Edmonton Transit Service
The Edmonton Transit Service (previously known as Edmonton Transit System), also called ETS, is the public transit service owned and operated by the city of Edmonton, Alberta. It operates Edmonton's bus and light rail systems.
|Slogan||Your Every Day Way|
|Parent||City of Edmonton|
|Locale||PO Box 2610, Stn. Main Edmonton, AB|
|Service area||Edmonton, Alberta|
|Service type||Public Transit|
|Routes||209; 2 LRT routes|
~7000 bus stops
|Fleet||963 buses (As of 2017)|
94 light rail vehicles
98 DATS vehicles
|Daily ridership||397,402 (weekday)|
|Fuel type||Bus: diesel, electric (trial), CNG (trial)|
|Operator||City of Edmonton|
|Chief executive||Eddie Robar (Manager)|
ETS provides service on buses and light-rail transit within the City of Edmonton limits, in addition to Fort Saskatchewan, Spruce Grove, Beaumont, and the Edmonton Garrison at Namao. It also provides connections to suburban transit services operated by the City of St. Albert and Strathcona County. ETS provides service to the Edmonton International Airport, while Leduc Transit provides bus service to Leduc.
ETS operates an entire fleet of accessible low floor buses, which have been progressively introduced into the system since 1993. These include the 858 40-foot (12 m) New Flyer D40LF/D40LFR/XD40, 33 60-foot (18 m) New Flyer D60LF/D60LFR articulated models, and 49 Grande West Vicinity B30A models.
ETS uses the timed-transfer system, where suburban feeder routes run to a transit centre, and passengers can then transfer to a base route/LRT to the city centre or the university. Some feeder routes provide direct express service to and from the city centre.
A new feature on ETS, Smart buses have since July 2013, seen operating on several routes, the trial routes were 111 which went from West Edmonton Mall to Downtown and 128 which went from Castle Downs to University, This system respectively used 45 buses. As of November 2014, there are 22 routes equipped,. Real time bus arrival information on personal computers and mobile data is branded together as ETS LIVE and a mobile app, ETS Live to Go, has been released. The buses equipped possess automatic audio visual stop announcers of the next bus stop described by its nearest intersection, a computer aided dispatch which informs the control centre where a bus is, as well as monitor incidents. Mobile data terminals inform the drivers as to if they are late or not. The buses equipped have internal covert cameras to monitor safety. City council has approved funding for Smartbus deployment on all bus routes as of 2019 and 2020. On 4 September 2016, all 928 busses in the ETS fleet had been fully equipped with Smart bus technology, earlier than initially planned.
Late Night Owl Service
Night service began on September 6 2015, on routes 1, 4, 8, and 9 and 512.These buses operate until approximately 3:30 or 4 AM. Morning service then resumes around 5:00 AM. Route 512 acts as a late night replacement for northern sections Capital Line (operating after the LRT shuts down for the night) from Clareview to Downtown.
Other routes end service at varying times.
In May 2007, Edmonton Transit Security were appointed Peace Officers under the Alberta Peace Officer Act. Transit Peace Officers can issue tickets for Provincial Statutes and Edmonton bylaws on Transit property. Transit Peace Officers use Ford Taurus police interceptors as their primary transportation, but are also seen riding the LRT enforcing bylaws. They patrol in uniform on ETS vehicles and property which include buses, LRT and transit stations 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. The Transit Peace Officer Bike Patrol is also active during suitable weather conditions from spring until fall. The Bike Patrol can access certain areas better than a vehicle, such as bike paths along LRT tracks or areas congested by traffic and/or special events. Transit Peace Officers are authorized to enforce municipal bylaws and have powers and authority under several provincial acts.
In November 2018 Edmonton Transit added 24/7, onsite contract security guards to augment and assist the Peace Officers and Edmonton Police. The main focus of the contract security guards are to focus on high visibility patrols and observing and reporting security issues for the Transit Peace Officers or Edmonton police to attend. The contract security guards interact with the public and work closely with Transit Peace Officers and Edmonton police.
List of Transit Centres
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Transit Centres in Edmonton serve as hubs which allow people to transfer bus routes or onto the LRT system. These hubs typically have a heated shelter, and have multiple bus bays to accommodate many buses at a time.
