Main page content begins here

An alternative transit service could complement regular bus service so more Edmontonians can get to where they need to go conveniently and safely.

In some neighbourhoods, an alternative transit service could be a better fit because of the design of neighbourhood roads, ease of access in and out of the community, and current levels of transit use. It can also be a way to introduce public transit to newer communities until the neighbourhood is built out and can support regular bus service. An alternative transit service is a cost-effective way of providing public transit in a way that meets the needs of the community it serves.

Communities Reviewed for Alternative Transit
  • Aspen Gardens
  • Avonmore
  • Breckenridge Greens
  • Brookside
  • Cameron Heights
  • Cavanagh
  • Cloverdale
  • Edgemont
  • Falconer Heights
  • Gainer Industrial
  • Girard Industrial
  • Grandview Heights
  • Graydon Hill
  • Hawks Ridge
  • Hays Ridge
  • Henderson Estates
  • Kenilworth
  • Keswick
  • King Edward Park
  • Lansdowne
  • Lauderdale
  • Montrose
  • Potter Greens
  • Rio Terrace
  • Starling
  • Trumpeter
  • Wedgewood Heights
  • Westridge

On-demand Alternative Transit

ETS is exploring an on-demand 15-passenger van alternative transit service option. This option was selected based on several factors, including feedback from participants in our public engagement workshops. They wanted:

  • Safe - participants prefer ETS-trained drivers
  • Fast - participants do not want to wait a long time for pick-up/drop-off
  • Affordable - participants do not want to pay more than regular ETS fares
  • Accessible - participants want a say in where pick up locations are situated

An on-demand alternative transit option would only operate when there is demand for service. ETS is recommending a public-private approach, which means ETS has more control over the service and can guarantee availability of accessible vehicles. If the on-demand alternative transit service is successful, ETS would consider bringing it in-house. The City already has partnerships with the private sector to successfully deliver other core services.

The City of Calgary and Town of Cochrane are also using a similar on-demand alternative transit approach in their communities.

How On-demand Alternative Transit Would Work

A flexible, on-demand alternative transit service would allow riders to request a pick-up or drop-off from either a designated stop in the neighbourhood or the designated transit hub. A 15-passenger vehicle with a trained driver would carry residents between the stops in the neighbourhood and the transit hub.

Providing Feedback

The public engagement period for the proposed alternative transit service concluded in October 2019. You can read the What We Heard reports on the public engagement page. Citizens who wish to provide additional feedback may do so by submitting a request to speak to City Council's Urban Planning Committee on November 19, 2019.

Next Steps

ETS is providing its research and findings to City Council for information and further direction.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is transit funded?

Public transit benefits both the community and individuals, so up to 60 per cent of ETS’ operating costs are covered through municipal taxes and the remainder through fares. In order for ETS to provide the best value to all taxpayers, it regularly evaluates the performance of its routes to match the service to the demand. In some neighbourhoods, an alternative transit service may be a better fit.

Will my neighbourhood continue to have access to public transit?

ETS is seeking direction and funding from City Council to launch an alternative transit service in communities identified for this service.

I live in a newer community. Will I get access to public transit?

If City Council wants to pursue alternative transit in newer communities, ETS will consider several factors. They include:

  • Must be further than 600 metres from existing transit service
  • Road network design may not be able to support a 40’ bus
  • There must be a minimum of 200 occupied dwellings.
How does ETS decide where to add, change or reduce service?

The Transit Service Standards set guidelines for when ETS considers making changes to service. The changes are prioritized based on several factors including available resources.

How did you decide which communities would be reviewed for an alternative transit service?

If more than 20 per cent of their population must walk more than 600 metres to the nearest transit stop and there are more than 20 existing customers beyond the 600 metre walk to regular service, ETS reviewed the neighbourhood as a possible alternative transit candidate. Implementation of alternative transit is subject to further direction and funding from City Council.

In newer communities, ETS considers several factors. They include being more than 600 metres from existing transit service, their road network design may not be able to support a 40’ bus and they must have at least 200 occupied dwellings.

Are industrial neighbourhoods being reviewed for alternative transit?

ETS reviewed the Gainer and Girard Industrial neighbourhoods as possible candidates for alternative transit. Implementation of an alternative transit solution is subject to further direction and funding from City Council.

For More Information

Bus Network Redesign Project


In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

End of page content. Please choose between the following five options:

Back to main menu Back to current page menu and content View current page breadcrumb Back to site search Continue to page footer content