Chestermere Regional Transit Feasibility Study
The community engagement for the Chestermere Regional Transit Feasibility Study is nearing completion. Residents were invited to attend a public open house at the Lakeside Greens Golf Club on Thursday, November 20, 2014, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. to gather feedback on preliminary regional transit routes. There were 17 attendees and five feedback forms submitted. Community members could also provide feedback at chestermeretransit.ca from November 20 – 30, 2014. An additional 59 feedback forms were collected online, for a total of 64 feedback forms. Click here to view the public input summary.
Planning for growth
Chestermere’s population has grown by more than 300% in the last 10 years. It is Alberta’s fastest growing municipality, and in 2011 Chestermere had the 5th largest population increase in Canada. The town’s significant growth is expected to continue, along with the rest of the Calgary Region, to reach an estimated population of 40 to 60 thousand in the next 30 to 40 years.
Affordable and reliable transportation is one of the key factors in accommodating and encouraging growth, as well as improving quality of life for citizens. In 2013, at least 46% of Chestermere residents worked in another municipality, and Chestermere households spent an average of $20,465 on transportation, totaling more than $107 million for the municipality.
Chestermere’s Municipal Development Plan is intended to outline the long-term aspirations of citizens regarding community development, and recognizes public transit will likely play a role in the town’s future transportation infrastructure.
As part of planning for the future, the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) is working with the Town of Chestermere and Calgary Transit to complete a Transit Feasibility Study for the Chestermere area. The purpose of the study is to determine if a future public transit system would be successful by investigating who would use it, where it would go and what the service might look like. The study results will be presented to Town Council for information.
Specifically, the Transit Feasibility Study objectives are:
- Review the need for local and regional transit service for the Chestermere area, based on recent studies, Town policy and public input;
- Research transit vehicles (taxis, buses, etc.), operational models (dial-a-ride, fixed route, rights of way), and management options that may be appropriate for a ‘starter’ transit service in Chestermere;
- Determine conditions, financial and otherwise, to feasibly initiate local and/or regional service for the Chestermere area;
- Identify environmental and other benefits of implementing a transit service; and, if transit is deemed feasible,
- Develop an implementation plan, including cost and revenue estimates and marketing requirements.
Calgary Regional Partnership
Since 1999, the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) has provided opportunities for collaboration, efficiency, and managed growth for the betterment of all communities in the Calgary area. With a focus on future generations, fourteen municipalities across the region are voluntary members of the Partnership, and work in collaboration to ensure that growth in the area is sustainable over the long term. The focus is on preserving our natural environment and water resources while fostering the region’s economic prosperity. The CRP is important to the long-term planning of the Calgary region.
Chestermere and the CRP
Chestermere is a member of the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) that is conducting a Regional Transit Feasibility Study for the Chestermere Area. The CRP is working with Calgary Transit to complete a Transit Feasibility Study for the Chestermere area. This is the first step in planning a sustainable transportation network that can accommodate the future needs of the town.
Karl Yeh, Web/Digital and Communications Lead, Calgary Regional Partnership
Karl is an accomplished communications and public relations practitioner with over ten years of communications experience in a variety of fields including: web/digital communications and marketing, corporate communications, media/public relations, community consultations and social media marketing. Web/digital and social media are a passion for Karl; he is always looking for creative ways to integrate this type of medium into marketing and business practices through the lens of sound strategy. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in Criminology and Psychology and an MBA specializing in global management and urban economics.
Ettore Iannacito, Transit Planning Lead, Calgary Regional Partnership
Ettore graduated with an Urban and Regional Planning Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Ryerson University in Toronto. He has over thirty years of public transit service and operational planning experience at the Toronto Transit Commission, Mississauga Transit, and York Region Transit in Ontario. As the Regional Transportation and Complete Mobility Program Manager at the Calgary Regional Partnership, Ettore’s main focus in the coming years is to support and implement regional transit services to accommodate projected population growth.
Erin Russell, Public Engagement Consultant, Russell Public Relations Inc.
Erin graduated from Mount Royal College with a Bachelor of Applied Communications – Public Relations in 2002. After graduation she was selected for an international internship is Stockholm, Sweden where she worked at an environmental NGO. Since then the majority of her career has been focused on public consultation and communications for municipal transportation projects. She worked for The City of Calgary’s Transportation Department for four years before starting her own company in 2009.
We understand this project, and a future transit system will only be successful if the community’s needs and opinions are reflected in the plans. Gathering community input from the beginning will be more efficient and improve the study results by reflecting public feedback as much as possible.
The public engagement process has been organized in three phases illustrated below. As part of the Information Gathering & Assessment phase, the CRP attended Winterfest and met with the Whitecapper’s Association in January 2014, as well as collected feedback through an online feedback form available from March 10-21 asking Chestermere residents about their regional travel patterns and needs. More than 450 surveys were completed, with the majority of respondents supporting regional transit. The CRP has used that feedback to develop three route options for a future regional transit service. You can review the input summary here.
Chestermere Regional Transit Feasibility Study
Thank you to those who participated in the public open house on November 20, 2014 and provided feedback online about regional transit options in Chestermere. Click here to view the public input summary. The community engagement is nearing competition; please check back on this web site for future engagement opportunities.
Click here to view Calgary Metro’s December 2, 2014 article on region public transit and implementation timelines.
Check out The Chestermere Anchor’s November 27, 2014 page 6 feature article titled, “Chestermere Regional Transit” here.
Below are some examples of other similar successful regional transit systems.
- British Columbia – Regions
- Town of Chestermere
- Town of Chestermere’s Facebook page
- Calgary Regional Partnership
- Calgary Metropolitan Plan
- Calgary Regional Transit Plan
- Town of Chestermere Municipal Development Plan
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the potential costs to build the system? If a local or regional transit system is feasible, how will it be funded?
Public transit services are typically funded through partnerships between Provincial and local governments. If public transit service, either regional is deemed feasible and approved to move forward, funding details will be addressed at that time.
What will happen to the current commuter bus we already have between Chestermere and Calgary?
The current commuter bus between Chestermere and Calgary will continue to run as usual. This is a long-range planning study; if it is determined that a regional transit system is warranted, the service-delivery model will be studied in detail and commuter bus service will likely be improved (i.e. more frequent trips per day).
Will Calgary Transit be the service provider for a Chestermere Area Transit System?
No, not necessarily. Several operational models are being explored. If a transit service is deemed feasible and approved to move forward, service-delivery models will be explored in greater detail and more information will be provided to stakeholders.
How much would transit fares be?
If a transit service is found to be feasible, fares will depend on the type of service and expected usage. There will be additional public consultation before any transit service is implemented.
Is transit necessary for Chestermere?
This is something we are trying to determine by engaging the citizens of Chestermere. The primary focus of this public engagement process is to understand community needs regarding public transit.
How will safety be addressed if a new transit system is implemented?
Safety and security are often a concern for communities when a new transit system is proposed in their area. The CRP understands how important safety and security will be to a successful transit system, and if public transit is deemed feasible and approved to move forward safety and security will be a top priority.
One of the ways to promote safety and security is to incorporate Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles. In other words, to design a space that deters criminal behaviour by creating opportunities for natural surveillance. The idea behind natural surveillance is that people are less likely to break the law if there is a possibility someone might be watching.
Public Engagement Consultant
Russell Public Relations Inc.