Edmonton Transit in 2009

I think 2009 was a very interesting year for transit in Edmonton! There were a number of big successes, such as the launch of trip planning with Google Transit, new LRT cars, the opening of the South Campus LRT Extension, experiments with dedicated bus lanes and smart cards, the release of data for developers, lots of support for transit to the Edmonton International Airport, completion of major construction on the South LRT extension, and of course, the approval of the NAIT, West, and Southeast LRT lines. There was also some sad news, such as the violence against bus drivers and other security issues. And finally, some transit news from 2009 is either positive or negative depending on how you look at it, such as the end of trolley buses.

TransitCamp EdmontonSouth Campus LRT Grand OpeningSouth Campus LRT Grand OpeningMack & DonETS PlatinumMy Bus StopWest & Southeast LRT Announcement

Here are some of the transit-related headlines from 2009:

Also: you can see the monthly In Transit newsletters here.

Some data points for 2009:

  • The 15th annual Stuff A Bus campaign collected 31,000 kg of non perishable food items, and $17,000 in cash donations.
  • On February 1, 2009, the price of an adult monthly pass rose $7.75 to $74.25.
  • In its first six months of operation, 311 fielded 116,437 calls related to trip planning, 63,980 calls related to bus information, and 6,037 calls related to transit fares. Transit was the most commonly requested service.
  • ETS Statistics and ETS Statistics for 2009 (will be updated).

TransitCamp Edmonton Competition

At the TransitCamp Edmonton event on May 30th, it was announced that ETS was releasing route & schedule information in the Google Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) format for everyone to use. We decided to hold a small competition, to spur interest in developing applications that made use of the data! The competition closed November 30th, and I’m happy to finally share our two winners:

  1. MyStops by Grayscale Apps
  2. ETS Trip Planner by Waclaw Lany

MyStops, as you probably know, is a very popular iPhone application that gives you quick access to the schedule information for your favorite bus stops. Waclaw’s trip planner combines the stop number functionality of the official ETS Trip Planner with Google Maps routing.

Our judges, Councillor Don Iveson and Edmonton CIO Chris Moore, evaluated the submissions using three criteria:

  • Usefulness to residents
  • Visual appeal and usability
  • Inventiveness and originality

Congratulations to Andrew, Sinan, Sari, and Waclaw!

2010

This should be another big year for transit in Edmonton. The last of the old GMC vehicles were retired in 2009, which means that ETS is now running a 100% accessible fleet. The South LRT extension is scheduled to open in April, and construction on the North LRT extension has begun. The U-Pass pilot ends this year, so a new deal will be negotiated, and NAIT students might get to join. And hopefully at some point the trolley wires will be completely removed! I can’t wait to see what else 2010 has in store for us.

Don’t forget: the Donate-a-Ride campaign is on until January 31!

Keep up-to-date on the latest transit news and announcements on Twitter using the #yegtransit hashtag!

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments or via email.