On January 28, 2021 the Government of Alberta approved the legal formation of a new regional services commission for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. The formation of the Regional Transit Services Commission (RTSC) comes after years of hard work and collaboration between municipalities.

Eight municipalities form the core of the Commission: City of Beaumont, Town of Devon, City of Edmonton, City of Fort Saskatchewan, City of Leduc, City of St. Albert, City of Spruce Grove, and Town of Stony Plain. In its early stages, the new entity will provide regional transit to the participating municipalities with the long-term vision of improving mobility.

Member municipalities will continue to deliver transit services in a business-as-usual manner over the course of the 2021 year while work necessary to stand up the Commission is underway. The Commission will prepare for the roll-out of regional services in mid-to-late 2022.

Why create a Regional Transit Commission?

Public transportation is a critical service that warrants regional consideration. As cities and communities continue to attract more people, demand for appealing and viable public transit alternatives for commuters continues to grow. 

Municipal transit system providers face changing mobility preferences and shifts to regional economies that can make planning and forecasting transit services at the local level challenging.

In addition, the following considerations are worth examining at a regional level:  

  • The number of daily transit trips in the region has increased by nearly 9,000 since 2005, while the number of automobile trips has increased by about 236,000. That is one transit trip for every 26 automobile trips.
  • Population impacts on our infrastructure and services may become more pronounced. For example, the regional forecast for 2020 population is 1.5M and by 2065, this is expected to reach 3M people, with 2M people in the City of Edmonton and 1M people in the region.
  • Regional employment is forecasted to grow from 767,000 to 1.5M jobs, reinforcing the need for efficient and effective transportation to support an increasing population.
What will be considered as part of the regional transit service commission business case?

The Regional Transit Service Commission business case will examine the possibility for:

  • convenient, cost-effective and extensive service across municipalities
  • integrated customer experience through improved community connections

This consideration will be based on data, costing and mapping of current local transit systems provided by each of the participating municipalities.  

Next Steps 

The Board will work to stand up the Commission while the recruitment of the founding Chief Executive Officer progresses. Member municipalities will continue to target the roll-out of regional services for mid to late 2022, working together to make regional mobility a reality.

Background 

In September 2017, City of Edmonton and City of St. Albert Councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to begin taking steps to develop a Regional Transit Services Commission. The other 11 Edmonton Metropolitan Region communities joined in October 2018.

To begin this work, the Government of Alberta awarded the City of Edmonton and City of St. Albert a $3.7 million Community Partnership Grant, as the initial signatories, to work with the region to analyze the feasibility of a potential Transit Commission.

The following municipalities are represented on the provincial application: City of Beaumont, Town of Devon, City of Edmonton, City of Fort Saskatchewan, City of Leduc, Town of Morinville, City of St. Albert, City of Spruce Grove, and Town of Stony Plain.

The business case for the RTSC was presented to municipal councils around the region and voting on participation in the new Commission took place in February and March of 2020.

Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission