"Public transit is an essential part of the region's economic growth and brings people to jobs, education and training."
The dream of regional transit to Edmonton and the communities that surround the provincial capital is now one inch closer to reality.
This was the key takeaway from a press release distributed by the Town of Stony Plain Friday. After it and Spruce Grove leant their support to the idea in February it was mothballed in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Planning has picked back up and now Beaumont, Devon, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, St. Albert and the remaining municipalities are working on selecting a CEO and getting permission to form.
“The Regional Transit Service Commission has been a collaborative effort from the beginning,” Stony Plain Coun. Justin Laurie said. “We are proud of how far we have come as a team. There is plenty of excitement and anticipation to go around as we get closer to our goal.”
The interim board has hired a talent management firm to find their first head and expects to begin interviews as early as December. A final offer will then be extended to the successful candidate pending provincial approval to establish as a legal entity. Area residents have expressed the most interest in travelling to Edmonton if the service begins and that increased connection is one of the board’s core goals.
“Public transit is an essential part of the region’s economic growth and brings people to jobs, education and training,” St. Albert Coun. and board chairperson Wes Brodhead said in a statement on the latest developments. “This facilitates worker mobility. Transit also connects people to recreation, healthcare and other essential services. It reduces social isolation and contributes to positive outcomes for riders.”
Research shows that it might also benefit those in other vehicles if less are on the road, too. New polling from Research Co. with 1,000 sampled found that 56 per cent of people in Canada believe there are specific groups driving worse than others and 39 per cent of surveyed think the quality of their fellow motorists is worse than it was five years ago when the number from the firm was reported to be 47 per cent.