Sunday, October 24, 2021
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City Council receives KPMG Lethbridge Transit Operational Review

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Lethbridge City Council has lots to consider when it comes to transit.

On Monday, (Apr. 27), Council’s Community Issues Committee received an operational Transit Review which was conducted by KPMG.

The review shows Lethbridge has a higher service intensity, relative to other mid-sized Canadian cities.

Tony Vanden Heuvel, Lethbridge’s Community Services Director says that also results in higher operating costs. “71% of the cost of operating transit resides in wages and benefits. Transit is subsidized approximately, almost $11 million dollars on an operating basis.”

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He suggested the City of Lethbridge could save money on transit by looking at a number of different scenarios. Those range from ending transit service earlier in the evenings or even having less buses on the road at any one given time.

Vanden Heuvel says on average, the cost of having one bus and one driver on the road is roughly $100 an hour.

Councillors were also told Monday the City is looking to make on-demand transit as permanent service going forward. Transit-on-demand actually started earlier this month to help amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transit Manager Scott Grieco says on-demand would provide public transportation opportunities to increase ridership and allows for the expansion of service area coverage. “This essentially uses technology. It’s primarily an app-based technology to book rides and it reduces administrative redundancies by using an algorithm in real-time to schedule buses.”

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Meanwhile, Council was told the transition away from city-provided school busing is well underway as well. The City of Lethbridge decals are being removed from the sides of school buses. The more than 50 year agreement between the City and Lethbridge school districts for busing will end in June of 2021.

When it comes to Access-A-Ride, only certain categories of users may be allowed to use the service in the future, if Council decides.

The recommendation for Access-A-Ride going forward includes:

• Setting eligibility requirements with a tier system
• Contracting a professional contractor to determine eligibility
• Engage with Alberta Health Services, programs, facilities, and school boards in regard to sharing the responsibility of transportation

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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