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Thread: The Leduc To Nisku To Airport To Edmonton Bus

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    Default The Leduc To Nisku To Airport To Edmonton Bus

    THE LEDUC TO NISKU TO AIRPORT TO EDMONTON BUS

    Graham Hicks Blog

    For years, I've been asking this simple question.

    If two cities, an industrial park and an airport can't figure out how to run a much-needed daily bus circuit (some 4,000 employees drive to the International every day, most from Edmonton), how will regional issues of much greater importance ever be solved?

    Patience, says Leduc Mayor Greg Krischke.

    With the new regional planning board, the transportation sub-committee is in high gear planning and scheming for an all-inclusive regional mass transit system serving one and all.

    The master plan, says Krischke, must, by provincial government decree, be ready to go by March 31.

    And if one of the first proposed regional bus routes doesn't run in some variation of a loop from Edmonton to the International Airport, to Nisku, to Leduc and back, Greg would be one very surprised member of that regional planning board.

    P.S. It will have to be highway coaches - as city buses aren't fast enough to run on highways. And probably it would take about six of them to work that route.

    So, new deadline for the question to be asked again.

    March 31!

    Link: http://blog.canoe.ca/hicksonsix

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    I'm glad to hear they're at least looking into the idea of an all-inclusive regional mass transit system. It's time to get rid of St Albert Transit, Strathcona County Transit, and ETS and create one single system.

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    It the three transit systems merge then you could use Strathcona's coaches for the airport run from Century Park. What a win-win!
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    ^ I think it is great to see that this is on the regional board agenda which, is the reason that I posted this in the regional cooperation instead of transportation forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    I'm glad to hear they're at least looking into the idea of an all-inclusive regional mass transit system. It's time to get rid of St Albert Transit, Strathcona County Transit, and ETS and create one single system.
    I'm not against this but besides rationalizing admin operations, what real benefits are there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    I'm glad to hear they're at least looking into the idea of an all-inclusive regional mass transit system. It's time to get rid of St Albert Transit, Strathcona County Transit, and ETS and create one single system.
    I'm not against this but besides rationalizing admin operations, what real benefits are there?
    Being able to plan regionally instead of each system doing their planning on their own. I think if you add another 30K users each day, that can only add to the amount of funding being received through various levels of gov't. And as you mentioned, get rid of some of the administration and save some cash on duplicate services.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    I'm not against this but besides rationalizing admin operations, what real benefits are there?
    Uhm, everyone will get the same bad service?

    No more fancy express buses straight to St. Albert or Sherwood Park. ETS doesn't believe in that "convenience" nonsense. Now every bus will stop on every block, and every bus will be inexplicably routed through Jasper Place! Ha ha ha!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraW View Post
    THE LEDUC TO NISKU TO AIRPORT TO EDMONTON BUS

    Graham Hicks Blog
    P.S. It will have to be highway coaches - as city buses aren't fast enough to run on highways.
    Link: http://blog.canoe.ca/hicksonsix
    Yellow Bus is not an option either!

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    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    I'm glad to hear they're at least looking into the idea of an all-inclusive regional mass transit system. It's time to get rid of St Albert Transit, Strathcona County Transit, and ETS and create one single system.
    I'm not against this but besides rationalizing admin operations, what real benefits are there?
    Being able to plan regionally instead of each system doing their planning on their own. I think if you add another 30K users each day, that can only add to the amount of funding being received through various levels of gov't. And as you mentioned, get rid of some of the administration and save some cash on duplicate services.
    I'm a transit rider. Strathcona County transit plans for commuting into Edmonton and services within Sherwood Park. As far as I know, with regards to routes, there is no duplication. I would assume St. Albert is the same.

    To me this idea makes sense intuitively but may or may not make sense in actuality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    I'm glad to hear they're at least looking into the idea of an all-inclusive regional mass transit system. It's time to get rid of St Albert Transit, Strathcona County Transit, and ETS and create one single system.
    I'm not against this but besides rationalizing admin operations, what real benefits are there?

