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Transit Service to Airport? (International, that is)

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Marketing tool? Given that every other city of comparable size in Canada has service to their airport, the fact that Edmonton does not is a negative against the city. What's being proposed will not be something to advertise as an enticement to come to or invest in Edmonton, but merely a basic level of service that will put us on the same level as every other city in Canada.

Airport service - does Edmonton need it? I think so as its a great marketing tool to make the city more attractive. But at what cost and who will use it? Let me play devil's advocate for a minute. Let's start with cost (approximately $2M per year as per the proposal that ETSAB put forward). From what I heard from Boutilier is that the money to fund this service would come out of ETS' service budget, so what route(s) should be cut or cutback in order to come up with the $2M? Okay, leave service alone but pull it out from somewhere else in transits budget...okay, where? And I understand from the news that the city is to approach the regional partners to see if they would put into the airport service. City of Leduc - nothing in it for them so why would they pay. Leduc County - same thing. Airport - can't see them willing to fork out money. If it was such a good idea for them they would have established something long ago. By getting people to stop driving and parking at the airport that is lost revenue on their end. Why would they want to lose that revenue and hand money to the city to run buses when there are taxis, skyshuttle and the airporter. Financially makes no sense to them. So that brings it right back to Edmonton footing the whole bill.

Edmonton should foot the bill, as this will be a route to serve Edmontonians, and a major piece of Edmonton's transportation ifastructure. As for where the hours come from, all the hours used to fund the service between Southgate and South Campus or Downtown that was cancelled and not moved elsewhere in the system could be used to implement this airport. Or, look at consolidating some suburban routes in areas where multiple routes overlap. (Routes 31 and 34, 35 and 37, 192 and 193 come to mind). Other place, did the route 53 need to be created, or would properly spacing the 43 and 50 along 122 St handle that ridership; shorten the 324 to run to Leger instead of Century Park, saving time by not needing to run non-stop along the Anthony Henday; cancel route 381, given the route 181 provides adequate service in that area. Or, get a big bus on the 79 in rush hour, and end those double header trips. Also, as ETSAB mentioned in their presentation, the airport is willing to contribute money to this service.

Now on to part two - who will use the service? Not I for one; businessmen - probably not since they will be expensed by their companies; families - not likely, can't see a family of four lugging their cases onto the bus just to save a few dollars when they have spent hundreds if not thousands to fly to some destination; students - sure, this one is likely but how often would they be flying...once maybe twice a year, more likely zero times. So who will use this service? Visitors to the city - again, they have spent tons of dough to get here, can't see them cheaping out once they get here.

The same market as uses airport buses in every other city: workers, light travelers, backpackers, etc.

Okay, so we get airport service and it costs $5 one way trip. Great I save money over what the taxis would charge but once I get to Century Park I have to buy a ticket to get on the LRT or cash for the bus. Still cheaper than a taxi. You've just flew in and have used your last $5 to get on the bus but once you get to Century Park you need to find more money to pay for the next leg of the trip.

One would hope that there would be a kiosk or vendor to see tickets at either the airport or Century Park, or the opprutunity to purchase a zone fare at the airport.

But wait, I hop on the last airport bus after a long flight then get to Century Park to find out that the bus I would take home is now out of service - how do I get home? By taxi...I should have just got into a taxi right at the airport and been home way ahead of what a bus would have done. And I would just love to wait at Century Park for a taxi late at night...that would be fun, especially for females.

So, your basic arguement is that since service in the rest of the city is terrible, we shouldn't implement this bus? That's an arguement to improve late night service, and end the planners favorite pastime of cutting last trips every chance they get.

Or say my international flight leaves at 6am. I have to be at the airport at 4am...buses not running. This service will not meet all the needs of all the people and that is why I think that ETSAB was totally out to lunch thinking the service would make money or break even.

