June 24th, 2024

CityLink to bring change to Lethbridge Transit


By Tim Kalinowski on June 1, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

Lethbridge Transit will be launching its new cityLink initiative this September which is expected to bring a “colossal” change in how busing works in the City of Lethbridge.
According to a press release from the City, the cityLink project “rethinks mobility in Lethbridge by providing high frequency fixed route service to areas with high ridership potential, while areas with lower ridership potential will be provided demand response service.”
“We were directed (by city council) to reconstruct Lethbridge Transit to implement some on demand components, and some components that are more like Uber rather than a bus,” City transit manager Tim Sanderson explained to reporters during a press conference on Monday. “But also with that, streamlining and making the core network more efficient and effective.”
CityLINK envisions a transit system which densifies bus coverage of highly used areas and dramatically decreases wait times between buses at peak hours during the day and switches to on demand transit service in lower ridership areas of the City.
Sanderson gave a few examples of how prioritizing high density ridership areas would improve transit times for bus users. One will be in the City’s new “1010” service between downtown and the university.
“Under the cityLINK system it will be a 10 minute bus ride from downtown to the university, and there will be a bus available every 10 minutes to make that trip,” he explained. “That’s a huge improvement over where we are now.”
Other highly used routes could expect the same type of shift, said Sanderson, particularly out to priority access areas like the ATB Centre, Chinook Regional Hospital and the Mayor Magrath commercial district.
“Right now if I want to go from Superstore out to the university, for example, it is going to take me over an hour on the bus,” Sanderson stated. “And it is going to depend on time of day. Under the cityLink system that trip is going to take about 28 minutes.”
Sanderson said while he expects the vast majority of transit users to reap the benefits of the new system, he acknowledged the large change in habits it will require of regular bus riders.
“This is a colossal change for Lethbridge Transit, and we spent a lot of time working through different scenarios for potential issues that are going to happen,” he said. “By changing the entire transit system for everybody that currently uses Lethbridge Transit, their trips are going to change– and, we hope, for the better.”
To view more information on the proposed changes visit http://www.lethbridge.ca/citylink. The City is also requesting citizens help give feedback on the proposed changes by taking its cityLink survey which will be available until June 18.

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