    Larger purchase orders, larger and more efficient maintenence and storage facilities,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    I'm glad to hear they're at least looking into the idea of an all-inclusive regional mass transit system. It's time to get rid of St Albert Transit, Strathcona County Transit, and ETS and create one single system.
    I'm not against this but besides rationalizing admin operations, what real benefits are there?
    Being able to plan regionally instead of each system doing their planning on their own. I think if you add another 30K users each day, that can only add to the amount of funding being received through various levels of gov't. And as you mentioned, get rid of some of the administration and save some cash on duplicate services.
    I'm a transit rider. Strathcona County transit plans for commuting into Edmonton and services within Sherwood Park. As far as I know, with regards to routes, there is no duplication. I would assume St. Albert is the same.

    To me this idea makes sense intuitively but may or may not make sense in actuality.
    By duplicate services, I mean the printing of materials such as transit guides, buses running along the same routes while in the city of Edmonton (I know ETS buses do not travel into St Albert or Sherwood Park), admin services, etc.

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    Does one have to pay separate fares if one needs to transfer from an ETS bus to a St. Albert or Strathcona bus, or vice-versa? If yes, does that really make a whit of sense?
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    You have to pay $1 and have a transfer I think. If all the buses were with one company then it could just be a fare zone like in Vancouver. Cross large zones and you pay more.
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    ^ it does make sense, and I don't think it would change in a regional mode... Extra boarding fee to ride there buses currently, in the regional future see "Transit zones" where you have to pay more if you travel from one zone to another, similar to the sky train.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    I'm not against this but besides rationalizing admin operations, what real benefits are there?
    Service to YEG alone will be enough to justify it in my eyes, although the other advantages of synergy should also be present. But if I were you, I'd start campaigning now to preserve your express service downtown and to the U. And if you do care about your neighbours in E-Ville, help us campaign to get the same speed from Millwoods, Castledowns, and Terwilligar, as well as some kind of "high speed ring route".
    Let's make Edmonton better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    ^ it does make sense, and I don't think it would change in a regional mode... Extra boarding fee to ride there buses currently, in the regional future see "Transit zones" where you have to pay more if you travel from one zone to another, similar to the sky train.
    You misunderstand. I'm talking about having to buy another ticket for a separate bus service, which is the case right now. At least with a regional transit zone system you only buy a ticket once.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    ^ ahh, ya, that hassle will be eliminated... though most people who use other non ETS buses usually have a commuter pass I find...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ins View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by etownboarder View Post
    I'm glad to hear they're at least looking into the idea of an all-inclusive regional mass transit system. It's time to get rid of St Albert Transit, Strathcona County Transit, and ETS and create one single system.
    I'm not against this but besides rationalizing admin operations, what real benefits are there?

    Pure and simple integration Ins. Just like the rest of amalgamation...

    One route plan. One management authority. One maintenance plan. Group buys. One wage situation (the non union boys and girls of Scona and StAT will like that). Simply put, singularity of purpose and execution.

    The commuter option will not go away. They will probably be more able to execute a regional hub and spoke network rather than a stop at every block. Edmonton Transit has learned a lot over teh years, and if the rumored change outs in many layers of management prove true, we could get a much better system faster.

    Additionally, with one banner, the petty fighting goes away.

    What would kill this? Adding instead of rationalizing the admin and execution layers. The same things that kill any M&A process...
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    Seems to me that if the Province has decided to amalgamate all of Alberta's health regions, amalgamating the Edmonton region transit authorities into one is a no-brainer. RichardS gives all of the reasons for doing so.
    Almost always open to debate...

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidnorwoodink View Post
    Seems to me that if the Province has decided to amalgamate all of Alberta's health regions, amalgamating the Edmonton region transit authorities into one is a no-brainer. RichardS gives all of the reasons for doing so.
    Thats a good analogy and also what concerns me. Did amalgamating all the health regions make sense? Will it improve service and reduce costs or was it just driven by idealogy?

