page contents Vote Dylan Bressey, candidate for Grande Prairie City Council. Election 2017. page contents

A New Transit Master Plan?

On Thursday I went to a presentation of the new Transit Master Plan. On Tuesday at 2:00pm, the Community Growth Committee will be discussing it (you are welcome to observe the meeting). There is a possibility that they will add it to the agenda for Council that evening.

Click here to see an executive summary. Below is a picture of the proposed new routes.

I haven't read the plan in detail yet. But I wanted to post about it ASAP in case any of you wanted to take a look over the long weekend. Below are some things that popped out at me from the presentation today. I'm going from notes from people speaking, so please correct me if you notice any errors.

  • Council was hearing this at the same time as invited stakeholders, which is not usual (but I think kind of neat)
  • The plan calls for solar powered electric buses. We would be the first North American system to do this
  • There hasn't been any route overhauls in over 10 years. This plan will call for major overhauls (the picture is the proposed new transit map)
  • Under this plan, 75% of trips will be 30 minutes or less, 90% under 45 minutes.
  • 2 heated shelters are being piloted. Funding for 50 shelters with solar lights is also in place. The plan calls to going from 6% of stops having shelters to 30%
  • Eventually, routes will have two way service (ie: busses will go along them in both directions). This will stop you from having to go through a whole loop to get to a nearby stop in the wrong direction.
  • A major goal in the first year is to have 30 minute frequency of buses getting to stops and to have 2 way service on some routes at peak hours. A major goal of year 2 is higher frequency of stops and 2-way service on Saturdays. A major goal of year 5 is 15 minute frequency,
  • Right now, the City pays about $5/transit ride. The average user pays about $1. The plan would like to change this ratio, partly by increasing fares. It calls for a book of 10 adult tickets to go from $17 now to $23.40 in year four. Fares have not been increased in 12 years.
  • The plan calls for two terminals. One downtown (a few potential locations are proposed, the top one being west of Co-op), and one behind Walmart
  • The projected cost for all of this is on page 11 of the summary I had above

What are your thoughts?

The room included Councillors and representatives from school boards, neighbourhood association, the business community, and advocates for people with disabilities. While there were some questions and concerns over the plan, overall it seems to have had a positive reception.

A big question I have: this plan wants to increase ridership. It has the belief that this will happen if we improve and increase service. Do you think that assumption is accurate?