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.
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.
Public transportation is a critical service that warrants regional consideration. As cities and communities continue to attract more people, demand for appealing and viable public transit alternatives for commuters continues to grow.
Municipal transit system providers face changing mobility preferences and shifts to regional economies that can make planning and forecasting transit services at the local level challenging.
In addition, the following considerations are worth examining at a regional level:
The Regional Transit Service Commission business case will examine the possibility for:
This consideration will be based on data, costing and mapping of current local transit systems provided by each of the participating municipalities.
The Regional Transit Services Commission Transition Team is working toward finalizing the business case - including a strategic plan and financial model - to determine the viability of a Commission, and how it could best operate in the region.
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.