    Same with transit. Will it improve service and reduce costs? On the service side it's doubtful or the cost side it seems like it should. But would enough be saved to be worth it.

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    Again Ins...


    It's all in the execution...
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    Yes, they are valid concerns. This is something to be watched.

    (I know this thread sorta trailed off, but I just was so happy to see the most serious overtures about YEG transit yet I had to have another look. Man this will disappoint in half trolley proportions if this doesn't go. I'm almost circling the date on my calendar...)
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  23. #23

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    P.S. It will have to be highway coaches - as city buses aren't fast enough to run on highways.

    Hold the bus a minute! (sorry, couldn't resist)

    The city buses travel whitemud daily at 80km/h without problems, and I have seen 'charter' new flyer buses run at 100km/h when travelling on hiway 2 south and manning freeway to fort saskatchewan more than a couple of times over the past few years.


    And doesn't ETS already run service to Spruce Grove. Last I checked it's a 15 minute drive at 100km/h to get there. That service doesn't use coaches, does it?

    I find the 'not fast argument' a bit questionable here. Can anyone with more knowledge of the mechanics of the transit fleet comment on this? It's not like they have to match hiway 2 passing lane traffic speeds at 120 to 140 an hour. 100 to 105 in the slow lane would be more than sufficent.


    In any case, expect Nisku and Airport businesses to be gung ho on this. Every bus to/from those areas from Edmonton will be packed due to the higher paying entry level jobs those areas offer...

    Expect the taxi companies, especially the Airport Taxi service (what a joke) to lobby hard against this.
    Last edited by blainehamilton; 18-09-2008 at 11:03 AM.

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    ^ this is true - and actually the highway to spruce grove is 110... and I'm sure I've seen the bus going a little faster then that
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    ^ I think the issue is that the current buses are not designed for those speeds. They are designed and tuned to run at city speeds with lots of stopping and accelerating in between.

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    I was on a bus one time and the driver got shot, and this Wildcat got behind the wheel and couldnt drive less than 50 mph... oh no, that was something else....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper View Post
    I was on a bus one time and the driver got shot, and this Wildcat got behind the wheel and couldnt drive less than 50 mph... oh no, that was something else....
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, funny...

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    I honestly don't know the speed limits of the Flyer buses, but nobody would dispute that they're not made for this job. They're made to have half their patrons standing, and not carrying much in the way of luggage.
    Last edited by JayBee; 27-09-2008 at 08:00 PM.
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    Being designed for something, and being able to do something are two different things altogether.

    I would bet if you put peak hour service to nisku tomorrow and advertised it's availability, you would have riders at the bus stop waiting. Luggage isn't an issue there, and people standing at work for 8+ hours aren't going to blink at a 20 minute bus ride from Mill Woods or Heritage on their feet.

    As for airport service, the low floor buses are actually IDEAL for those hauling their own luggage. Easy entry with curb assist.

    It wouldn't be hard to remove a couple of the front seats and drop in a luggage rack. Heck, they already have customized seats for wheelchairs and strollers at the front.

    According to documents on the New Flyer site, the Hybrid bus models they manufacture are rated for a top speed of 65mph - roughly 105km/h. I wouldn't expect the diesel models to be any less capable, as I have seen them at hiway speeds as a charter and spruce grove runs without problems. More than adaquate.

    I can't see a good reason yet for this service to be introduced immediately.


    http://www.newflyer.com/index/airport_shuttle

    These look like exactly what the city would be looking for.

    A $5 to $10 airport trip with an included transfer to city routes would be an immediate hot seller...

    Like I said, I have a feeling the Airport Taxi service (and maybe rental car companies) would be the major resistance we would see to this.
    Last edited by blainehamilton; 29-09-2008 at 02:35 PM.

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    You make a good argument, and I wouldn't exactly disagree per se, but two things:


    1. I think the reason it'll wait till next March is now mostly bureaucratic reaction to the GEA board, and sorting out who pays how much etc. This is something that affects everything else, not just the airport bus. I'm not defending the wait, but trying to explain it. I urge the members to fast track it however they can, but experience tells us to basically hold our breath.
    2. I see your point that low floor would be usable, but I still maintain that high floor with a bottom compartment is preferable. On low floor, without modification of the seating arrangement, the aisle would almost instantly get clogged with bags. And if we do modify the seating so it's all against the walls, number one we'd only get around 25 people in one bus (around half of a highway coach) and number two, it's much less comfortable to do highway travel sideways.


    By the by, I envision something like this from GO Transit in use around the GTA:

    Highway buses
    The highway coach is the backbone of our bus operation and comprises nearly 90 per cent of our fleet. It was GO’s first bus to have the ability to “kneel,” which involves lowering the front end to bring the doorstep closer to the ground. These buses have underfloor luggage compartments, reading lights, reclining seats, and overhead storage. Newer buses also have magazine nets and individually controlled air-conditioning vents. The highway buses are manufactured by Motor Coach Industries in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and by Prevost Car Company in St. Claude, Quebec. Since 1999, all of these buses have been equipped with exterior wheelchair lifts and have two interior wheelchair stations.
    • Seating capacity: 49-57 passengers
    • Length: 12.2 m (40 ft), 12.4 m (40.5 ft), and 13.72 m (45 ft)
    • Fuel capacity: 559 L (123 gal) to 726 L (160 gal)
    • Range on full tank: 785 km (488 mi) to 1100 km (683 mi)
    It gets you kneeling and wheelchair accessibility, but much higher capacity and comfort.

    edit -- another possible reason for the delay is the opening date of the South Campus LRT station, where I think it makes most sense to stop.
    Last edited by JayBee; 29-09-2008 at 04:47 PM.
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  31. #31

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    1. I think the reason it'll wait till next March is now mostly bureaucratic reaction to the GEA board, and sorting out who pays how much etc. This is something that affects everything else, not just the airport bus. I'm not defending the wait, but trying to explain it. I urge the members to fast track it however they can, but experience tells us to basically hold our breath.
    2. I see your point that low floor would be usable, but I still maintain that high floor with a bottom compartment is preferable. On low floor, without modification of the seating arrangement, the aisle would almost instantly get clogged with bags. And if we do modify the seating so it's all against the walls, number one we'd only get around 25 people in one bus (around half of a highway coach) and number two, it's much less comfortable to do highway travel sideways.
    1. Hurry up and wait. Pretty typical for planning in Edmonton. The Nisku service should have been operating 10 years ago, let alone now. It's a simple route from south Edmonton and back. How much planning can it really take? I already said it. Put the Nisku service in place starting tomorrow and advertise it, and you'll have passengers taking the service the first day, guaranteed. The number of workers moving in and out of Nisku on a daily basis is amazing.

    2. The New Flyer airport shuttle buses are in use all over the world, and they work just fine in their configuration from the factory. I've ridden them in Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, New York and Houston. 7 seats from the stock configuration are removed (including the 3 sideways seats at the back door, so almost nobody has to ride sideways) and a two level shelf for plenty of passenger baggage is in that place.


    Here are a few reasons a coach style bus system is bound to fail as an airport shuttle:

    -Cost of the bus in much higher, and this results in higher fees. Any more than $15 and people will just take the airport sky shuttle instead. The existing New Flyer airport shuttle models could be put in place, for about the same cost as a current New Flyer transit model. Adding coaches is more expenside per bus, and you have to support the maintenance and repair costs of a whole new fleet of them as well. People who want comfort aren't ever going to consider a transit coach, the vast majority will take a taxi, even for a higher cost. A $5 to $10 fare INCLUDING a transfer to other ETS routes is the key.

