More Saskatoon residents want to travel by transit once BRT in service: study

From a survey, 92.7 per cent of participants think the Bus Rapid Transit system in Saskatoon would be a good idea. File / Global News

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan looks like it will increase passengers on Saskatoon Transit, according to an ongoing study.

The City of Saskatoon is implementing the enhanced bus system as part of its Plan for Growth. Initial pre-construction work began in the fall of 2018.

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The Interventions, Research, and Action in Cities Team (INTERACT) has launched a five-year study to uncover how the changes to the transit network might impact physical activity, social participation and well-being.

For the first wave of the study, adults in Saskatoon were recruited between Sept. 19 and Dec. 27, 2018. Data was collected through online surveys, smartphone-based apps and interviews.

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Almost 93 per cent of participants think the BRT would be a good idea and 80.3 per cent plan agree they want to use the bus more once the dedicated lanes are in place.

Of the 401 participants, 70 per cent had access to a car, and 76 per cent held a valid driver’s licence. Seventy-four per cent said they would be much more likely to take the bus if the bus ran every 10 minutes.

Only 54.8 per cent of participants had heard of BRT.

Click to play video 'Saskatoon city council decides on BRT' Saskatoon city council decides on BRT
Saskatoon city council decides on BRT – Apr 29, 2019

INTERACT will conduct another round of data collection in the fall of 2020. This study is led by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, in collaboration with partners such as the city.

The construction of BRT infrastructure and dedicated transit lanes is scheduled for 2022. June 1, 2025, is the proposed switch to the new BRT service.