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ETS is looking at alternative transit options for neighbourhoods that might not have service in the proposed new bus network.

Edmonton’s proposed new bus network identifies communities, with a low number of riders, low density and geographically difficult to service due to the road network design that are better suited for alternative service delivery options other than a fixed route.

For neighbourhoods that are losing service or will have excessive walking distances, ETS is committed to finding alternative transit solutions for them. In January 2019, City Council requested that ETS also look at providing this service to neighbourhoods that do not currently have transit service. The Council request includes reviewing community routes to better serve areas of the city with many seniors' housing complexes.

Pilot project recommendation

ETS is recommending an alternative transit solution, such as an on-demand shared vanpool, which would take passengers to the nearest transit connection. From there, riders would board a regular ETS transit to continue their journey. ETS is evaluating different options to determine what would work best for Edmonton residents and deliver the best value for taxpayers.

Neighbourhoods identified as potential pilot project areas

ETS is identifying neighbourhoods that do not have transit service today, or will have walking distances greater than 600 metres* to a transit stop (in the proposed new bus network) have been identified for an alternative transit solution.

*A still-to-be determined percentage of the neighbourhood must have walking distances greater than 600 metres to qualify.


The goal would be to have the alternative transit solution start at the same time as the Bus Network Redesign implementation in mid-2020.


ETS proposes to gather feedback during the pilot project to evaluate its success.

Next steps

A report containing implementation details and operating costs for an alternative transit solution will go to City Council in November 2019. If approved, the solution would start to be implemented alongside the Bus Network Redesign.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are transit resources allocated?

Public transit benefits both the community and individuals, so transit costs are covered 60% through municipal taxes and 40% through customer fares.

In order for ETS to provide best value to all taxpayers, it regularly evaluates the performance of its routes. If a route has a low number of passengers, buses will be moved to another location where the travel demand is higher. In the absence of regular transit service, ETS is evaluating alternative transit options for affected communities.

Why will my community not have regular bus service in the future?

The recommendation to remove regular scheduled service from a community is a difficult one and is based on a number of factors. Buses from areas of the city with fewer riders are often re-assigned to other areas where the demand for service is significantly higher. There are three primary reasons behind the recommendation to remove service:

  1. Low population density - transit needs a minimum number of riders to support the service. Resources are often reallocated based on demand.
  2. Geography - some communities are difficult to serve, especially those that have one road in and out. This road configuration means the bus must backtrack to get out of the neighbourhood. This is an inefficient use of time and resources.
  3. Road network design - not every road in Edmonton is built to accommodate a 40’ bus. Roads must be wide enough for a bus to navigate and curves in the road must allow for the bus to manoeuvre through them.
I live in a newer community that doesn’t currently have transit service. Will I get an alternative transit option?

ETS is reviewing the cost and options for providing alternative transit solutions to neighbourhoods that do not currently have regular transit service.

For More Information

Bus Network Redesign Project


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

TTY 780-944-5555

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