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Edmonton regional commuter transit system

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Green light for regional transit planning
By: Victoria Paterson
Wednesday, Mar 30, 2016 06:00 am
St. Albert Gazette

Collaboration between the City of St. Albert and the City of Edmonton on the idea of a separate regional transit commuter system looks set to move forward.
[...]
The report to St. Albert council last week said the current concept would be to set up a third transit authority that would be in charge of inter-municipal commuting transit.


St Albert and Edmonton see fed dollars as incentive for regional transit system
630 CHED
Scott Johnston
Posted: March 24, 2016 05:00 am | Last Updated: March 24, 2016 09:19 am

[st Albert city manager Patrick] Draper was at Edmonton City Hall making a presentation to city council’s transportation committee. The two cities are working slowly towards a deal, and seem to have made a break through on cost and governance structure.

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Interesting... I wonder in the coming years, with the Metro LRT line planning to be extended to the City of St Albert, could we also with this regional Transit system idea, see a regional LRT service connecting Edmonton, St Albert, Sherwood Park, etc? I wonder what this new Transit system will be called...

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It's too early to tell at this point what could happen. They're evaluating different options for how to possibly even structure the service (although St. Albert seems to favour basically a 3rd entity that runs cross boarder service). How everything gets structured could determine how the LRT gets operated etc.

Example, if they go for one single agency then the LRT line is just the LRT line, whether it crosses municipal boundaries or not. However, St. Albert potentially loses some autonomy when it comes to local transit service. If a 3rd entity runs cross board service, then it's certainly less clear how the LRT would factor in, but St. Albert would (presumably) keep funding local transit as they fit.

It's interesting too how StAT, SCT, and ETS are spending Green Trip funding. StAT went with electric buses, ETS region wide Smart Fare, and SCT double decker buses. In the case of ETS and SCT's projects they actually help the region, while arguably St. Albert's electric buses will only help out locally. Granted, there's something to be said for being the early adopter and really operating electric buses before anyone else potentially commits many millions of dollars as there is the potential ETS could.

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Edmonton St. Albert Regional transit system moving forward
System could be operating within three years.
By: Ryan Tumilty Metro Published on Tue Sep 27 2016

 

A regional transit service could ferry St. Albertan commuters into Edmonton in just three years time.


[...]
The proposal is to build a regional commission that provides a commuter service with a shared fare structure. If it is created by the two municipalities it could be expanded in future to include other cities in the region, officials said.

 

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St. Albert mayor confident major strides can be made on joint transit
Scott Johnston
CHQR 770AM
January 09, 2017 06:00 am

 

St. Albert’s mayor suggests major progress can be made in the next few months on creating an authority or commission that combines Edmonton and St. Albert Transit.

 

I get the impression that St. Albert is interested in a combined transit system for Edmonton and St. Albert but Edmonton has countered with a suggestion to create a regional-level entity to handle inter-municipality routes only...

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http://www.metro-magazine.com/technology/news/724202/vix-technology-to-supply-edmonton-with-smart-ticketing-system

Quote

Vix Technology has been selected by three city partners in the Edmonton metropolitan region, which includes the City of Edmonton, Strathcona County and City of St. Albert, to implement a new advanced Regional Smart Fare Solution (RSFS).
The RSFS is a 15-year contract that will move the three cities from a cash and paper-based ticketing system to a common contactless fare payment system utilizing an account-based back office. The RSFS initiative is made up of multiple components, and Vix will design, build, operate, and maintain the entire solution, inclusive of front-end equipment, back-office infrastructure, smart card media and more for the duration of the contract.

 

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Edmonton and St. Albert agree to next steps in creating metro transit commission
By Scott Johnston    
Reporter  630CHED    

Quote

The cities of Edmonton and St. Albert are one step closer to creating a joint transit system.

For the past year, a task force made up of representatives from both cities has been working on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to create a Regional Transit Services Commission (RTSC).

 

It's still not clear to me if they're talking some sort of unified, combined Edmonton+St. Albert entity, or a third entity to manage trans-border routes only.  I'm guessing it's the latter (so more complicated, not less).

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My take on the linked article is that the reporter doesn't know what the hell is going on. 

Today is Thursday.... The day agendas, and therefore reports, get released for the upcoming council/ committee meetings 

It looks to me that article was mostly prepared from quotes taken from the report, with a few sound bites from Iveson and Wes Broadhead (formerly a higher up in ETS, now a St. Albert Councillor).

Frankly, it was a pretty dry report. The good stuff is in the actual MOU, which is attachment 3 for the item on the agenda.

I've highlighted the relevant areas below. The aim right now is just for a regional intercity bus service.

It's worth noting that the Airport service has an agenda item as well. Basically, Edmonton is suggesting that since they don't get a subsidy anymore they're going to double fares and reduce service. Ironically I rode the route today and it's busy. I'd bet that route has better cost recovery than a large number of ETS routes, first with simply the amount of riders, and secondly the fact it's a more expensive fare, and, the fact is, those riders are coming into Edmonton. It's not like ETS is running the service but the riders are going elsewhere in the region. Further, at the Urban Planning Committee meeting this week, ETSAB had a report on tourism and transit and made note of of the inconveniences for tourists trying to use the 747. 

 


 4. REGIONAL TRANSIT SERVICES COMMISSION VISION
4.1 The Parties intend that the RTSC will be established in accordance with the following
vision:
(a) The RTSC will be a regional services commission as defined under Part 15.1 of the Act;
(B) The RTSC will help to ensure the provision of a fast, convenient, simple, reliable, efficient,
and affordable transit service, that is seamlessly integrated with other modes of
transportation;
© The RTSC will provide an appreciably faster commute time when compared against other
modes of transportation;
(d) The RTSC will create a better customer experience by combining strengths and
implementing new technologies;
(e) The RTSC will initially provide inter-city bus transit service;
(f) In the future, the RTSC may expand to provide additional transit services including, but not
limited to:
(i) local intra-city service;
(ii) specialized transit service, including DATS and Handibus service; and
(iii) light rail transit;

(g) The RTSC will support long-term regional development and growth plans and will act as a
partner in transportation and land use planning in the Metro Edmonton Region;
(h) The RTSC will serve as a transit backbone that will help to connect communities and support
a stronger, greener, and more prosperous Metro Edmonton Region;
(i) The RTSC will provide more convenient service across municipal boundaries, which in turn
will allow the public to access employment opportunities that better match their needs;
(j) The RTSC will help to alleviate traffic congestion, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and
improve air quality;
(k) The RTSC will allow the Parties to realize procurement savings for transit related products
and services; and
(l) The RTSC will be a full participant in regional transit initiatives designed to enhance the
integration of administrative functions and improve customer service interfaces.
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Edmonton's neighbours ready to sign on to create regional transit commission
Globalnews.ca
By Scott Johnston, Reporter, 630CHED

17 July 2018

Quote

The number of communities that want to be part of a proposed regional transit commission for the Edmonton area is set to grow. Local mayors have confirmed to Global News that what started as a partnership between Edmonton and St. Albert will soon also include Parkland County, the Town of Morinville, the City of Leduc and others.


...

 

 

City signs on to regional transit initiative
Published: Thursday, 12 July 2018 15:34
Written by Alex Myroon    
www.fortsaskonline.com

Quote

Councillor Deanna Lennox will be representing the city at a regional transit commission.


The City of Fort Saskatchewan has signed on to take part in a regional commission aimed at creating integrated transit service in the Edmonton metropolitan area. ...

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