This past week Councillor Dave Loken and I brought forward a notice of motion. This motion should come forward this next week and I am passionate about seeing our communities served well, with access to fast and efficient public transportation.
Here’s what our notice of motion is:
1) amend the scope of the NW LRT design study to include developing a scenario where a precursor express bus service could run north from Blatchford on a bridge over the Yellowhead and CN Calder Rail Yard, with the bridge future-proofed for upgrade to rail for LRT;
2) take this scenario into account as part of the continuing Transit Strategy and report back on the opportunity to align the Strategy to this precursor express bus scenario; and,
3) include this precursor scenario in the continuing public engagement on NW LRT planning.
So what are we trying to accomplish? City Administration is currently preparing a Transit Strategy, so the time is right to include this concept for consideration. We would like to gather all of the information possible to consider building a bridge across the CN Rail Yards to provide Express Bus Service from the north side of Edmonton to the downtown.
This may seem like a secondary level of service or a downgrade; you might even be wondering if this would short circuit the NW LRT Expansion. This is not settling for secondary service, but proactively accelerating access to LRT service, and potentially creating infrastructure to aid in the development of the NW LRT Expansion.
With the Yellowhead Trail Upgrade just around the corner, this is about being fiscally responsible, by aligning with this work and looking at the possibility of infrastructure that can be incorporated into the NW LRT Expansion plan that will open up the north first with Express buses connecting to existing LRT, and finally, by opening up the north with the LRT through the NW Expansion. The time is right to address the needs of our communities with meaningful engagement around thoughtful pieces of important infrastructure.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, you can connect with me by phone at 780-983-9524 or by email at email@example.com