    -Bottom compartment for luggage storage is inconvenient for unloading at multiple stops. Also, who takes care of the loading and unloading? I can't see an ETS driver doing this. I can't see passengers being entrusted with opening and closing the lower compartment doors on their own either. Those just riding the bus to get to/from work at the airport have no use for this bottom storage. A simple 2 shelf luggage rack is all you need on the bus. People are lugging their own bags, they put them on the shelf and take a seat. No bags blocking the aisle. Loading and unloading is a quick affair, as the passengers can quickly retrieve their own luggage. Also, a front and rear door makes getting on and off easier and quicker for large numbers of passegers, another thing you lose with a coach.

    -Coach buses will likely not be able to fit the standard transit centers and bus parking spots. Turning radius is significantly larger than a city transit bus. Using the identical New Flyer airport shuttle models means no modifications are needed to any of the existing transit centers to allow service to multiple destinations from the airport. Adding service to several transit centers is as simple as installing signs and dedicating the bus to the route.

    -Passenger capacity of 25 would be ideal, as long as the service runs on a minimum of 30 minute service, with daytime and peak additions. Emergency needs for increase in service or breakdown replacements can be done with existing New Flyer transit models already in service with ETS. Note the seating capacity of 25 (actually 23 if you consider 7 seats removed for the luggage rack) is supplemented by standee capacity of up to 30 passengers. This is something you can't do with a coach, there is no standing room, meaning the rider capacity is inflexible.




    That's how I see this.

    The key to a successful ETS route to the airport is to provide the same kind of service they already provide to other outside areas of the city using the same transit bus style with the small modifications to handle the passenger luggage. While comfort and style seem like valid considerations, they SHOULD NOT override the primary goals of simplicity and low cost here.

    Unless someone is getting a kickback for their bus company to provide the fleet, or some white glove treatment by a coach company, there is little argument to support that option.

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by blainehamilton View Post
    1. I think the reason it'll wait till next March is now mostly bureaucratic reaction to the GEA board, and sorting out who pays how much etc. This is something that affects everything else, not just the airport bus. I'm not defending the wait, but trying to explain it. I urge the members to fast track it however they can, but experience tells us to basically hold our breath.
    2. I see your point that low floor would be usable, but I still maintain that high floor with a bottom compartment is preferable. On low floor, without modification of the seating arrangement, the aisle would almost instantly get clogged with bags. And if we do modify the seating so it's all against the walls, number one we'd only get around 25 people in one bus (around half of a highway coach) and number two, it's much less comfortable to do highway travel sideways.
    1. Hurry up and wait. Pretty typical for planning in Edmonton. The Nisku service should have been operating 10 years ago, let alone now. It's a simple route from south Edmonton and back. How much planning can it really take? I already said it. Put the Nisku service in place starting tomorrow and advertise it, and you'll have passengers taking the service the first day, guaranteed. The number of workers moving in and out of Nisku on a daily basis is amazing.
    I'm not sure if you're directing this at me or not, but for the record I've said very similar things. And by the way, I don't work for any municipality, transit system, airport authority, bus manufacturer etc...

    As I implied above, I already agree with your sentiments, and the only thing I would disagree with is the bit about should have been 10 years ago. I would say it's closer to 40 years ago.

    2. The New Flyer airport shuttle buses are in use all over the world, and they work just fine in their configuration from the factory. I've ridden them in Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, New York and Houston.
    That's not exactly all over the world, is it? Virtually every major airport in Japan and Korea use highway coaches (in addition to trains.)

    7 seats from the stock configuration are removed (including the 3 sideways seats at the back door, so almost nobody has to ride sideways) and a two level shelf for plenty of passenger baggage is in that place.
    As you say, that does sound adequate.


    Here are a few reasons a coach style bus system is bound to fail as an airport shuttle:

    -Cost of the bus in much higher, and this results in higher fees. Any more than $15 and people will just take the airport sky shuttle instead. The existing New Flyer airport shuttle models could be put in place, for about the same cost as a current New Flyer transit model. Adding coaches is more expenside per bus, and you have to support the maintenance and repair costs of a whole new fleet of them as well. People who want comfort aren't ever going to consider a transit coach, the vast majority will take a taxi, even for a higher cost. A $5 to $10 fare INCLUDING a transfer to other ETS routes is the key.
    I agree about the prices to be charged, but not about the costs. If a bus carries twice as many people for the same road space, it can justify twice the cost.

