Regional Transit Service Commission update

On February 11, 2020, 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.

“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.” Read the full media release.

Background

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.

What was considered as part of the regional transit service commission business case?

The Regional Transit Service Commission business case examined the possibility for: 

  • convenient, cost-effective and extensive service across municipalities
  • integrated customer experience through improved community connections

This consideration is  based on data, costing and mapping of current local transit systems provided by each of the participating municipalities. 

On January, 22, 2020, the Regional Transit Services Commission transition team released its report, Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission

Next Steps

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.

Background
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.

Last updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Page ID: 50675