May 18th, 2024

Lethbridge Transit trying to make new service a smoother ride


By Herald on September 24, 2021.

Lethbridge Transit trying to make new service a smoother ride - Herald photo

Trevor Busch – Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge Transit is hammering out the rough spots in its new cityLINK network which launched in late August.

The service is collecting community feedback and monitoring performance data as they continue to implement the network, and bus operators are still familiarizing themselves with some of the changes.

“It’s a gigantic change for them as well,” said Lethbridge Transit general manager Tim Sanderson during a media event inside the Downtown Park ‘n’ Ride Transit Terminal on Thursday morning. “They’ve been doing the same routes for a couple of decades. So this is a huge, huge change and every day it’s getting a little bit better.”

Sanderson admits that how the network changes affect the community often depends on the perspective of the individual. 

“A small change can be a huge concern for an individual. Our goal has always been to provide the highest level of transit service to the greatest number of people. That would be the initiative behind the design of cityLink.”

Since being launched on Aug. 25, cityLINK has seen its share of issues, most of which have been rectified, according to Sanderson.

“One of the issues we had was on our blue and gold lines on Saturday when schedules weren’t offset. We made that change as soon as we realized that wasn’t done. We’ve made a number of other changes that seem like slight changes, like for example changing the parking locations of buses at this facility.”

Some of those changes include platform revisions at the Park ‘n’ Ride terminal to ease congestion, updating the myRide app to clarify demand trip booking processes, additional early morning service has been added from the West side, shifting booking for demand response zones to an earlier time, reallocating resources to mitigate capacity concerns at the Southgate Demand Zone, and new signage to be installed in coming weeks.

Amenities such as benches and shelters are currently being installed at cityHUBS and other key locations over the next several weeks.

If you have an issue or a complaint, Sanderson encouraged riders to reach out and provide feedback.

“We would highly encourage everybody to contact 311. By contacting 311, you might get an answer from other means, you might get an answer by talking to the bus operator, but with 311 every one of those comments is recorded, there’s a process in place where we can respond to them.”

Responses to the new transit system initially lit up the phone lines for Lethbridge Transit, but has settled into a pattern of peaks and valleys.

“Has it slowed down? It’s a little bit of a roller coaster. When it first started off obviously we got a lot of feedback, started slowing down in the second week, and then school started, so we have a whole new problem before our eyes. It started up again, now it’s starting to come back down again,” said Sanderson.

More changes are being considered for November, including schedules for routes 51-53 to be altered to improve on-time performance and connectivity, shifting the ATB Centre to an all day hub station, and changing the Orange route pattern around Exhibition Park to increase speed and improve connectivity.

According to Lethbridge Transit, on time performance is up by 25 per cent and there has been a 6.8 per cent reduction in the number of riders requiring transfers.

For residents looking to plan their new route, information is available online at http://www.Lethbridge.ca/transit or on the myRide app available in the Apple and Google app stores. Lethbridge transit staff are also available to answer questions in-person, at the Downtown Park ‘n’ Ride Terminal, and via 311.

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