Regional Transit Service Commission (RTSC)

Alberta’s government has approved the formation of a new regional services commission for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region with a mandate for improving regional transit and mobility. The legal formation comes after several years of hard work and due diligence by Councils and their administrations, which culminated in an application submitted by the eight participating municipalities in 2020.

In its early stages, the new entity will provide regional transit to the participating municipalities in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region with the long-term vision of improving people mobility. For municipalities with established transit entities, the Commission holds the key to more efficient connections to destinations within the region and an ability to directly connect with surrounding communities. Beyond greater connectivity, municipalities can expect to see their residents’ dollars go farther, as the regional routes are shared by multiple communities.

The eight participating municipalities are:

  • City of Beaumont
  • Town of Devon
  • City of Edmonton
  • City of Fort Saskatchewan
  • City of Leduc
  • City of St. Albert
  • City of Spruce Grove
  • Town of Stony Plain

Project Background 

In September 2017, City of Edmonton and City of St. Albert Councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to begin taking steps to develop a Regional Transit Services Commission. The other 11 Edmonton Metropolitan Region communities joined in October 2018.

To begin this work, the Government of Alberta awarded the City of Edmonton and City of St. Albert a $3.7 million Community Partnership Grant, as the initial signatories, to work with the region to analyze the feasibility of a potential Transit Commission.

The following 13 municipalities that signed the MOU are represented on the Regional Transit Services Commission Transition Team: Beaumont, Devon, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Leduc County, Morinville, Parkland County, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Strathcona County, Stony Plain, and Sturgeon County.

Addendum

On June 1, 2020 the Regional Transit Services Commission Transition Team released the Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission Addendum.

The addendum outlines updated routes and figures included in the Regional Transit Services Commission (RTSC) business case. These revisions reflect the removal of services previously incorporated to serve Strathcona County, Leduc County and Sturgeon County. Like the original report, the addendum demonstrates the viability of a Commission in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region based on which municipalities have chosen to participate.

In January, 2020 the Regional Transit Commission Transition Task Force released Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region: Building a Regional Transit Services Commission.

This business case was considered by municipal councils around the region and voting on participation in the new Commission took place in February and March 2020.

Why consider creating a Regional Transit Commission?

Public transportation is a critical service that warrants regional consideration. As cities and communities continue to attract more people, demand for appealing and viable public transit alternatives for commuters continues to grow.

Municipal transit system providers face changing mobility preferences and shifts to regional economies that can make planning and forecasting transit services at the local level challenging.

In addition, the following considerations are worth examining at a regional level:

  • The number of daily transit trips in the region has increased by nearly 9,000 since 2005, while the number of automobile trips has increased by about 236,000. That is one transit trip for every 26 automobile trips.
  • Population impacts on our infrastructure and services may become more pronounced. For example, the regional forecast for 2020 population is 1.5M and by 2065, this is expected to reach 3M people, with 2M people in the City of Edmonton and 1M people in the region.
  • Regional employment is forecasted to grow from 767,000 to 1.5M jobs, reinforcing the need for efficient and effective transportation to support an increasing population.

What will be considered as part of the regional transit service commission business case?

The Regional Transit Service Commission business case will examine the possibility for:

  • convenient, cost-effective and extensive service across municipalities
  • integrated customer experience through improved community connections

This consideration will be based on data, costing and mapping of current local transit systems provided by each of the participating municipalities.