June 14th, 2024

Committee recommends cityLINK become permanent

By Lethbridge Herald on April 7, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman City officials speak to members of the public following a Civic Works Standing Policy Committee meeting Thursday at City Hall.

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – Lethbridge Herald

The Civic Works Standing Policy Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to recommend city council reinstate $350,000 in transit funding for the new cityLINK transit system, and that the redesign becomes permanent. 

The committee, which consists of chair Belinda Crowson, vice-chair Nick Paladino, Ryan Parker and John Middleton-Hope heard presentations from Transit general manager Timothy Sanderson, a representative from the Lethbridge School Division, a member of the community who has spoken to multiple transit users and they also heard the concerns and issues that seven members of the community are having with the current bus system. 

Sanderson said during his presentation that eliminating cityLINK would result in loss of transportation for 200 to 500 residents, as well as loss of transit service to Hardieville, Southbrook and the Sherring Industrial Park as well as the WT Hill Business Park. 

Sanderson said they listened to the concerns of riders and have come up with four solutions to address those concerns. 

These are zero cost solutions that are scheduled to be implemented on May 4, which includes replacing 5 Purple by extending 1 Gold and 2 Blue along University Drive, providing service on 4 Orange with direct access to downtown and the Westside and removing Demand Response Service from the area, reducing the size of DRZ 103 so Demand Response Service can be provided to the Airport, and diverting 3 Green to increase coverage and trip options and access to the medical zone from north and south Lethbridge.

After listening to presenters, a motion brought forward by Councillor Parker was voted on recommending Council make the cityLINK Transit Network redesign permanent with quarterly adjustments being made to reflect feedback, changing travel patterns and metric indicators. 

An amendment was added by Councillor Parker to add $350,000 to Transit funding and work with a committee of users in order to target their issues, as well as preparing a semi-annual report to Civic Works SPC. 

After discussing the matter, Civic Works voted unanimously in its motion to send the recommendations to Council. 

Parker, who spoke to the media after the meeting, said the concerns brought up from transit users were heard loud and clear. 

“The committee felt it was appropriate that we should put $350,000 back into transit to hopefully fulfill a lot of the needs these people are speaking about,” said Parker. 

He said the next step is to make the recommendation to City Council in a future meeting and it is up to the nine of them to ratify that decision but he is confident about it since the vote at the SPC meeting was unanimous and they would only need one more council member to pass the resolution.

Sanderson told media the meeting provided them with a wonderful opportunity to really hear a lot of the concerns that their customers are having which adds to the concerns they have heard in the past about the importance of public transit. 

“The outcome of sticking with a system that we believe in and having the ability to add more service to it from council is just wonderful to us, it’s a win-win situation and at the end of the day we’re hoping that it’s excellent for our customers as well,” said Sanderson.

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