What you need to know about Edmonton's new bus routes

·2 min read
New bus routes in Edmonton are set to take effect Sunday.  (Cort Sloan/CBC - image credit)
New bus routes in Edmonton are set to take effect Sunday. (Cort Sloan/CBC - image credit)

Edmonton's transit system is getting its first overhaul in more than 20 years, with changes set to come into effect Sunday.

The city has touted the redesign as having more direct routes, evening and weekend service in more neighbourhoods, and an overall simplified network.

All routes are changing. An interactive map of the routes is available on the city's website.

Biggest changes

One of the major changes coming is on-demand transit in 37 Edmonton communities. This pilot project, slated to last two years, also launches on Sunday.

Commuters can request a small shuttle bus to pick them up through the Edmonton On Demand Transit app, the city website, or by phone.

The shuttle won't collect bus fare, but instead commuters will pay when they transfer to or from regular transit service. The bus takes them from their neighbourhood stop to a designated transit hub, and vice versa.

Sarah Feldman, director of planning and scheduling with ETS said there is a maximum waiting time with on-demand transit: 30 minutes in peak times and 60 minutes in off times.

"The on-demand vehicles are all wheelchair accessible and they also all have integrated car seats for older children, not infants, but toddlers and up," she said.

"We really want to make the services accessible to everyone as much as possible."

Feldman said they had to do the revamp but not increase their current budget. She added that more frequent reviews will happen going forward instead of a huge overhaul after a longer period of time.

All the signs at bus stops are also changing. Here's what the new signs will look like, and what the symbols, letters, and numbers mean:

A look at the new bus signs and what the numbers and letters mean.
A look at the new bus signs and what the numbers and letters mean. (City of Edmonton)

The city's overnight routes are mostly staying at the same level of service as before.

"Owl service begins around 1 a.m. when the LRT stops running for the night. Routes 2-Owl, 4, 8, 9-Owl and 510X operate until approximately 3 a.m., seven days a week," a document from the city reads.

So, where's the best place to find information on the new system? The city has maps, route planners, brochures and more on the new transit landing page.

The city created a primer that goes over the major changes and details routes by area and more. You can plan your route with Google maps or the transit trip planner on the city's website.