The pilot transit project known as County Connector has made its final trip. County of Grande Prairie councillors voted Monday to officially park the pilot project, which had been suspended since April due to COVID-19.
“Our decision to discontinue the service was due to consistently low ridership,” says Reeve Leanne Beaupre. “It also reflects the County’s commitment to being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars and government funding.”
The county says before the vote, both partnering municipalities and the province were made aware that the transit service could be in its final days.
“We sincerely appreciate the support from the provincial government for this pilot and the collaboration we have had with our neighbours,” Beaupre says.
She adds county council will continue to look at options that will meet the needs of the community while being fiscally responsible.
As of February 2020, additional routes were added to the service, despite lower than anticipated ridership.
The County Connector links Clairmont, Sexsmith, Beaverlodge, Wembley, and Hythe to the City of Grande Prairie. The service was part of a two-year provincial Rural Transportation Pilot Program which was set to expire this December.
The pilot was initially made possible by a nearly $640,000 provincial grant announced in June 2018, with the first bus hitting the road in December of that year.