Friday , 23 July 2021

Bus users in Cold Lake could see ride times shaved

Cold Lake residents should expect a change in bus times.

The City of Cold Lake is looking at shaving off two hours of transit time a day to shave roughly $130,000. That means ride times would change to 7am-9pm Monday through Saturday.

“We’re going to go ahead and start implementing that eventually,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “It may take a while, but the riders will be notified when we’re going to instigate it. There will probably be more to follow soon.”

Copeland hinted they would re-evaluate their transit structure during their 2019 budget talks.

At their corporate priorities meeting on Tuesday, they were presented with two options, each looked at cutting transit time to save money.

They decided to go with the reduced transit time, and also shutting down on some statuary holidays.

The city does not charge riders and that discussion is not their aim at this point, said Copeland.

“We still want to keep it free. It’s a greater benefit to families in Cold Lake if it’s free. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, from parents especially and for people that struggling financially, having it free is really allowing people a lot of options in their life,” said Copeland.

“We’re really sensitive to the tough economic times right now. We’re going to go this route and give it a whirl before we start implementing a fee.”

Copeland says keeping transit free allows families more options, and students easier travel from school to work.

The City runs a deficit for transit at roughly $950,000 a year, Copeland said.

“We’re probably a month or two away from actually implementing the change. I would be surprised if we aren’t doing something by sometime in March where we’re actually running this. It will be executed shortly I’m sure,” he said.

The bus times right now are Monday-Saturday, 6:00am – 10:00pm. There is no service on Sundays.

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.