Sturgeon County Votes to Explore the Benefits of Regional Transit Services
Sturgeon County Council has decided to transition its role on the Regional Transit Services Commission (RTSC) to an advisory membership. The decision will take effect immediately and will support the County to weigh-in on key issues without a formalized voting or financial requirement.
“While we recognize the value of regional collaboration and joint exploration of transit efficiencies, we want to make sure that our role within these forums reflects current community priorities,” said Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw. “It’s great to be at the table and to have a voice but at present our transit service needs are significantly less than some of our neighbouring municipalities.”
Sturgeon County was one of 13 municipalities who committed to a business case examining efficient and affordable transit options for commuters across the region in 2019. In late January, the RTSC released its report - Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. The collaborative initiative explored the overall feasibility of an integrated-service approach in the Edmonton Metropolitan region.
More recently, Beaumont, Devon, Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Leduc County, Morinville, Parkland County, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Strathcona County, Stony Plain, and Sturgeon County were asked to indicate their plans for future project involvement. After careful consideration and discussion at Council, it was decided that Sturgeon County would continue to stay involved with the project in a somewhat modified capacity.
“There is no doubt that public transportation plays a vital role in facilitating connections and enhancing mobility,” says RTSC Chair Wes Brodhead. “We are pleased with Sturgeon County’s continued involvement to be a part of these important discussions to ensure there is representation across the metro region and appreciate their unique needs.”
Going forward, all municipalities who have chosen to join the RTSC in a voting capacity will jointly sponsor a proposal to the Government of Alberta to establish the Commission in Provincial Regulation. Public engagement activities will be a part of this process as will further details with respect to the commission’s governance, municipal autonomy, financial impacts and servicing. The Government of Alberta must approve the new Commission before it can begin operation, tentatively by 2022.
For more information and to view the report “Accelerating Transit in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region”, visit www.sturgeoncounty.ca/RTSC.
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