Just like those of us who work early mornings at jobs in the city are forced to other ways to commute, due to horrible service. Service within the city does not meet the needs of any single commuter, nor will it ever. But the arguement that since we cannot meet everyone's needs, we should meet the needs we can is ridiculous. Taken to the logical extreme, we should never implement any new service, since it will not meet the needs of every singel person.

Then to hear at the last council meeting that 50% cost recovery would be good. But in my opinion this service will recoup no more than 10%, most likely less, but what the heck its only money and we won't know until we try. So put the service in for a one year trial and see what it does. I would love to be proved wrong and see that it is the most wonderfully used route in all of transit. Only time will tell.

The route would be held to the same standards as any other route in the city. Given ridership on some existing routes (ie, the 55), I'd say some routes are probably below 10% recovery, and the system average is only 42-45%. The point being made was that any route at 50% is already exceeding the system average, and would improve overall cost recovery. As for a one year trial, that is standard practise in other cities. Every year, the TTC implements proposed service changes and route extensions, and the following recieves a report on how well they performed, to decide whether or not they will continue. Curiously, Edmonton never seems to have any followup reports on service changes or cost recovery.

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Now on to part two - who will use the service? Not I for one; businessmen - probably not since they will be expensed by their companies; families - not likely, can't see a family of four lugging their cases onto the bus just to save a few dollars when they have spent hundreds if not thousands to fly to some destination

My family defiantly would use the service. For starters, we just spent lots on plane tickets, we don't wanna spend more on a private vehichle, and it is very tough for us to pack into a cramped Sky Shuttle Van, which as a family of four would come to a cost of $60 one way... that money could be better spent at WEM or something. Secondly, we are heavy transit users. We will go on a crowded, noisy bus to travel two hours to another part of town if we have to, and we don't mind. If the service has adequate luggage racks, the 4-6 pieces of luggage shouldn't be a problem, and because of it being serviced by a full sized bus, we don't have to worry about being in a cramped space. Plus with connectivity to the LRT at Century Park, we would defiantly use it to get to our hotel in Downtown! I also know many other families who would be willingly to use this service without a problem. :(

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The same market as uses airport buses in every other city: workers, light travelers, backpackers, etc.

Yep. I don't think this service would be for the business traveller wanting to get Downtown. The Skyshuttle or cabs are for that.

An affordable transportation service to the airport would open up a massive employment market to a larger segment of Edmonton. Lets not forget too, that they are expanding the airport still.

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Airport bus vetoed by council today. Although this article doesn't say, the Metro one says they voted a close 7-6.

I think this is a dumb move, and apparently so does everyone that posted on the Edmonton Journal comments. I am not sure what the specifics were regarding funding, but the sentence "Some councillors raised concerns about the costs of the 18-month test since the Edmonton Regional Airport Authority hasn’t committed to funding it." sounds like it was a premature decision by council before even confirming if the ERAA would put in some funding.

Maybe with that recently announced $800 million 1/800th of it could go towards trying out the bus service.

I'll be completely honest and say depending on the amount of people I am traveling with, I would probably still get a ride to the airport regardless of if there is a bus service or not. However if I am traveling by myself I would consider taking the bus there. But for people without access to a private vehicle, having the bus service would be a much less costly option. $5 is nothing - weren't the Fort Saskatchewan fares around there too when it started? It's $3.50 now.

Also in the below article, "A limited bus service to the airport is still starting in August, when the City of Leduc and the County of Leduc begin a weekday route aimed at commuters." is news to me! Guess we'll have to go out there and do some fanning. :)

City council nixes bus service to Edmonton International Airport

BY GORDON KENT, EDMONTONJOURNAL.COMJUNE 24, 2010 6:19 AM

EDMONTON — The wheels on the bus won't go round and round to the Edmonton International Airport after councillors turned down a proposed transit trial route to the facility.

Transportation officials had recommended testing daily, half-hour service from the Century Park LRT station for 18 months. They had suggested starting the service in the fall if the airport covered half the $982,000 cost.

