LETHBRIDGE, AB – High frequency fixed routes for areas with high ridership and on-demand service for areas with fewer riders.
Those are the main highlights of a new-look Lethbridge Transit system. The cityLINK bus network, as it will be known, will officially launch on Wednesday, August 25.
Pretty much all current transit routes are changing in some form on that day.
Transit Manager Tim Sanderson says the goal here is to make city bus service more relevant and give riders a faster, more enjoyable bus experience.
“What we’ve done is we’ve created a network which allows you to get from Superstore on the south side to the University 30 minutes, a trip that today takes an hour and 15 minutes,” says Sanderson. “That’s really what we concentrated on. The vast majority of trips that we’ve planned have saved an ordinate amount of time for customers.”
Sanderson admits there is a reduction in service in some areas as they had to deal with a transit budget cut of $350,000 approved by City Council a few months back.
Fixed routes as they are being referred to as are quick, straight, fast and frequent and aim to significantly decrease travel time for the majority of customers. On-demand response zones provide access to transit in areas of low transit use by connecting into the nearest hub station and the cityLINK fixed route network.
Sanderson says customers using on-demand routes can call 311 or use the new Rides on Demand smartphone app to book a pick-up. That app will be available August 25 as well.
In a news release, it’s noted that residents looking to plan their new route, information is available now online at www.Lethbridge.ca/transit. Staff are also available in-person, at the Downtown Park ‘n’ Ride Transit Terminal and, on the phone at 311, to answer questions during business hours.
Highlights of the new system include:
- Rapid 10/10 service between the University and the City Center meaning there is a bus every 10 minutes and the trip takes only 10 minutes.
- Bi-directional network lines to get riders to their destination quicker.
- Improved access to destinations areas such as ATB Centre, Chinook Regional Hospital and the Mayor Magrath commercial areas
- Demand response will make for fewer large-size buses on narrow streets as the smaller access-a-ride style buses will be primarily used for demand trips.