Regional Transit Service Commission
Eight municipalities in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region are in the process of creating a Regional Transit Service Commission to deliver efficient and affordable transit options for riders throughout the region.
The next board meeting is scheduled to take place on Feb. 18 and is open to the public.
Why create 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 was considered as part of the Regional Transit Service Commission business case?
The Regional Transit Service Commission business case examined the possibility for:
- Convenient, cost-effective and extensive service across municipalities
- Integrated customer experience through improved community connections
This consideration was based on data, costing and mapping of current local transit systems provided by each of the participating municipalities.
Eight 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 in June 2020. The application was approved in January 2021. An Interim Board of elected representatives from the eight municipalities have been meeting to prepare for the implementation of the RTSC. This includes an executive search for a CEO and planning a smooth transition to the Commission.
In September 2017, City of Edmonton and City of St. Albert Councils approved an agreement 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 with 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 Regional Transit Services Commission Transition Team released its business case, including a strategic plan and financial model, in January 2020 to determine the viability of a Commission, and how it could best operate in the region.
News and updates
- January 2021: Approval received to legally form a regional transit services commission
- December 2020: City Council votes on establishing a regional transit services commission
- October 2020: Leduc pleased to see regional transit initiative is on track
- June 2020: Regional Transit Services Commission reaches major milestone with application to the Province
- June 2020: Addendum to Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission
- March 2020: 12 municipalities set to form new Regional Transit Services Commission
- February 2020: Leduc City Council votes to join new Regional Transit Services Commission
- January 2020: Business case for Regional Transit Service released
- January 2020: Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission