Regional Transit Services Commission
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.
Why consider creating a Regional Transit Commission?
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 number of daily transit trips in the region has increased by nearly 9,000 since 2005, while the number of automobile trips has increased by about 236,000. That is one transit trip for every 26 automobile trips.
- Population impacts on our infrastructure and services may become more pronounced. For example, the regional forecast for 2020 population is 1.5 million and by 2065, this is expected to reach 3 million people, with 2 million people in the City of Edmonton and 1 million people in the region.
- Regional employment is forecasted to grow from 767,000 to 1.5 million jobs, reinforcing the need for efficient and effective transportation to support an increasing population.
What will be considered as part of the regional transit service commission business case?
The Regional Transit Service Commission business case will examine the possibility for:
- convenient, cost-effective and extensive service across municipalities
- integrated customer experience through improved community connections
This consideration will be based on data, costing and mapping of current local transit systems provided by each of the participating municipalities.
What this means for the City of Beaumont:
A unified transit network would offer more options to transit users while reducing our costs by 20 per cent. A regionally combined transit network has the potential to offer Beaumont transit users with extended hours, increased frequency, and more places to travel within the region - all at a lower cost to taxpayers.
Exact routes, destinations and schedules would be determined once municipalities agree to participate.
In January 2020, a report prepared for the 13 municipalities in the Edmonton Metropolitan region recommended that they take the next step in forming a Regional Transit Services Commission under provincial legislation.
On June 1, 2020, the Regional Transit Services Commission Transition Team released an addendum document to the Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission final report released on January 22, 2020.
The addendum outlines updated routes and figures included in the RTSC business case. These revisions reflect the removal of services previously incorporated to serve Strathcona County, Leduc County and Sturgeon County. Like the original report, the document serves to demonstrate the viability of a Commission in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region based on which municipalities have chosen to participate.
Municipalities who chose to join will jointly sponsor a proposal to the Government of Alberta to establish the Commission under Provincial Regulation. The Government of Alberta must approve the new Commission before it can begin operation, tentatively by 2022.
Public engagement will be a key focus of the next phase of work to be done before the Commission is legally formed and begins operations in 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.
For More Information, Please Contact:
Wes Brodhead, Chair Regional Transit Services Commission Transition Team
Last updated: June 1, 2020