Edmonton Transit says fall service shakeup yields results, more changes coming

An ETS bus drives down Whyte Avenue in Edmonton Wednesday, Oct., 5, 2016.
An ETS bus drives down Whyte Avenue in Edmonton Wednesday, Oct., 5, 2016. Vinesh Pratap, Global News

The Edmonton Transit System (ETS) says last fall’s reimagination of where to most effectively allocate its resources is already starting to pay off and more changes are on the way.

On Wednesday, the ETS said the reallocation of over 50,000 bus hours just a few months ago – the most significant shuffling of resources in years – addressed schedule reliability and overcrowding issues “by transferring service hours from very low-demand routes to high-demand routes.”

“Last year’s reallocated hours have effectively improved on-time bus performance, addressing many of the observations released in the 2015 City Auditor’s Annual Report,” ETS said in a news release.

READ MORE: Edmonton Transit making major bus service changes

According to the ETS, 65.4 per cent of weekday arrivals at transit centres were on time in December 2016, up from 57.9 per cent in December 2014.

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It also said on-time weekday departures increased from 77.5 per cent in December 2014 to 81.4 per cent in December 2016.

“The trips that were added to address overcrowding have better ridership than the previous trips that were cancelled,” ETS said, noting transit trips that it got rid of had an average of nine transit riders get on per hour, while the new trips saw an average of 42 transit riders get on per hour.

“Frequency improvements on Route 3, 33, 133 and 322 resulted in increased ridership of 27, 9, 136 and 34 per cent respectively in the affected time periods,” the ETS said.

Beginning on July 2, a number of service reductions will take effect on several routes in addition to seasonal reductions that come into force. Click here to see a full list of service changes taking effect in the summer.

The ETS makes service adjustments several times a year but said it is planning “another major reallocation” for the fall of 2017.