Regional Transit Services Commission reaches major milestone with application to the Province

Friday, June 12, 2020

On June 11, nine municipalities in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region submitted a joint application to the Province of Alberta formally seeking the establishment of a Regional Transit Services Commission (RTSC): City of Beaumont, Town of Devon, City of Edmonton, City of Fort Saskatchewan, City of Leduc, Town of Morinville, City of Spruce Grove, City of St. Albert and Town of Stony Plain.

Municipalities began examining the possibility of delivering integrated regional transit services in 2017 with the support of a grant from the Province of Alberta. The work was led by a Transition Team of elected representatives from municipalities in the Region.

“The submission of the application to the Province for the creation of a Regional Transit Services Commission is an important milestone in the development of how the Metro Edmonton Region works together for the benefit of all,” said City of St. Albert Councillor Wes Brodhead, Chair of the RTSC Transition Team. “It is the culmination of the hard work, dedication and collaborative focus of all participating municipalities, and I look forward to continuing the work of creating a regional transit system that serves the mobility needs of citizens of the region.”

Regional transit services can provide convenient, cost-effective and improved connections to more destinations for transit users.

“I'm proud of our work done as a region to get to this application submission. A better connected region will increase our collective economic competitiveness and provide more affordable and accessible transportation choices for citizens," said City of Edmonton Councillor Michael Walters, Co-chair of the Transition Team. "With recent impacts felt throughout the region, the Commission is key to supporting our recovery and as we collectively reimagine a new Metro Edmonton Region for the future."

The application comes after the “Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission” report released in January 2020 and a report addendum made available last week that demonstrated the value of a regional transit system. Since January, nine of thirteen municipalities voted in support of becoming a member of the Commission. The updated business case contemplated 10 members, but remains viable with nine. Based on the updated business case, the Commission is estimated to save over 600 service hours per week and $2.2 million per year once the regional system is fully operational.

The RTSC Transition Team is monitoring the streamlined application process proposed in the newly introduced Bill 22: Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2020. Member municipalities will continue to work with Alberta Municipal Affairs to fulfill any new requirements if the Bill passes.

In the meantime, an interim Board of elected representatives from the nine municipalities will meet to begin preparing for the implementation of the RTSC. This work will include an executive search for a CEO and planning a smooth transition to the Commission.

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Megan Hall