Green Transit for Cold Lake

The City looks to secure grant funding to improve transit system

“We’re going to go forward on the Green Trip,” confirms Mayor of Cold Lake Craig Copeland of Alberta grant funding, that could allow the City to add a bus to the fleet and make some improvements to the current transit system; such as, bus stop enhancements and GPS scheduling.

The success of transit in Cold Lake has been amazing – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

The first grant the City is applying to could add a bus to it’s two-bus schedule. The buses were hand-me-downs from the City of Calgary and although a huge cost savings to the Cold Lake, come with a shorter life-span; they are expected to run another five years. With that in mind, the City is looking ahead in securing finding for an additional buses. “The grant is designed to look at [adding] one or two more buses, depending how much money we can get from the Province.”

“We’re getting great ridership numbers,” says Mayor Copeland. The City is looking to upgrade bus shelters in through the GreenTRIP intitiative too, “we put in for the connectivity of the transit stops. We have a lot of transit stops that are stranded, with no sidewalks. We want to look at more bus shelters, with more solar bus shelters.” Under the same application, the City will apply for GPS Scheduling, says the Mayor. “Right now, the bus sort of hits the same stop, on the clock. But if we were to do a faster service (or more routes) we would need the GPS so people could track where the bus is going.”

“We’ve already reduced our carbon emissions by utilizing public transit. We feel that if we went and bought another bus, with modern technology, that we’ll even reduce are carbon footprint event more and be even greener,” explains Mayor Copeland. At Tuesday’s Council package, City Administration presented the upgrade to the bus system expected, “about a 30 per cent reduction in fuel use and the resultant emissions by switching to modern diesel buses, with the additional benefits of offering increased accessibility, reliability and comfort for passengers.”

A lot of people are quite taken with us that transit is free. It’s raised a lot of eyebrows, because it’s a different concept. – Craig Copeland Mayor of Cold Lake

According to City documents, “The GreenTRIP Fund currently has about 70 per cent of the funds dedicated for municipalities outside of the Capital and Calgary Regions left in place. The fund originally stood at $2 billion, with $400 million allocated to municipalities outside of the Capital and Calgary Regions. Of the initial $400 million, $285 million remains.”  This is the third call for applications for the funding.

“We always look at the various Provincial and Federal grants. We don’t submit for everything, but we will if we feel it makes sense to apply for it,” Mayor Copeland says Council is excited to put in for the grants.

Here’s the breakdown of costs, should the City be successful in securing the grants:

Bus Replacement 

City of Cold Lake: $159,300
Government  of Canada (PTIF): $174,000
Government of Alberta (GreenTRIP): $666,700

TOTAL PROJECT COST: $1,000,000

Shelters & GPS

City of Cold Lake: $100,000
Government of Alberta (GreenTRIP): $200,000

TOTAL PROJECT COST: $300,000

*Figures taken from City of Cold Lake Council Meeting Agenda Aug 9, 2016

The GreenTRIP application process closes August 31, 2016. The City expects the review process to take a few months.