Ben Henderson

Transit Takes Off

Our Transit and Transportation Systems are making an historical transformation such as Edmonton has not seen in many years. For me, as a member on the Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee, it is quite exciting to help all this unfold. Of course Edmonton’s need is great, with our old road system groaning under the increasing traffic volumes we face. We know from the experience of other large cities as they grow, that the only affordable solution to the increasing problems of congestion is in building a public transit system that is actually convenient and efficient for people to use.

It is exciting to see the City is making vital decisions on extending the LRT system in all directions as well as considering a significant improvement to our bus transit system.

  • Council is in the process of finalizing our Transportation Master Plan.
  • South LRT construction is almost at Foote Field (72 Avenue) and we expect to be to Century Park on 23 avenue by the end of next year.
  • We are putting the final touches on the Downtown to NAIT LRT as well as further extensions on both ends of the existing line.
  • West LRT routes are being negotiated.
  • We will shortly be looking at more detailed proposals for Northeast  and Southeast LRT, as planning studies are being carried out.
  • With the new regional planning system in place we are hoping to see planning for LRT out to the regional municipalities in the very future.
  • On July 3rd the Transportation and Public Works Committee will spend a full day hearing from the public and considering the new Ridership Growth Strategy which recommends significant improvements to our bus system.
  • Our Bicycle and Multi-Use Trail system is being upgraded, and will soon be a much more robust network. 

Public transit must be more accessible to thousands more residents.  LRT must get to far more regions of the city. This will not always be easy. Putting LRT through an existing city can create disruption. As well as integrated engineering plans, we need meaningful negotiation with stakeholder groups, including neighbourhoods. But if we are to weather the growing pains of our change from a medium to a large city then we must build a transit system to match. We need our ridership numbers of those using transit to double and keep growing and to do that we must create a system that gets our population where they need to go easily, comfortably, and above all quickly.