City Council exploring public transportation options

The city is working to expand transportation within the city.

The City of Chestermere is exploring alternative options for public transportation throughout the community.

The city currently has a contract with the City of Calgary to provide public transportation services for residents, four times per business day.

The city’s Strategic Advisory Board has been reviewing other public transportation options, and Jerry Gautreau presented the options to councillors at the Sept. 6 council meeting.

“We took it upon ourselves to see what’s out there, and we looked at different busses. Part of our department is to forward-think, and present unique ideas to council, if this is something council thinks is a good idea then we will continue to pursue it,” Gautreau said. “We found five molly trolleys, used as city busses, and transportation for special events.”

Three trolleys would be used as the main public transportation and commute passengers full-time every day throughout Chestermere, while two trolleys would be used for public transportation during city events.

“The City of Calgary buses that we provide are not very efficient. The times of these bus services do not provide our residents with appropriate schedules when they are in need of transportation,” Gautreau’s council presentation said.

“There’s a lot about this that I think is a good idea. Having other transportation options would be great,” City Councillor Shannon Dean said.

The trolleys would have to be imported into Canada, with transportation fees import fees, and broker fees.

Gautreau estimates the costs to operate the trolley including fuel, maintenance, and insurance would be $300 per day when the trolleys are in full operation, and $100 per day when not in operation.

“Bringing in the five-molly trolleys into the City of Chestermere will provide a greater means of efficient transportation,” the presentation said. “The enhanced schedule of route times will, in turn, provide individuals with the opportunity to get to their destination on time.”

The two trolleys used for public transportation during city events are expected to limit traffic and decrease parking concerns.

“The movement of the trolleys out of the City of Chestermere can help to attract more of the public into our city, bringing in more revenue for our businesses, and help to continue to grow the population,” the presentation said.

Councillors directed Gautreau and the Strategic Advisory Board to complete a full analysis including bus and trolley routing, time and cost factors, how the trolleys will be utilized for city events, and the cost to house the vehicles.

“This is a great idea for us to move forward with, I don’t think most people were happy with the current transportation situation in the city, I know I wasn’t,” City Councillor Blaine Funk said. “I’m very happy to see us moving forward with something that expands our transportation within the city.”

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