Bus Network Experience, Concerns, Process

It's a gorgeous spring day in Edmonton and a perfect time to check out the new bus routes on Edmonton Transit. I downloaded the app, put in my address and destination and it directed me where to go. I was a little stressed making sure I had the right stop and went to the wrong one first. Once the bus arrived and I boarded, the app told me when my stop was coming up and when I arrived at my destination. I could even follow along on the map. The bus was partly full with a mom with kids in a stroller, family with children, seniors, some folks off to work, and I met another person just checking out the route.

I have heard concerns from folks that they have to take more buses, it's taking longer to get to work, or the bus stop is too far away. I have helped riders figure out their routes as it seemed to be farther but, as my office looked into it there were now two buses not just one that there used to be. My office has assisted seniors and looked up bus routes for them.

I know Edmonton Transit wants to help as well, so if you're having trouble please reach out for help. I have heard from some families that their children have longer and fewer options to get to school. Edmonton Transit worked with both school boards prior to finalizing the networks, but if your student is having trouble please let us know.

This is the first system-wide change in 24 years. Edmonton Transit tried to design a system that could serve the whole city and was more efficient. Previously some areas of the city had no service and the redesign allows us to redistribute routes to cover the whole city. Where there is no service we are using on-demand buses. Over 15,000 people provided input into the redesign, but there are some gaps. If you are adversely affected or need assistance, Please contact my office ([email protected]) as we are collecting feedback to submit to ETS, or you can fill out this ETS feedback form: https://www.edmonton.ca/projects_plans/transit/bus-network-public-feedback-form

If you have accessibility needs that require door-to-door service, please contact DATS (780-496-4567) for more information.

Many have wondered about the final network and how public input was used to make the routes. Initial public engagement indicated several concerns from citizens, which led to some changes for the final network. In the northwest, this most notably led to a full revision of the network in the Castle Downs area. The final network design was presented to City Council and approved in the fall of 2019. Here is a summary of the changes made in northwest Edmonton in response to citizen feedback:

  • The biggest concern was that the original network had limited service to the YMCA, library, and other amenities located near Castle Down Transit Centre. In order to give all surrounding areas access to these amenities the network had to be revised with Castle Downs Transit Centre as the hub for the area.
    • All local routes in the area now pass through Castle Downs Transit Centre.
    • Castle Downs Transit Centre now has an express route to downtown.
    • Castle Downs Transit Centre now has the crosstown route to Westmount and University.
    • Castle Downs Transit Centre now has a fast connection to Northgate via route 126.
    • Community route 127 now runs to Castle Downs and several seniors centres nearby.
  • To address other feedback ETS made other service revisions near Castle Downs:
    • The peak express route in Palisades was revised to run along 162 Ave & 160 Ave to improve coverage in the area.
    • Local routes now run along 165 Ave to improve coverage in the northern portions of Oxford and Canossa.
    • The crosstown Route 51 was made more direct.
    • Local routes were revised to reduce walking distances near 153 Ave (neighbourhoods north and south of that road).
  • ETS also heard a lot of concerns about walking distances and commuting from the neighborhoods between 137 ave and 127 ave which resulted in big changes to this area:
    • Local route 106 now runs along 135 Ave in Wellington.
    • Seniors route 127 provides coverage on 134 Ave.
    • Crosstown Route 51 now runs along portions of 132 Ave to improve connectivity and reduce transferring.
    • Rapid route 150X now runs on portions of 132 Ave to reduce commuting travel times.
    • Route 103 now runs on 129 Ave to reduce walking distances in Calder and provide service to Kingsway.
  • The service in Sherbrooke and Dovercourt was revised with the crosstown Route 52 now staying on St Albert Trail and local Route 124 running through both neighbourhoods.  This reduces walking distances in Sherbrooke while also improving travel times on the Crosstown route 52. This change also moved a route serving 127 St (in Sherbrooke) from Kingsway to Westmount.
  • A reverse commuter Route P4 serving industrial areas on 118 Ave was removed as there was minimal interest in the service.

  • In the Woodcroft area, in response to community concerns about traffic in front of Coronation park, service in Woodcroft was reduced from four routes to one route and the remaining route was moved from 114 Ave to 115 Ave.

Thank you for to those who got involved and provided your insights. Your ongoing input is encouraged. Let's continue to work together to create a great bus system for all.