The City is planning and designing for Edmonton’s future city-wide Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and district bus-based mass transit routes.
Mass Transit Network at 1.25 Million People
As part of The City Plan implementation, the City completed a mass transit technical study that identifies a mass transit network to support a population horizon of 1.25 million people (about 10-15 years from now). This 1.25 million population horizon mass transit network includes a modest expansion of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) network and the development of bus-based mass transit to complement the expanded LRT network.
The City of Edmonton uses the Project Development and Delivery Model (PDDM) model for infrastructure.
This project is in the strategy phase.
Following completion of the technical study to identify the mass transit network for the 1.25 million population horizon, the next step was identifying candidate corridors for the non-LRT (bus-based) mass transit (strategy stage). At the 1.25 million population horizon, 3 city-wide Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes and 15 bus-based district mass transit routes have been identified for development.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Routes
Building off the mass transit study work, we are now in the strategy stage for the 3 identified city-wide BRT routes:
Castle Downs to Century Park via 97 Street and Gateway Boulevard/Calgary Trail
West Edmonton Mall to Bonnie Doon via Quesnell Bridge and Whyte Avenue
Confirming route alignments (along which streets the routes will run)
Outlining, at a high level, how the streets with BRT mass transit might look
Identifying station locations
Developing a staging plan with the order each route will be implemented
Fifteen district routes (9 Frequent Corridor Service Routes and 6 Rapid Limited Stop Node Service Routes) are also in the strategy stage. Details concerning upgrades related to operational needs including transit priority measures required to enhance these routes will be completed as part of the strategy stage work.
These district routes will supplement the LRT and 3 planned BRT city-wide routes, helping extend mass transit service to all quadrants of the city and support growth at key nodes and corridors. Some of these district routes may eventually evolve into city-wide BRT routes as the city grows past the 1.25 million population horizon.
Local bus service will be unchanged as a result of this work, except in cases where the local bus service is redundant with the mass transit network. Local bus service generally describes the current ETS bus network which serves neighbourhoods and local destinations, and connects to other local routes and/or higher orders of transit (like mass transit).
Bus-Based Planning Timeline
The strategy stage for the bus-based mass transit routes for the 1.25 million population horizon will happen in 4 phases.
Phase 1: Defining Bus-Based Mass Transit in Edmonton (2022)
In this first phase, we sought to determine how bus-based mass transit routes would look and operate, such as the potential vehicle, service and right-of-way combinations for different route types. We also explored if there were any opportunities for rail-based transit beyond LRT.
Phase 2: Mass Transit Impacts (2023)
There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to planning and designing new transit infrastructure. Five technical studies (transit operations, land use, mobility, GHG assessment and GBA+ and Inclusivity) as well as public engagement were used to capture potential impacts and ensure we create a bus-based mass transit network that works for everyone.
Phase 3: Evaluate Route Alignment and Design Options (2023-2024)
The technical studies and public engagement feed into an evaluation and decision making process for the planned bus-based mass transit routes. The expected outcome is a number of recommendations, including: confirming initial route alignments (which streets the bus-based mass transit routes routes will run along) and station locations; outlining at a high level how the streets with the bus-based mass transit routes will be configured; and a staging plan with the order each route will be implemented.
Phase 4: 1.25 Million Network Staging Plan (2024)
The network staging plan and initial route alignment, station location and street configuration recommendations for the bus-based mass transit routes will be presented to Council in 2024. This will mark the completion of the strategy stage work and the routes will then move into the concept stage. Funding for the initial concept design for the bus-based mass transit routes for the 1.25 million population horizon was approved by City Council as part of the 2023-2026 Capital Budget. Funding for detailed design and construction will be put forward as part of a future Capital Budget cycles once the initial concept design is complete.
Old Strathcona Parking Study
Old Strathcona Parking Study
helps provide a better understanding of how on-street parking is provided and used in this area. The study will be used, along with other research, policy considerations and public input, to help inform the route alignment and basic street configuration for the Whyte Avenue bus-based mass transit lanes.
It will also be used to help inform future transportation decisions—such as parking management programs and initiatives, and roadway planning and design decisions—for Whyte Avenue and the broader Old Strathcona area.