Several council members argued Wednesday the scheme should be given a chance, saying the subsidy estimate was based on carrying a conservative average of five passengers a trip.

Edmonton is the only major Canadian city without public transit to its airport, meaning it has a "poverty of options" for reaching an important location, Coun. Ben Henderson said.

"At some point, we have to grow up as a city and make these choices. I think ultimately we will have higher ridership than projected."

A return taxi ride to the airport from downtown costs about $100, while a round trip with the private Edmonton Sky Shuttle is $25.

In comparison, the Edmonton Transit bus would have charged $5 each way, Henderson said.

"I think this is about a fundamental, affordable, convenient link to our airport."

But the majority of his colleagues voted against the proposal. They contended it would unnecessarily compete with companies already travelling to the International and use money that should be spent on Edmonton bus service.

Many communities don't have transit because they lack sufficient passengers, Coun. Amarjeet Sohi said.

"For me, it's very difficult to justify (saying) to Edmontonians ... 'You can't get service, but we can get service to the airport and we will run buses empty,' " he said.

"We're trying to introduce a service that does not meet the guidelines of Edmonton Transit."

While Mayor Stephen Mandel wants to increase travel options to the airport, he felt the city should negotiate with Sky Shuttle to see if it could provide the service, possibly with a subsidy.

"If I live in Castle Downs, this is of no use to me anyway ... If you don't live on the LRT, it's not much help."

Edmonton airport spokeswoman Traci Bednard said they were disappointed with the decision because they had hoped for some commitment as to when they might start the service.

"However, we have been working with Edmonton city council and the City of Leduc and the county of Leduc ... It's not that we see this as the end of the process."

The route would help the 4,000 people who work there, some at shifts that start early in the morning.

A limited bus service to the airport is still starting in August, when the City of Leduc and the County of Leduc begin a weekday route aimed at commuters.

They're hiring Edmonton Transit to provide four trips each during the morning and afternoon rush that will stop at the airport as it travels between Leduc and Century Park.

gkent@thejournal.canwest.com

© Copyright © The Edmonton Journal

Source: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/edmont...3035/story.html

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Sohi apparently voted against the motion on the account of wanting to provide better service within the city instead. Well Mr. Sohi, how well has that been working out lately? :)

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I think the simplest solution is to move the airport to this "Not in Service" neighbourhood, cause they sure get really decent service.

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We've had lots of people come up to the counter and ask about service to the airport. And if there are a lot of 'walk in' inquiries then I'm sure 3-1-1 is getting tons of inquiries.

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The airport is REALLY far from Edmonton... probably a 20-30 minute car ride just to Anthony Henday... which is the boarder road of Edmonton... walking there would take forever. I think you'd have to take the Sky Shuttle from the airport destined for Downtown. Its a 15$ charge... not as cheap, but it will do. I dont know of any other public service that will take you from The Airport to downtown. I wondered what person would locate the EDMONTON INternational Airport so far away from EDMONTON!

ETS must supply service to the Airport... So many other cities have public Transit to the Airport. Vancouver had the 424, which was well used, (now its the Canada Line but its always used to get to/from the Airport), in Winnipeg they have regular route 15, which is commonly used to get to/from the Airport.

Other cities:

-Calgary> 57 & 430

-Toronto>192 Airport Rocket, 58A, 300A, 307, GO Transit plus a Airport Terminal train

-Ottawa> 97

-Montreal> 204, 209, 356

LIST goes on...

And not only passengers taking the plane use it, but Employees that work at the Airport as well. I personally cannot drive, nor can i leagally drive, which means when i go to Edmonton, i have to take the Sky Shuttle, which i think is a little overpriced, is an uncomfortable ride and the Schedule sucks. Taking ETS to the airport would really help.

Right now, Winnipeg has both Route 15 and now, Route 20 that goes there, with a small bus terminal and a bus shack at the Greyhound station barely 100m away. Also, we're planning an LRT spur towards it as well!

