Chestermere City Council carried a motion to receive updates regarding a transit service between Chestermere and Calgary as information during the Jan. 21 regular meeting of council.
“Transit is a barrier to socialization, employment for all of our residents, and a safety factor for all of our teenagers driving to university,” said Deputy Mayor Yvette Kind.
“I would hope that the scope would be expansive, not just hooking up to another stop,” she added.
There have been ongoing meetings and discussions with Calgary Transit towards the potential creation of a public transportation connection between Chestermere and Calgary, said Planner 1 of Community Growth and Infrastructure, Sara Alinaghi Pour.
The potential feasibility of transit between Calgary and Chestermere was explored, resulting in a feasibility study.
The feasibility study report will be prepared in 2020 and will be presented to Calgary and Chestermere city councils.
“The scope of the transit feasibility study should include, but is not limited to the following, bus routes, bus schedules, bus zone maintenance, bus operations control, public safety and enforcement, fares, fare exchanges, collection and, revenue modeling, cost recovery, trip planning, customer communications, phasing and future expansion or extension of service, and ridership projections,” Alinaghi Pour said.
In Feb. 2019, the City of Calgary Council directed administration to begin discussions with Chestermere administration to explore the possibility of a transit service between the municipalities.
Three options have been previously considered in the administration report, including negotiating with Calgary Transit to operate the service, operating the service in-house by the City of Chestermere, or procuring a third-party private operator.
“The City is focused on looking at options for regional connection between Calgary and Chestermere. Third-party private proposals are in the peripheral and will be considered if necessary,” Alinaghi Pour said.
During an August 2019 Committee of the Whole meeting, a motion was carried that directed staff to initiate a detailed discussion with Calgary Transit, and to begin a study of two options including a formal express route to downtown Calgary with several stops within Chestermere, and a peak-period extension of Calgary Transits MAX Purple route.
Chestermere and Calgary Administrations have been working together with the goal of exploring the best options for transit connections between the communities.
Based on the efforts between Chestermere and Calgary councils, a Terms of Reference document was completed and covered the purpose of the transit project, deliverables, and principles.
The objectives of the Terms of Reference document include exploring the potential to collaborate on transit service provisions, establish working relationships to assist in implementing mutual objectives related to transit service provision, establish points of contact between the municipalities, improve the knowledge of each other’s municipality and maintain positive and mutually beneficial intermunicipal relations.
Moving forward, the project will be separated into four phases.
The first phase includes data collection, peer review, best practices, and service concepts for review.
The second phase includes options generation such as routing, frequency and stops, costs, and refined service options. While phase three will include fare options, ridership estimates, revenue estimates, and strategies to build ridership.
The fourth phase includes timing and phasing, fare collection, branding, stops, maintenance, staffing, monitoring, and the evaluation plan.
“The role of public engagement is integral to the project, and the specific nature of public engagement will be determined at the next steps,” said Alinaghi Pour.
Adding, “The most effective public engagement methodologies such as stakeholder analysis, surveys, and an open house, with the timing considerations of the engagements are currently being reviewed.
Administration has organized an update for officials of the two municipalities at the next IMC meeting between the City of Chestermere and the City of Calgary in February 2020.