In 2017, the City of Edmonton started talks about creating a new regional transit services commission (RTSC) and on Wednesday, city council took took another step in hopes of turning that vision into a reality.
City councillors voted unanimously to take part in the submission of a formal request to the Alberta government for the creation of the new entity.
“I’m really pleased with the result of the vote,” Coun. Michael Walters, who serves as co-chair of the RTSC transition team. “I’m glad to see that my colleagues saw that this just makes good sense.
“This is a great next step towards the development of regional transit for the Edmonton Metro Region. We look forward to working with our regional partners to provide integrated transit to the citizens of the Edmonton Metro region.”
Wednesday’s vote saw Edmonton become the third municipality within the region to officially vote, and the other 10 municipalities are expected to vote either this month or in March.
“Today’s decision shows that we are bought into working with our neighbours to find efficiencies that benefit our residents and contribute to regional economic prosperity,” Mayor Don Iveson said.
In January, the RTSC Transition Team released a report that underscored what it said were opportunities for an improved and more efficient regional transit service, that the city said forecasts “savings of 850 service hours per week and $3.4 million per year once systems are fully aligned in 2026.”
One all municipalities have voted, the city said it expects those who voted to move forward to submit an application to the provincial government to create the new commission.