City launches new bus route to International Airport

 As of this Sunday, a cab or shuttle won’t be your only travel options to and from the Edmonton International Airport. A new bus route connecting the city to the airport will begin this weekend.

“It’s a critical link for us,” says Edmonton International Airport’s Myron Keehn. “Connectivity to the world means everything to local economy.”

The new 747 route runs between the Century Park transit centre and the airport, and will operate from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. During the peak hours in the morning and afternoon, buses will run every 30 minutes.

“It’s great! Direct connectivity with transit is an important step for the airport,” explains Keehn. “We’re one of the few airports in Canada left to get transit, and it really is important for us to have choices for our customers to get to and from the airport.”

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“I give a lot of credit to the mayor and council and to city administration and ETS for making this happen.”

City council is very pleased, but thinks it’s about time a transit service to the airport came through. “Our citizens have been asking for it for a long time,” says Mayor Stephen Mandel. “It’s a far more cost-effective way for two parts: for tourists, and second: for our citizens.” Mandel says there are also thousands of Edmontonians who work at the airport, and will now have another option to get to and from work.

Air travelers are pleased with the new service. Tony Hendrix doesn’t mind Edmonton is one of the last Canadian airport to get public transit service, “I’m just happy to see it here,” he says. Taxi driver Guldar Nirman doesn’t agree. “I think it’s an extra burden on the taxpayers,” but he doesn’t think the bus service will threaten the taxi business at all.

Transit passes and transfers won’t be accepted on the route, so riders will have to pay a $5.00 fare each way. The trip will be a direct route. ETS expects about 80% of passengers will be airport staff, with the remainder being business travelers. The 747 buses are fitted with racks to hold luggage.

Keehn hopes Edmontonians will make good use of the new bus route. “People like to drive their cars in Edmonton and Alberta, but the more people riding transit the better it is for the environment,” he explains, before adding “and, there are lots of people that don’t have a car.”

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His message to citizens and visitors is simple. “Please come out and fly a lot, and take the bus when you come out.”

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