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New bus routes launched from Banff to Lake Louise

WATCH: For those wanting to escape to the mountains but leave their vehicles at home, new bus routes may provide that answer. Christa Dao explains.

For those wanting to escape to the mountains without taking their vehicles with them, new bus routes will soon make that easier to do.

Roam Transit unveiled its new passenger bus on Thursday. The new bus will take people from the town of Banff to Lake Louise. An additional option to Johnston Canyon is expected to roll out mid-June.

“This express route between Banff and Lake Louise will pick up at our transit hub in Banff and take you to Lake Louise with a couple of stops along the way,” said councillor Davina Bernard with Improvement District No. 9.

READ MORE: Summertime On-It shuttles from Calgary to Banff, Canmore renewed; season extended

The new route is part of a broad plan to increase ridership through the national park – with rides almost every hour. The summer schedule has buses leaving Banff as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m.

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With extremely limited parking in the national park, particularly in the townsites of Banff and Lake Louise, officials said more and more people are choosing to leave their cars at home and are opting for the backseat.

“Our transit ridership on Roam has been trending upward approximately 20 per cent from 2017 to 2018 and [the] start of 2019,” said Martin Bean, the CAO of Bow Valley Regional Transit.

Parks Canada said the new routes are not only a sustainable option for travel within the park, but also provide additional protection for animals and humans.

“[It means] fewer vehicles — 52 passengers in this one is 20 to 25 less cars,” said Parks Canada’s Greg Danchuk. “With that, [there’s] less traffic, less opportunities for collisions between humans and wildlife.”

The new Banff express route to Lake Louise kicks off on Friday. The ride costs $8 each way. 

 

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