Free transit continues
The City of Cold Lake has been recognized through a Minister’s Award for Transportation Innovation for its public transit system.
“It is unique for a municipality our size to have a public transit system that is so well embraced by the community,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Because administration found a way to start the system with a small capital investment, we were able to establish a strong base ridership and work out any kinks for a fraction of the cost we would have by buying new buses.”
The 2017 Minister’s Award of Excellence for Transit/Accessible Transportation Innovation was received on March 13 by Mayor Copeland, Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya and General Manager of Infrastructure Services Azam Khan, at the 20th Annual Tri-Party Transportation Conference in Red Deer.
“This just goes to show that Cold Lake Transit is something that people want; something that people in our community need, and the Provincial Government recognizes our efforts in making it happen,” said Copeland. “On behalf of council I have to thank the city staff who worked hard to make our vision for public transit in Cold Lake a reality.”
Cold Lake Transit first launched in August 2015 with used buses decommissioned from Calgary’s public transit system. Ridership numbers have remained strong since the launch, averaging 2,200 riders per week. Two buses run regular routes in the north and south ends of the city, meeting once an hour at the Transit Centre, where passengers can change buses if needed. The South Circle route also services 4 Wing, ensuring the community as a whole is connected.
The Minister’s Award backs on to Cold Lake Transit being the recipient of Federal and Provincial transit grants. These grants will see projects roll out in 2017, including the addition of real-time GPS scheduling system that will be available to the public in a downloadable application, the installation of up to six new solar-powered transit shelters, over 500 linear metres of sidewalk to improve connectivity between bus stops and the City’s sidewalk and trail system and, finally, the purchase of two new buses.
“We’re continuing to make improvements to the Cold Lake Transit system – to its efficiency and sustainability,” said Copeland. “We want to ensure that all residents and visitors have access to reliable transportation across the city to work, shop, and recreate. We’re thankful to have the Minister’s recognition for our efforts through this award. Cold Lake Transit is off to a great start and has an even greater future.”