Cold Lake Transit Service Free in 2016

The City of Cold Lake has passed its 2016 Budget with free transit service for 2016. Mayor of Cold Lake Craig Copeland says the ability to give the residents free transit is a proud personal accomplishment, as well as, a shining moment for City Council.

“The transit bus inside the City of Cold Lake free, until at least the Fall of 2016,” confirms Mayor Copeland. “Transit is fully funded from the ID-349 money. We’re making the City livable and keeping it affordable for everybody. The people that are using the bus are appreciating that it’s free.”

I’ve had a couple of ladies hug me in Walmart, which is kind of cool. They’re saving $20 a day – Craig Copeland  Mayor of Cold Lake

Council considers transit a service that adds to living in Cold Lake, explains the Mayor, “we subsidize recreation to the tune of about $4 million a year, when you add up all the recreation in Cold Lake. So, when you do that, why can’t you have a deficit for transit? That’s our philosophy right now.”

“We have the new stop opening up, any day now,” the bus stop and shelter will be located near the Tri City Mall/RBC Bank on Highway 28. “We’re going to be tweeking the bus route, a tiny bit, there’s going to be another stop up behind JJ Parr, when you go behind Kingsway on the base. There’s some small adjustments to the route.” 4-Wing Cold Lake Colonel EJ Kenny, came to Council with the request to expand the service, explains the Mayor. “When he came in front of Council he wanted a stop more by the single apartments, near Club 41. Right now, we’re not going to tweek the actual route very much. But we are adding the extra stop on the base.”

The service will also expand to Kinosoo Ridge Ski Resort on the weekends, starting December 19th, 2o15. This service will be the only route with a fare, $5.00 to the hill and back. “You have the option to just go there and have mom & dad pick you up, or you can take the bus home. The idea was a teen could get dropped off at the Tri City Mall and go out to the hill.”

So far, the City has received positive feedback on the service and has not heard anything from competing services, such as taxis, complaining. Mayor Copeland believes there’s room in the City for both paid-for and free transit services, “the bus is not going to get a person to their destination fast. It’s not the fastest service, it’s there to provide an opportunity for people who are watching their money. If you have 15 minutes to get to your destination, you’ll take a cab.” The transit also does not go late into the evening hours, thus, not competing with the bar traffic; which is a large majority of the the taxi service’s clientele, says the Mayor. “We don’t run the bus into the drinking hours, competing with that service, which is huge in Cold Lake.”

For the workers that are working in retail and restaurants, they’re pretty happy that transit’s available – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

Mayor Copeland says the City is planning an Open House in early-mid January, “a public, all-day, meeting at the Energy Centre. We’re going to take about the Budget, the transit route, the Energy Centre plans, the vision for the City. We’re going to have it in a few rooms, a big all-day open house.”


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