New bus network, transit centre, On Demand Transit get you where you’re going

For five years in Edmonton, it’s been “the new bus network.” Now, the new bus network is here.

“We’re excited to have you try out our new transit services,” said Sarah Feldman, Director of Edmonton Transit Service’s Planning & Scheduling.

“We’ve been working to modernize our transit network to provide our customers with better access within the city.”

Mayor Don Iveson helps unveil Edmonton’s new bus network.

More frequent, more direct, better connected

April 25, 2021 marks the debut of all new bus routes and bus numbers across Edmonton, with connections to an expanding LRT system.

The city outgrew the old bus network. The new network better meets customers’ needs for more frequent, more direct and better connected routes.

The new network uses the same number of buses and service hours. It doesn’t increase the Edmonton Transit Service budget. The new network is designed to grow with a growing city.

One of the 57 new On Demand Transit vehicles, ready to serve.

On Demand Transit

The redesigned bus network features a new On Demand Transit service.

On Demand Transit connects 37 communities and 16 seniors residences to the existing bus and LRT network, with peak and off-peak service, including weekends.

Take a look at one of the 57 new accessible On Demand Transit vehicles:

Mill Woods Transit Centre

As part of the new bus network, the City has also opened a new transit centre in Mill Woods, directly north of the Mill Wood Public Library. The 325 square metre facility replaces the existing transit centre and offers a closer connection to the future Mill Woods Stop on the Valley Line LRT.

The new Mill Woods Transit Centre was completed on time and on budget.

The transit centre features those yellow bumpy strips (tactile walking surface indicators, formally) on the ground that help people with limited vision safely navigate the area. There’s a covered walkway that connects to the future Valley Line Southeast LRT stop.

Transit oriented development

The new transit centre was moved closer to the new LRT to support redevelopment plans for the Mill Woods Town Centre. The centre will become a higher-density area that includes mixed residential housing and commercial businesses within walking distance to transit.

The dance of transit and development is what’s meant by the term transit oriented development.

The concept guides planners and builders to concentrate housing, shopping and employment along a network of walkable and bikeable streets within walking distance of transit stations.

Edmonton’s future LRT service (this is a vehicle on the future Valley Line Southeast, which opens later this year) will get people, to where they want to go. And the City, too.

Planning your trips

The new bus network will take a little getting used to. The new bus routes, new schedules and a new bus numbering system mean it’s important to take a bit of time ahead of time to get to your destination on time.

“If you haven’t done your trip planning for your next transit ride, we highly recommend you try our online trip planner at edmonton.ca/transit or download the third-party Transit app or Google Maps,” said Feldman.

Feldman and a team of transit planners, transit schedulers, engineers and technology experts have come together, along with input from thousands of Edmontonians, to build the foundation for a new, strong transit system for today’s Edmonton and for the city of another million people over the next 30 years.

They’ve been working so a passenger can take a new crosstown bus route from Clareview to Mill Woods. Or book an On Demand shuttle bus from Westridge to West Edmonton Mall and then catch an express bus to work downtown. They’ve been working to have buses start travelling through the new Mill Woods Transit Centre, and provide an express bus along the Valley Line Southeast Corridor until the Valley Line opens.

The future LRT stop at Mill Woods Transit Centre will feature a covered pedway for train and bus customers.

“Transit influences where you live, work and play,” said Feldman. “The goal is an even safer, more convenient and greener way to travel from one place to another.”

Hop on board.

Editor’s note: Sarah Feldman recently took part in a Bus Network Redesign livestream, which has a lot of information and questions answered. And is good to dig into, especially on a bus, train or shuttle while someone else is doing the driving. 🙂

The “NEW TC” shows the location of the new Mill Woods Transit Centre at 28 Avenue and 50 Street. It will support transit oriented development plans for Mill Woods Town Centre area.