More Edmontonians than ever are making the choice to go with public transit, whether bus or LRT. A ridership survey shows that overall bus ridership increased 5.2 percent from 76.3 million trips in 2010 to 80.3 million trips in 2011. Weekday LRT ridership increased from 92,000 to 95,300 daily passenger boardings in 2011. Weekday bus ridership increased from 297,000 to 302,000 daily passengers boardings in 2011. Contributing factors include good service, a full year of South LRT operation and programs such as UPass and ETS@Work.
Donate a Ride
Corporations donated 82,470 transit tickets in 2011. The free rides were distributed by 58 local social service agencies to help low-income individuals and families get to the employment, educational and social services they need to improve their lives. Over 15 years community agencies have received 835,252 tickets valued at $1.5 million.
A Night Ride late-night transportation pilot between Whyte Avenue, the University of Alberta and Southgate shopping centre began operating January 6, 2012, and by April 1 had served 1,828 patrons. The pilot ran until mid-April 2012, operating Friday and Saturday nights between 1:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. The goal is to help patrons and workers of the night-time economy get home more easily and safely after closing time. Riders can request a stop anywhere en route to Southgate, where taxis wait for remaining patrons. The pilot was intended to free up taxis on Whyte Avenue for people travelling in other directions.
Edmonton Transit began testing an iPhone app in early 2012 that makes it simpler and easier for commuters to get transit schedules on their smartphones. The rider simply enters the stop or route number (or use the map search) and all the times available will appear. The TransitGo app makes it very easy to check times for the bus or train while continuing with their daily routine. It’s also possible to set an alarm that shows how much time is left before the next ride arrives.
The first 100 years
Ride of the Century: The Story of the Edmonton Transit System is a new book that tells the story of the first 100 years of ETS as well as the development of Edmonton from a small prairie town to the booming capital city it is today. Filled with a rich collection of historical and current images, woven together with personal stories and historical accounts, this book is a fascinating look at a century of Edmonton Transit's history.
ETS launched its revised online ETS Trip Planner in late 2011, making it easier for residents to plan their trip on Edmonton Transit. Developed jointly by ETS and the City’s Information Technology Branch, some of the new features and tools of the upgraded ETS Trip Planner include integration with notices about detours and bus stop closures as well as quicker results and better trip solutions.
Around the block a few times
Bus #5059 has become the first DATS vehicle to put more than 300,000 km on the clock. When the City took over the DATS maintenance contract, the fleet was almost entirely new. Because of the cost of replacing the fleet all at once, the City’s objective is to make them last as long as possible while they are replaced through a phased cycle. DATS operators make nearly 2,500 door-to-door trips each day. More than 10,000 registered passengers who have a severe physical or cognitive disability rely on this service throughout the year.