City of Edmonton to continue warming shuttle bus after extreme weather response lifted

A very cold Edmonton on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Global News

The City of Edmonton will end its extreme weather response on Saturday morning, however some supports to help get the homeless off the streets will remain in place.

The response was triggered when the wind chill makes temperatures feel like -20 C for at least three consecutive nights. The response came into effect on March 4 and there was a possibility of it being extended if it stays cold.

On Thursday, the city said based on current weather forecasts, it will deactivate its extreme weather response on March 11 at 6 a.m.

The extreme weather response includes transit, warming buses and day services.

The city provides overnight transportation to shelters on ETS buses from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and also directs drivers to stop at all bus stops, including most express routes, when the weather is -20 and colder.

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All Edmonton Public Library locations and rec centres are open to the public for warming during regular hours, but LRT stations were not opened as warming centres because they lack heat and adequate washroom facilities, according to the city.

Boyle Street Community Services (BSCS) operates a warming bus that provides food, winter clothing, blankets and transportation to warming centres and shelters, and it and the Bissell Centre will continue to operate day services.

Beyond the extreme weather response, the city  said when the temperature is below -10 C but not extreme (-20 C), ETS will continue to operate a shuttle bus to help vulnerable people find a warm, safe place to go each night.

The shuttle runs daily from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and will remain operational as long as temperatures remain colder than -10 C.

In addition, with support from the city, the Boyle Street Community Services warming bus will continue to operate throughout the winter regardless of temperature from 12:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Friday afternoon’s Environment Canada forecast for Edmonton for the upcoming week showed nighttime lows no lower than -17, but the agency told Global News wind and the loss of cloud cover could easily bring the temperatures down to the city’s threshold.


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