Bus route to Edmonton International Airport marks milestone

ETS Route 747 transported its 100,000th passenger in August 2013. Ross Neitz, Global News

EDMONTON- Route 747 is marking a major milestone. The bus route connecting the city with the Edmonton International Airport (EIA) transported its 100,000th passenger this month.

“It’s very convenient and it’s only 15 minutes between buses, so it’s really good for me,” said Michael Schuilenberg, who rides the route on a regular basis.

Route 747 has been transporting passengers between the Century Park transit station and EIA since April 2012. And while ridership isn’t quite as high as what transit officials had originally hoped for, they say it’s constantly growing.

“We originally projected averaging about 550 riders per day,” ETS spokesperson Ken Koropeski said.

“We started off with 150 passengers per day,” he said. “Now… on average in July we had 350 passengers per day and in fact, just recently in August, we’ve seen well over 500 passengers on some days.”

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The three year pilot project is provided through a partnership between the City of Edmonton and EIA.

So far, the service hasn’t grabbed business from as many airport employees as first thought. But, officials say like anything new, it’ll take time to get going.

“Our employee pass growth last month was 15 per cent. So we’re actually starting to see the employees being able to take advantage of the transit service by switching the hours around a little bit,” said Myron Keehn, VP of commercial development with EIA.

“With the employment growth that’s happening right around the Edmonton International Airport, we think there’s still a lot of potential that we can see increased ridership with that,” added Koropeski.

The bus service runs seven days a week from 4:10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. The fare is $5.00.

The goal is to make Route 747 permanent if ridership continues to grown over the next year and a half.

With files from Ross Neitz, Global News.

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