Thursday , 25 February 2021

Cold Lake Transit reducing hours of operation

Cold Lake Transit will be reducing its hours of operation in response to COVID-19.

“Ridership has seen an impact with the closures of schools and many businesses in the city,” said Mayor Craig Copeland.

“A lot of people are staying home right now, which is what the Province of Alberta is asking of all communities–to stay home as much as possible. Unfortunately, this continues to have a significant effect on our local economy as well.”

Council voted to reduce the hours of operation by three hours each day during the week, and remove the Saturday schedule entirely.

The new hours would be Monday to Friday, from 7:00 a.m. to the service ending at 6:00 p.m.

Though Cold Lake Transit is still seeing an average of 122 riders per day, this is a decrease from the average 549 riders per day the bus system would normally be seeing this time of year.

The City of Cold Lake is seeing substantial retractions in revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions mixed with no decisions on the I.D. 349 from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs since 2018 and the federal government not paying its share of the municipal taxes in Cold Lake is creating a precarious financial situation for the City and its local economy, the City said a press release.

“We understand that this will have impacts, however with our budget being tight, the savings from reducing this service will save us over $5,000 per week plus all of the overhead expenses,” said Copeland.

“We know a lot of people rely on this service to get them to and from their current workplaces, or to pick up essential items such as groceries, so we haven’t shut it down completely.”

The City will continue to monitor the utilization of its programs and services during these hard times.

Changes to the transit schedule will begin with the Saturday, May 2 bus being cancelled, and Monday, May 4’s schedule hours seeing the new, reduced hours.

Updated schedules will be available online at www.coldlake.com and through the TransLoc Rider App.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.