- Abbottsfield Transit Centre
- Belvedere Transit Centre*
- Capilano Transit Centre
- Castle Downs Transit Centre
- Century Park Transit Centre*
- Clareview Transit Centre*
- Coliseum Transit Centre*
- Eaux Claires Transit Centre
- Government Centre Transit Centre*
- Jasper Place Transit Centre
- Kingsway/Royal Alex Transit Centre*
- Lakewood Transit Centre
- Leger Transit Centre
- Lewis Farms Transit Centre
- Meadowlark Transit Centre
- Meadows Transit Centre
- Millgate Transit Centre
- Mill Woods Transit Centre
- Northgate Transit Centre
- South Campus/Fort Edmonton Park Transit Centre*
- Southgate Transit Centre*
- Stadium Transit Centre*
- University Transit Centre*
- West Edmonton Mall Transit Centre
- Westmount Transit Centre
* Transit Centre at LRT station
ETS numbers its bus routes based on the community they serve, with numbers 1-23 being base routes. Routes numbered 24-99 are south Edmonton routes, while routes 100-199 run north of the river. For example, routes 60 to 79 are located in Mill Woods, while routes 160-179 are located in Castle Downs. Due to a shortage of numbers in allocation of route numbers, there are a number of exceptions. Furthermore, commuter routes have been allocated numbers in the 500's. All routes are serviced by accessible low floor buses.
The city is currently in the process of introducing a complete bus network redesign, which will completely change how routes are numbered and where they go. This change will be implemented in August 2020.
- Centennial Garage - bus facility: historic fleet storage; opened April 24, 2010
- Cromdale Garage - bus facility and former Edmonton Radial Railway trolley bus/streetcar barn: Torn down in 2014.
- D.L. MacDonald Yard - LRT storage and repair facility; opened 1983
- Ferrier Garage - bus facility; formerly trolley bus barn
- Mitchell Garage - bus facility; formerly trolley bus barn; opened April 7, 1981
- Paterson Garage - bus garage; bus disposal facility
- Percy Wickman Garage - Disabled Adult Transit Service (DATS) facility
- Westwood Garage - bus garage; opened 1961
Trolley bus system
Trolley bus service in Edmonton started on September 24, 1939, operating on route 5 from 101 St/Jasper Ave to 95 St/111 Ave. By the end of October of that year, service had started on another route running to 99 St/Whyte Ave via the Low Level Bridge. In Edmonton, trolley buses were often referred to simply as "trolleys".
The trolley bus system used a mixture of Ohio Brass and K&M Elastic (Swiss) suspension for holding up the overhead wires.
On 18 June 2008, city council voted 7 to 6 in favour of phasing out the trolley system between 2009 and 2010. However, city council decided in April 2009 that trolley bus service would be discontinued earlier than originally planned, in order to reduce the city's expected $35 million deficit that year. The last day of regular service was 2 May 2009.
In 2008, the city leased a low-floor model of trolley from Coast Mountain Bus Company, Vancouver's bus operating company, for testing of possible benefits of low-floor trolleys over hybrid diesel buses. During its time in Edmonton the bus was numbered 6000, but was returned to its original #2242 when returned to Vancouver.
Edmonton operated streetcars from 1908 to 1951, some of which are now owned by the Edmonton Radial Railway Society.
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ETS operates a 20.5 km light rail route with fifteen stations. The Capital Line runs roughly north-south, between Clareview station in northeast Edmonton and the Century Park station on the south side, with a mix of tunnels and at-grade track. Six stations are underground, while the remaining nine are at-grade with surface road crossings.
In 2015, the Metro Line opened, interlining with the Capital Line on some sections and servicing the central and north-central area of the city.
The train shown to the right was made in Germany by Siemens/DÜWAG. The same type of vehicle has operated on several underground lines in Frankfurt am Main since 1968 as type U-2. ETS also has Siemens SD-160s from Siemens. These were delivered to accommodate four new stations which opened in 2009 and 2010.
The City of Edmonton embarked on an eight-month evaluation of 13 clean-diesel and hybrid buses (and a new trolley bus) in 2008. Edmonton Transit's first two diesel electric hybrid buses went into service in December 2006. The unique design and colour scheme of the two Orion low floor buses have been chosen to enable them to 'stand out' from the rest of the ETS fleet. The buses were part of an extensive test of hybrid technology that Edmonton Transit and the University of Alberta conducted over a year. Bus reliability, performance, maintenance costs, fuel efficiency, noise generation and environmental impact were monitored and evaluated in all weather and road conditions. As well, customers were surveyed about their travel experience. Ultimately, the Hybrid buses only recorded fuel savings of 10-20% (in contrast to the 35% touted in the internal ads). In addition, the ISE-New Flyer hybrids (6003 and 6004) were out of service so much that they could not be included in the evaluation.
As of fall 2009, only the two Orion hybrids are in service. New Flyer/ISE hybrids 6003 and 6004 have been parked in the Paterson compound since the early spring, and have since been converted to diesel buses as of 2011, while New Flyer/Allison 6001 was damaged beyond repair in an accident. New Flyer/Allison 6002 was revamped with new features and technology to become the ETS Platinum Bus, also referred to as the "Painted Lady".
In Spring 2014, ETS unveiled a full electric bus for a four-month pilot program through October 2014. The buses are referred to as "ETS Stealth Buses" and are on lease from Build Your Dreams (BYD) Co. Ltd.. The buses do not have a fare box at the moment, but instead are accepting customer surveys about electric buses as fare. Even without fare capacity the buses will be placed on several different routes around the city to give many Edmontonians the ability to experience the new exhaust-less bus. The current electric bus is not winterized, but if the city moves forward with the electric bus program they intend to acquire buses with full winter capabilities.
In 2019, Edmonton received the funding to purchase 50 electric buses from Proterra. These buses will enter service between summer 2019 and 2022, and feature low-emissions and quieter operation. This is the single largest purchase of electric buses in Canadian history.
In December 2014, Edmonton City Council approved SmartFare, which comprises an electronic farecard and intermunicipal fare structure. The first buses had tap electronic payment systems installed in April 2019 with pilot testing set to begin in 2020.
|Youth (6-18)||Adult (19-65)||Senior (65+)|
|10 Ticket Pack||$23||$26.25||$23|
ETS provides several discounts for students and the disadvantaged.
- Low income seniors can pay $59.25 for an annual pass instead of the listed $136.50.
- Starting in 2017, Qualified low-income adults can purchase a bus pass for $35 through the Ride Transit Program
- Public school students can purchase monthly passes from their schools at a subsidized rate ranging from $30-55 depending on grade and location.
- Catholic school students can purchase monthly passes ranging from $30-50.
- Families (1 adult and up to four children age 12 and under) are entitled to travel on ETS all day with the use of a valid day pass.
- Post-secondary students at approved post-secondary institutions may purchase a monthly pass at the discounted rate of $88.50.
- Since 1 September 2007, ETS has partnered with the University of Alberta, NorQuest College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and MacEwan University to provide students with a Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass), allowing unlimited access to St Albert Transit, Strathcona County Transit and ETS bus and light rail systems for a single (four month) school term. As of 2013, University of Alberta students pay $145 after a $25 subsidy from the University of Alberta while NorQuest College, NAIT and MacEwan University students pay the full $170
- Since 1 March 2013, ETS has provided Edmontonians with Disabilities on the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) Program a subsidized Adult Transit pass at a cost of $35 per month.
Commuter & Regional Service Fares
Some routes have different fare structures due to the distance they cover or because they enter different municipalities outside of Edmonton.
- Monthly commuter pass to Edmonton (without transferability to regular ETS service): $135
- One way commuter cash fare (without transferability to regular ETS service): $6.25
- Monthly Spruce Grove/ETS integrated pass to Edmonton (with transferability to regular ETS service): $197
- Can only be purchased by Spruce Grove residents
- Monthly student pass to Edmonton (without transferability to regular ETS service): $100
- Under 18 or valid student ID required
- Book of 10 tickets (without transferability to regular ETS service): $56
- Local fare only (within Spruce Grove): $3
- No additional fare for holders of the U-Pass or children under 6 with a fare paying adult
Fares effective 11 February 2019 for commuter route 580 to Fort Saskatchewan:
- Fares without transferability to regular ETS service:
- Adult one way: $5
- Senior one way (65+): $3.50
- Student one way (13-17): $3.50
- Child (under 12): Free
- Adult book of 10 tickets: $40.80
- Student/Senior book of 10 tickets: $33.70
- Adult monthly pass: $91.80
- Student/Senior monthly pass: $35.70
- Integrated passes (valid on regular ETS service as well as route 580):
- Adult monthly pass: $188.80
- Student monthly pass: $124.20
- Senior monthly pass: $51.20
- U-Pass holders pay no additional fare
Fares effective 1 October 2017 for route 540 to Beaumont:
- One way: $5
- 10 ticket book: $45
- Adult monthly pass: $85
- Student and Senior monthly pass: $78
- Children (under 5): Free (with an accompanying fare-paying passenger)
- The U-Pass is not accepted on route 540, however the option is being considered for the future.
