Whether you are in first grade or first year university, it can be a challenge to figure out how to get to your new school. No matter what your age is, students can unravel the mysteries of local transit with support from the City of Edmonton school outreach team. The annual First Riders event, held September 1 this year, provides travel training and safety orientation for elementary students taking the bus for the first time. Students have the opportunity to get on a bus and ask Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) and yellow school bus staff questions and get a feel for the bus experience in a safe setting.
In early September, the school outreach team visits Edmonton universities and colleges, helping students figure out their best transit routes from home to school. Students can learn how to use real-time transit apps so they know how much time they have to catch their next bus. Although catching the bus or LRT might seem simple for people who use it regularly, many university students aren’t from Edmonton and appreciate the travel tips. Most Edmonton universities and colleges participated in the Universal Transit Pass program (U-Pass), which allows eligible students to travel anywhere in the greater Edmonton region on any municipal transit service provider.
Students who have accessibility challenges can learn how ETS is designed to allow them to get around independently. All ETS buses come with ramps to provide easy access and they also have visual and audio messages thanks to Smart Bus technology so riders know where they are at all times. There are also ramps, escalators and elevators in all LRT stations for anyone who needs support moving to and from bus transit centres.
ETS is transforming the Edmonton transit experience through focusing on services, infrastructure and technology. The school outreach program, U-Pass and accessibility initiatives are just a few of the ways that ETS is ensuring all Edmontonians can fully participate in the community by getting to the places they most need to go, such as schools, recreation centres, libraries and even the local mall.