Personal experience with 590: I like it! Gets me to Leduc and the Airport. Luggage wasn't an issue. Just wish it had mid-day runs.....

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Bus service to the airport starts on April 29, with route 747 (the fact that ETS gave it a school special series number, just to use that number is another issue). Fare is $5.00, no transfers to other routes. Service will be every 30 minutes daytime, and 60 minutes evenings with departures from Centruy Park from 5 am to 11:30pm, departures from the airport 5:30 to midnight.

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Good to know - thanks for posting. 747 - :lol: - I like it.

Quite common to see using that type of route number, Montreal for example!

Anyway, haven't been back on Edmonton thread for a long while, it's a good news they finally doing this! Too bad the buses can only do 100 while speed posted shows 110!

Here's the link: http://webdocs.edmonton.ca/transit/route_schedules_and_maps/future/RT747.pdf

I wonder if they do modification on their buses to have luggage racks accommodate it!

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I don't think they will add luggage racks. There are a handful of highway coaches that are also in regular service when not assigned to designated highway runs. People will just have to sit with their luggage tucked safely near where they are seated.

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I don't think they will add luggage racks. There are a handful of highway coaches that are also in regular service when not assigned to designated highway runs. People will just have to sit with their luggage tucked safely near where they are seated.

They don't need to! I sat near the front, and slid my bag between the two seats (drivers-side L on the D40LFR). Worked fine for me :)

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They don't need to! I sat near the front, and slid my bag between the two seats (drivers-side L on the D40LFR). Worked fine for me :)

We know they don't have to add luggage racks, but you know how people are. <_<

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According to the April In Transit, the buses used for this service will have luggage racks, and a special wrap. <_<

Seriously? Winnipeg uses ANY bus to the airport (was once there with both an Invero and an D40), without wraps, since pretty much the 1960s or 1970s (wonder if Martin Parsons would know when Winnipeg Transit service to the airport began, or DavidW if he reads this). As for luggage racks, which bus would get it? Will they send an Arboc or Glaval with racks? Are they going to order a whole new bunch of buse's? With the 200s retiring, it could be possible that ETS might buy new buse's. Since except for the sole Orion or the community shuttles, its an all-NFI city...

Wait, is the Orion still around? Sorry :P

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According to the April In Transit, the buses used for this service will have luggage racks, and a special wrap. <_<

<_< X 100

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Luggage racks will be installed to replace the three seats facing the rear door.

:( thats my favorite seating area on a bus! Plus as I said (sorry about unrelated Coca-Cola picture for my Facebook):

196565_187556967947371_100000792081288_384081_2446954_n.jpg

My (old) bag is roughly 1.5-2 feet wide, and it fit near my seat quite well! I also still had enough legroom for my trip on 590 to the Airport. Since 747 is presumably for businessmen with WAY smaller case's and airport workers with what... their lunches? Pretty sure anyone could use just two seats, leaving room for roughly 20 people otherwise. Also, I travelled to Calgarys Airport and been on the bus to mine barely a km away from my house in Winnipeg, and I rarely see more than one passengers, or a familys worth of luggage! That and when I got off that ETS bus, I saw dozens of families using their relatives cars instead of the D40LFR to get there :P (I got there at approx. 5:45ish? Other than me, only one other person on the bus from the Nisku stop)

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A video of the inaugural Airport, funny, they are using the last few units of the 2009 models!

 

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Just wondering, how has ridership been on the 590/747 to the airport? I'd imagine the 747 must at least get a few passengers here and there, although I noticed that theres no direct service from Leduc to EIA in the morning, or from EIA to Leduc in the afternoon. If there was that return service, wouldn't there be more people using the 590? I also noticed in frequency, the 747 shows up at :00/:30 (60 offpeak, 30 peak), but the 590 shows up at :05/:35. If it was spaced out, couldn't more revenue be made, or better service?

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