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New transit boss says time is right for changes to Edmonton transit strategy

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  • New transit boss says time is right for changes to Edmonton transit strategy

    New transit boss says time is right for changes to Edmonton transit strategy
    http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loca...ansit-strategy

    The stars have aligned for major change in Edmonton’s bus and light rail network strategy, says Edmonton’s new transit boss, now three weeks into the job.

    “That doesn’t happen really often,” said Eddie Robar, formerly director of transit in Halifax. “That takes a lot. That takes a council ready for it. It takes a city management and staff that’s prepared to undergo that work, and it takes a public that hungry for that change as well.”

    Robar said he spent his first weeks on the job meeting internally with staff. What he saw convinced him a large re-alignment is doable. “Are people ready for it? I think so,” he said.

    In an interview Monday, Robar said the biggest weakness of Edmonton’s current transit system comes from competing philosophies. It hasn’t seen large-scale change since 1990. It was designed as a hub-and-spoke network, with buses and trains meeting at transit centres to accommodate transfers. Then it gradually shifted to a direct service model, where buses go to destinations with as few transfers as possible. It’s shifting back again, but these incremental changes can leave the system confusing and inefficient.

    “That philosophy piece has been disjointed over years,” Robar said. “At some point, you have to retool that.”

    Edmonton is in the middle of a $1.4-million public engagement effort to design a new transit strategy. Officials have finished asking “blue sky” questions on what people think of the current system, said Sarah Feldman, project manager for the strategy. They’ve also finished narrowing the conversation down to key themes and plan to release those in a report early February.

    The next steps are to calculate specifically what trade-offs are involved for different options, such as more frequent bus service. They’ll start consultations on that this spring. Residents can follow the process at edmonton.ca/whatmovesyou.
    “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

  • #2
    If the Liberals follow through on their campaign promises, we could be soon seeing the most rapid expansion of transit infrastructure in Canada's history across the entire country. Hundreds of billions in funding, and access to huge amounts of extremely low interest credit through the new "Canada Infrastructure Bank".

    I hope our transit strategy is prepared to take full advantage of this.

    Comment


    • #3
      Please oh please a central circulator - Jasper-109st-Whyte-Scona Rd.


      Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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      • #4
        Originally posted by IanO View Post
        Please oh please a central circulator - Jasper-109st-Whyte-Scona Rd.
        or even just a 'downtown' circulator...

        Jasper, 124st, 104th ave, 97/95 st.
        A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Medwards View Post
          Originally posted by IanO View Post
          Please oh please a central circulator - Jasper-109st-Whyte-Scona Rd.
          or even just a 'downtown' circulator...

          Jasper, 124st, 104th ave, 97/95 st.
          Those are served reasonably well, getting to central whyte is a pain.


          Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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          • #6
            I think something like 109 Street-Saskatchewan Drive-Whyte Avenue-99 Street-McDougall Hill-100 Street-103 Avenue would work great.
            "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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            • #7
              Gondola from downtown to rossdale then up across river to Whyte would fundamentally change the way we use the city. Imagine Edmonton where downtown and Whyte are part of the same walkable area. That is my number 1 on the wish list. Magnitudes cheaper to build and operate than rail, and just as effective.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jaerdo View Post
                Gondola from downtown to rossdale then up across river to Whyte would fundamentally change the way we use the city. Imagine Edmonton where downtown and Whyte are part of the same walkable area. That is my number 1 on the wish list. Magnitudes cheaper to build and operate than rail, and just as effective.
                Have you been eavesdropping on my urban design project at NAIT? That's all i've been talking about for the last week!

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                • #9
                  I think you should source me in your citations, because I've been ranting about this for years to anyone dull enough to start a conversation about transit in Edmonton with me.

                  Is there a new program at NAIT for planning? I hadn't heard of one, but we do need more in Alberta so it would be a good thing.

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                  • #10
                    You're taking claim for that idea that was proposed years ago on this forum?
                    A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know about a gondola, but better Whyte-DT connections are long overdue. An efficient and frequent route would be well-used, I think.
                      “Son, one day this will be an iconic structure shaping Edmonton’s skyline.”

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                      • #12
                        And here i was thinking i was so original.

                        It's just an elective for my architectural technology program, i wish there was a program for planning

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                        • #13
                          I do hope they can move away from meandering residential busses to a quicker more direct service. Yes I know some people will have to walk further to a stop.

                          I'm not sure how much power he has over the design of the Mill Woods or Lewis Estates lines, hopefully he has some ideas to make them better than the Dublin streetcar design that Transportation is lusting after.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Medwards View Post
                            You're taking claim for that idea that was proposed years ago on this forum?

                            Yes, I'm clearly stating in a non-comedic way that I, and I alone, deserve full credit for that idea.


                            It's just an elective for my architectural technology program, i wish there was a program for planning
                            If you're interested, the University of Alberta has an extension certificate program in applied land use planning. I've taken some courses in it to stay up to date. Very common for municipalities to send planners/development officers there to learn the Alberta context if they are from out of province. It offers a good (but basic) introduction to planning theory, and a very good practical understanding of the legislation here.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JamesL View Post
                              I don't know about a gondola, but better Whyte-DT connections are long overdue. An efficient and frequent route would be well-used, I think.
                              I take the #7 and it works pretty well for me.
                              aka Jim Good; "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up." - Steven Wright

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