Grande Prairie is expected to serve as the hub for a regional transportation service that could now expand to include Grande Cache. Alberta Transportation has provided guidelines for municipalities and regions that think they could use regional transit systems. A total of five have been identified around the province.
The city of Grande Prairie is preparing to submit a letter in support of the program which if approved could service Wembley, Beaverlodge, Hythe, Sexsmith and Clairmont. The idea of also serving Grande Cache due to their remote location was raised at committee Tuesday. Assistant Transportation Manager Steve Harvard says they have provided a general guideline for the programs to encompass a 50km radius but he plans to take the idea back to the province for their input.
“Potentially if this if not something that realistically could fit in phase one… well, what if we found that there was a strong desire for that to happen? Could we be looking at that? So absolutely it’s something I’ll be taking up with the province.”
If applications are approved the first two years of the programs operational costs would be covered, that doesn’t include the cost of equipment.
The county has also been a part of developing the plan. Data from a 2014 Clairmont Feasibility Study they completed is being used as part the proposal. Each community has different needs which Harvard said they need to consider.
“The hardest part that we’re find is trying to make sure that the level of service meets the expectations of each community, yet is realistic in the way that it’s put together. As we know expectations sometimes far exceed that available resources.”
The request for the letter in support is expected to go before city council Monday March 26, 2018 meeting. The deadline for applications is March 29.