July 23rd, 2024

New CultureLINK bus service hits the road

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on June 28, 2022.

Herald photo by Al Beeber Galt Museum and Archives CEO Darrin Martens speaks Monday about the launch of CultureLINK, a free transit service that connects cultural destinations in the city.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

A new free transit service that’s been three years in planning has launched that will provide increased access to cultural facilities in the city.
CultureLINK, a new city transit service that will run among all the city’s cultural attractions, including Fort Whoop-Up and Helen Schuler Coulee Centre, opened for service on Monday.
The pilot project will run seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. A modified schedule is being worked on for September.
CultureLINK hit the road with a trial run of dignitaries on Monday morning starting at the Galt Museum and Archives where the service was announced by Galt CEO and executive director Darrin Martens. It is a project involving the efforts of the Galt, Lethbridge Transit and Tourism Lethbridge.
CultureLINK is the city’s newest cultural connector, Martens said.
“We as the City of Lethbridge’s cultural organizations believe in exploring ways in which we can provide barrier-free access to the multitude of art, history, nature and cultural opportunities that thrive throughout our community.” Martens said.
“With CultureLINK, Lethbridge’s first fare-free cultural connector, we hope to expand the minds and the hearts who travel with us to these amazing destinations. Lethbridge will truly be yours to discover,” he added.
Tourism Lethbridge is providing a cultural ambassador on the bus Monday through Saturday to enlighten riders about the places to “experience, to eat, to play, while in our great city,” he said.
“It’s incredibly important, not just for us but I think for all the cultural organizations that are participating in this inaugural run,” said Martens of the service.
“One of the things that is critically important for us is to really make accessible all the rich and vibrant cultural activities we have. Whether those are exhibits, whether those are programs, whether those are experiences, I think one thing we all share as a city and through all of these organizations, is that it is such a wide diversity and having also the partner of Tourism Lethbridge with us providing someone on the bus is going to be important because new things comes up at different times and so we want to ensure that not only the citizens are informed, but also visitors to the city are informed,” said Martens.
Tim Sanderson, general manager of Lethbridge Transit which helped the develop the new service, said his department is excited to help prove “this awesome service for the City of Lethbridge. Public transit isn’t just for going to work or going shopping or running errands. It can also fulfill the community as well by linking these cultural destinations. It’s really going to show the power of public transit and through the vision of the Galt in the order of developing this, we’r just really excited as part of Lethbridge Transit to be partnered with this and really hoping to see everybody on the bus for this great project.”
Mayor Blaine Hyggen said “it’s great to see this finally come to fruition. It’s been quite a long journey and of course, COVID happened to play a part in that. It’s so exciting to see this CutlureLINK transportation is here, not just for tourists but also the citizens of the Lethbridge.”
Martens said the service will connect all the city’s “rich cultural destinations,” including Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, Casa, SAAG and Galt Museum as well as the fort and nature centre in the river valley.
“It effectively runs like a hop-on, hop-off,” said Martens.

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