Enhanced bus services for rural communities are part of the municipality’s transit plans for 2017, including new routes and more frequent stops.
Rob Billard, director of public works and transit services, told the Rural Committee during a Tuesday meeting the municipality would start a pilot project of twice a week round-trip bus rides from Conklin and Janvier to Fort McMurray and back, instead of the current once-a-week service. The pilot project will assess demand for the additional service, Billard said. Anzac has had twice-a-week bus service since February.
The extra ride for Conklin will be on Wednesday, and the extra ride for Janvier will run on Friday. The start date for the pilot project is still being decided, Billard said, but will be in the spring.
“I’m very pleased with the changes that are about to happen,” Coun. Jane Stroud, a member of the committee, said in a Thursday interview.
During the meeting, Stroud argued ridership for the Janvier service would increase if the municipality reached out to the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation. The Janvier community centre, which serves as a bus stop, is a long walk from the reserve.
Both Fort Chipewyan and Fort McKay have said they are interested in having bus services, Billard said.
A meeting with Fort McKay residents will be held before putting out a Request For Proposal (RFP).
During the spring, summer and fall months when more Fort Chipewyan residents travel to Fort McMurray by air, buses will stop at the old airport terminal to pick up Fort Chipewyan arrivals who would otherwise have to take a taxi. The service will start April 18.
In the past, Fort Chipewyan residents…
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