Beaumont tickets, passes and transfers cannot be used on regular ETS services.
Edmonton International Airport
Fares for route 747 to the Edmonton International Airport, effective May 14, 2018:
- One way trip: $5 or two adult ETS tickets
- Monthly pass (with no transferability to regular ETS service): $90
- UPass, Leduc commuter pass, or Leduc route 747 transfer
One way fare reduced back to $5 on May 1, 2018 (after it rose to $10 on February 1, 2018), when an increase in joint funding from the City of Leduc, Leduc County, and the Edmonton International Airport was agreed upon.
- Sherwood Park Commuter tickets/passes/transfers are valid for use on ETS
- These are special tickets/passes/transfers purchased for or obtained from Sherwood Park commuter routes
- ETS tickets are valid on Sherwood Park commuter services for an additional $2 and on sherwood park local services for an additional $1
- Tickets for use solely on route 747 are not valid on SCT
- ETS monthly passes (excluding the seniors pass and courtesy pass) and day passes are valid on all Sherwood Park services for an additional $1
- Passes for use solely on route 747 are not valid on SCT
- ETS monthly passes (excluding the seniors pass and courtesy pass) are valid on all St. Albert services for an additional $1
- ETS tickets and transfers are valid on commuter St. Albert services for an additional $2
- Only valid on commuter routes between Edmonton & St. Albert
- StAT commuter tickets/passes/transfers are valid on ETS (local versions are not valid)
Bus Network Redesign
The City of Edmonton began the process of completely redesigning its bus route network in 2017, with the aim of making it run more efficiently. Since then, two rounds of public consultations have been held at various locations around the city, and online surveys have taken feedback from riders. The public engagements have identified that transit riders would rather have to walk further to get to higher frequency routes, opposed to more routes operating less frequently. The city released a final draft of the new bus system in 2018, which cut back on routes with low ridership, and increased frequency in high traffic areas. After the redesign, all routes will be renumbered to make the system easier to navigate. New signage and materials will be created to assist in wayfinding. The redesign is scheduled to be rolled out in mid-2020.
The preliminary engineering of a park-and-ride at 127 Street SW and Ellerslie Road SW is complete. A station will be located there when the funds are available to extend the LRT over Anthony Henday Drive. City staff have recommended that the Heritage Valley Transit Centre and park-and-ride be built starting in January 2018, at an approximate cost of $20 million because the park-and-ride lease at Century Park is due to expire. The Kathleen Andrews Transit Garage is a future transport depot currently under construction on Fort Road, named after ETS manager Kathleen Andrews, and covering 300 buses and 700 drivers. It is expected to open in late 2019.
NAIT station current is located north of Princess Elizabeth Avenue, on the south side of the Institute's swimming pool and hockey arena (S) wing. A permanent station is planned to be built on the former Edmonton City Centre Airport lands.
The Valley Line will run for 27 kilometres (17 mi) from Mill Woods through downtown Edmonton to Lewis Farms, with 25 stops. The 11-station segment from Mill Woods to 102 Street in downtown will be constructed first, beginning in 2016 and finishing by 2021. Unlike the existing LRT, the Valley Line will run primarily at grade in the centre median of city streets, connecting to the Capital and Metro lines at Churchill station. The line will cost $1.8 billion, with $800 million coming from the City of Edmonton, $600 million from Alberta, and $400 million from the federal government. A public–private partnership was established between the City of Edmonton and a private contractor to build and operate the east portion of the line.
Long range LRT plans
City council in the past has looked at creating long range transportation plans that include the LRT reaching St. Albert to the northwest, Lewis Estates in the west (with West Edmonton Mall en route), the Edmonton International Airport and Leduc to the south, Mill Woods in the southeast, and Fort Saskatchewan to the northeast.
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