    -Bottom compartment for luggage storage is inconvenient for unloading at multiple stops. Also, who takes care of the loading and unloading? I can't see an ETS driver doing this. I can't see passengers being entrusted with opening and closing the lower compartment doors on their own either. Those just riding the bus to get to/from work at the airport have no use for this bottom storage. A simple 2 shelf luggage rack is all you need on the bus. People are lugging their own bags, they put them on the shelf and take a seat. No bags blocking the aisle. Loading and unloading is a quick affair, as the passengers can quickly retrieve their own luggage. Also, a front and rear door makes getting on and off easier and quicker for large numbers of passegers, another thing you lose with a coach.
    Who said anything about multiple stops? In contrast to your opinion, I'd prefer to see the YEG bus have perhaps 3 stops (YEG, South Campus, and perhaps something downtown. If people want multiple stops, they can take a regular bus after they get off the shuttle. If they don't, they should be able to take a taxi or have a "Kiss'n'Ride" from South Campus or Downtown.

    Now the Nisku service could be done differently...

    -Coach buses will likely not be able to fit the standard transit centers and bus parking spots. Turning radius is significantly larger than a city transit bus. Using the identical New Flyer airport shuttle models means no modifications are needed to any of the existing transit centers to allow service to multiple destinations from the airport. Adding service to several transit centers is as simple as installing signs and dedicating the bus to the route.
    One size fits all? I bet your favourite airline is Southwest.

    I trust that size will be taken into consideration, and if they do goof it up, I promise I'll join you in criticising them.

    -Passenger capacity of 25 would be ideal, as long as the service runs on a minimum of 30 minute service, with daytime and peak additions. Emergency needs for increase in service or breakdown replacements can be done with existing New Flyer transit models already in service with ETS. Note the seating capacity of 25 (actually 23 if you consider 7 seats removed for the luggage rack) is supplemented by standee capacity of up to 30 passengers. This is something you can't do with a coach, there is no standing room, meaning the rider capacity is inflexible.
    You sure seem to like New Flyer diesel. Are you an ETS employee?

    Anyway, your proposal would see a grand total of 800 seats a day, and standees on a highway travelling bus. Contrast that to the 16,000 that use YEG on an average day these days, and you're hardly making a dent.

    The system the city is proposing is running 6 coaches, which would carry perhaps 50 people seated X perhaps 5 departures per hour X perhaps 16 hours, which is 4000 people a day.


    That's how I see this.

    The key to a successful ETS route to the airport is to provide the same kind of service they already provide to other outside areas of the city using the same transit bus style with the small modifications to handle the passenger luggage. While comfort and style seem like valid considerations, they SHOULD NOT override the primary goals of simplicity and low cost here.

    Unless someone is getting a kickback for their bus company to provide the fleet, or some white glove treatment by a coach company, there is little argument to support that option.
    Well at least we agree that sooner is better.
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    As I implied above, I already agree with your sentiments, and the only thing I would disagree with is the bit about should have been 10 years ago. I would say it's closer to 40 years ago.

    Heh. You bet. I'm not an ETS employee, but someone who had to walk to work in an industrial area since there was no bus service.

    Service to Nisku should be 30 minute day service with 15 minute peak and 60 minute night freqency.

    The airport? 30 minute service. 15 to 20 minute would be ideal during daytime peak hours, but I can't see this being heavily utilized until people know about it, and until the south lrt makes it a practical option.

    The key passengers that would use the airport route would be airport employees and travellers on a light budget. 30 minutes to wait for the bus is a pain, but not the end of the world. If it costs one tenth of a taxi ride, the wait would be worth it.

    You can run 50 seat coaches on 15 minute service, but I have a feeling they would be running 3/4 empty. Expecting 1 in 4 airline passengers to use a transit bus is a bit unrealistic. I'd say more like 1 in 10 or 12.

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