full service maintenance department ensure all buses are inspected, preventative maintenance is performed on time, and repairs are made promptly. In addition, all buses are equipped with fire extinguishers, safety triangles, safety vests for the operator, and first aid kits.
If a vehicle breaks down, the driver will use the two-way radio to call dispatch for assistance. An On-Road Supervisor can be dispatched. Supervisor squad cars are equipped with flashing lights to further assist in protecting the area around the bus. Operators are required to travel in the right hand lane where-ever possible in the eventuality of an emergency where they have to stop along the roadside.
SCT uses conventional transit buses, and Double Deck buses for inter-municipal service. Seats are similar on all buses. Only the Double Deck buses have high backed seats on the upper deck. Most buses have some side-facing seats. All seats are industry standard and installed at the factory. All buses are equipped with two wheelchair securement locations. Tires on all buses are designed for highway operation at speeds of 100 kph.
By council direction SCT only purchases low-floor transit buses. This type of bus provides flexibility in loading and unloading of passengers along with the ability to accommodate wheelchairs.
To meet service commitments, some routes experience standees. See the Passenger Mitigation Strategy for Strathcona Transit’s method to ensure safety of standees. Strathcona County has a provincial exemption that allows standees
- CVIP (Commercial Vehicle Inspection)
Strathcona County requests that it be exempted from CVIP requirements, as it was previously under early regulations. Strathcona Fleet Services which maintains Strathcona Transit fleet of buses follows a formalized inspection process which meets or exceeds the CVIP inspection regulations of Alberta Transportation. Strathcona County buses operate between Sherwood Park and the City of Edmonton which is an abutting community. Should a bus break down on route, it is taken out of service and another unit is placed in service with little or no interruption to service.
Strathcona County has exemptions to operate over weight buses on provincial and municipal highways.
- Over Length
Strathcona County has exemptions to operate over length buses on provincial and municipal highways.
- Type P First Aid Kits
Strathcona County Transit currently has an exemption to use type P first aid kits.
- Written Pre-trip
Strathcona County buses operate between Sherwood Park and the City of Edmonton which is an abutting community. Operators are required to do a pre-trip inspection to ensure the bus is free from potential defects as outlined in NSC standard 13, schedule 3, motor coach daily. Strathcona Operators do approximately 12,000 pre-trip inspections every year on commuter fixed service to the City of Edmonton. Strathcona County has a Provincial exemption that allows operators to do a modified pre-trip approved by Alberta Transportation based on our service area and location.
For more information regarding Strathcona County and Transit exemptions please call 780-464-RIDE (7433).