A two year pilot project has launched today to bring in commuters from communities south of Calgary by bus.
On It Regional Transit coaches bring people in and out of Calgary from Okotoks, High River, Black Diamond, and Turner Valley during peak hours.
It’s an initiative of the Calgary Regional Partnership, and Executive Director Colleen Shepherd tells Global News they’re hopeful for it’s long-term success.
“Obviously we want to get our buses full over the long run. We know it takes some time to shift our car culture. (We hope to learn) about the ridership, what people want, what our commuters are looking for, and hoping then to expand the service to an all-day type service potentially.”
The coaches will take passengers to and from the Somerset-Bridlewood LRT.
A one way ticket costs between two and eight dollars depending on the distance travelled.
Shepherd says the buses will also take the strain off parking at LRT stations.
“With regional riders coming in from the outlying areas it can take up a lot of the parking spots that really should be there for Calgarians. There’s about 14 to 15,000 people a day that travel from Okotoks alone so you can imagine the pressures that can put on the city system, so we think we’ll alleviate some of that.”
The Calgary Regional Partnership is also doing a feasibility study to see if something similar can be done in Strathmore and Chestermere.
“The idea being to have a fully connected region. Where you could go to school, to jobs, entertainment, tourism, and you’re easily mobile throughout the whole system.”
Much longer term, they’re exploring the use of CP rail lines to move people, similar to Toront0’s GO trains.